Top Leaderboard, Site wide
Truthdig: Drilling Beneath the Headlines
March 29, 2017 Disclaimer: Please read.

Statements and opinions expressed in articles are those of the authors, not Truthdig. Truthdig takes no responsibility for such statements or opinions.

What Is Sex For?
I Am Brian Wilson

Truthdig Bazaar


By Gore Vidal

more items

Email this item Print this item

The Life and Death of Conrad and the Los Angeles Times

Posted on Sep 17, 2010

By Robert Scheer

(Page 2)

Paul was like other veterans of that era of what has been called the good war—maybe the last one that can be called that—like the great Ed Guthman, also a Pulitzer winner and Paul’s close friend, and that other Times Pulitzer winner, Phil Kerby, a foil for Paul’s daily journey through the editorial page compound seeking reaction to drafts of his cartoons. Those guys had a confidence to speak truth to power that derived from the deep conviction that they were guardians of the American dream of justice and liberty for all. For them it was never simply a slogan but rather their lifeblood.       

There is an adage that I believe defines both the role of the free press and the progressive church that Conrad honored—the injunction to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable—an epitaph that best captures this truly great man.

Paul Conrad in his inspired works of art day after day for more than half a century never betrayed that mission. He did so with brilliance, humor, and integrity that millions came to expect from a cartoon signed “Conrad.”

We have lost an American original whose greatness deeply touched us all. Let us all be grateful for the gift to this nation that was Paul Conrad. Sadly, there will never be another quite like him. Therefore we all, particularly those of us charged in our occupation with the obligation of maintaining a free press in a democratic society, have got to try harder to keep his wondrous spirit alive.


Square, Site wide
1   2
They Know Everything About You -- A new book by Truthdig Editor Robert Scheer. Order an autographed copy now!
Taboola Below Article

Get truth delivered to
your inbox every day.

New and Improved Comments

If you have trouble leaving a comment, review this help page. Still having problems? Let us know. If you find yourself moderated, take a moment to review our comment policy.

Join the conversation

Load Comments

By faith, September 21, 2010 at 12:23 pm Link to this comment

Wonderful eulogy Mr. Scheer.  As a side note, many of LAT readers, including
myself stopped our subscription to the newspaper when you left.  I had not
realized that Conrad had also left.  Loved his work.
Thank you again for sharing.

Report this

By J. Conrad, September 19, 2010 at 3:49 pm Link to this comment

Thanks for posting this, Robert. Your comments mean a lot.

Report this

By john crandell, September 18, 2010 at 4:39 pm Link to this comment

My only point of disagreement is that Mr. Oliphant is truly his equal and thank
gawd for that in this Orwellian time.

The first cartoon of Conrad’s that I cut out to save was just after I’d returned from
Vietnam: his lampoon of Billy Buckley (not long after Buckley’s sister had slapped Ti Grace Atkinson for suggesting that the blessed “virgin” Mary had been knocked up..)

For the caption, he quoted Billy’s public acknowledgement: “I admit that we
proceeded in somewhat of an ethical vacuum.” Those words have come to say
everything about the entire Repugnant Party.

Report this

By Ms. Kit, September 17, 2010 at 9:31 pm Link to this comment

I remember a wonderful dialog between Bob and Paul at a UCLA/LATimes Book Festival a few years ago. One of my all-time favorite Book Festival events,  featuring two of my all-time-favorite LATimes journalists.

Report this

By art guerrilla, September 17, 2010 at 7:42 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

1. i certainly *remember* conrad having very good
cartoons, but (editor, i’m looking at you) would it break
your mouse arm to put a linky to some examples of his work
? ? ?
2. hate how sites like yours artificially split up
articles into multiple pages to generate clicky-clicks…
shows you don’t give a shit about your reader’s experience
art guerrilla
aka ann archy
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Report this

By C Burkey, September 17, 2010 at 5:47 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

On they are taking pre-orders for a documentary about Paul Conrad called “Drawing Fire.”
Without the ability to speak truth to power and be supported, like he was for that magical time at the Times, there is no such thing as “freedom.”

Report this

By T. A. Madison, September 17, 2010 at 9:54 am Link to this comment

This splendid obituary reminds me that the spirit of liberty and justice for all is communicated through the heart.

Report this
Right Top, Site wide - Care2
Right 3, Site wide - Exposure Dynamics
Right Skyscraper, Site Wide
Right Internal Skyscraper, Site wide