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April 26, 2010

Cartoonist Who Started "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day" Backing Away, Admits She Is An Idiot

Disappointing, but not surprising:

On Friday, Norris told a radio talk show host in Seattle that she came up with the idea because "as a cartoonist, I just felt so much passion about what had happened..." noting that "it's a cartoonist's job to be non-PC."

That passion, it appears, has lessened. And fast.

Her stark website today reads: ""I am NOT involved in "Everybody Draw Mohammd [sic] Day!"

"I made a cartoon that went viral and I am not going with it. Many other folks have used my cartoon to start sites, etc. Please go to them as I am a private person who draws stuff," she writes.

It went viral, however, because she was the one who passed it around. Sending it to people like Dan Savage, a popular Seattle-based blogger and nationally syndicated sex advice columnist.

Once it became a national story she reeled back, asking Savage -- in an email he provided to The Ticket -- if he would "be kind enough to switch out my poster" with another one -- a much tamer version which has no images attributed to Muhammad. "I am sort of freaked out about my name/image being all over the place," her e-mail reads.

When asked about her change of heart, Norris told The Ticket that she didn't intend for the cartoon "to go viral."

Then why did she send the cartoon to the media in the first place? "Because I'm an idiot," Norris replied.

"This particular cartoon of a 'poster' seems to have struck a gigantic nerve, something I was totally unprepared for," she said.

Top of the Ticket's Jimmy Orr notes that Norris is not alone. The creator of the Facebook group that promoted the event is also getting skittish.

Of course, the thing they fear—being singled out for death threats—is what "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day" was supposed to address. To this point, Islamic death threats work because they're directed at only a few people and those people inevitably make the reasonable choice to save their own skins by bowing to the threat.

EDMD changes the calculation because there are too many people to threaten. Retaliation becomes impossible without making more people want to draw Mohammed. Safety in numbers meets diminishing returns.

Will EDMD go on without Norris? Absolutely. It's May 20, 2010.


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posted by Gabriel Malor at 01:00 PM

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