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"Police say the thefts were at a Baton Rouge pawn shop early Saturday morning," Greg says. "One person was arrested at the scene. Since then, two others have been arrested and six of the eight stolen handguns have been recovered. Police are still looking for one other man."

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After an international tribunal invalidated Beijing's claims to the South China Sea, Chinese authorities have declared in no uncertain terms that they will be ignoring the ruling.

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Another Convention, This For Political Cartoonists

Sep 16, 2012
Originally published on September 17, 2012 9:50 am

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

And if you're just tuning in, this is WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz.

A very important, somewhat political convention took place here in Washington this past week.

STEVE KELLEY: Fantastic. Oops. I hit the little button again. If you hit the button here...

RAZ: It was on the campus of George Washington University where we found New Orleans Times Picayune cartoonist Steve Kelley trying out a digital drawing board.

KELLEY: You know, the important thing on Obama, the most important thing, are the ears, right?

RAZ: The convention: an annual gathering of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists. And as it turns out, for a group of people who make a living being essentially silent, they have a lot to say if you get them going.

BRENT BAUGHMAN, BYLINE: Can you describe where you're drawing the ears, Steve?

KELLEY: Oh. Well, I'm drawing the ears. They look kind of like a Mickey Mouse hat up on top of his head. I think that's a very good likeness of the president. This way, it'll never get on NPR.

(LAUGHTER)

KELLEY: A little NPR humor for you.

RAZ: Our producer Brent Baughman spent a few hours there. And here's who he spoke with.

MATT WUERKER: Matt Wuerker, cartoonist for Politico.

ROB ROGERS: Rob Rogers from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

MIKE PETERS: Mike Peters, political cartoonist all my life. I also do a strip called "Mother Goose & Grimm."

DAVID G. BROWN: I'm David G. Brown, political cartoonist for the Los Angeles Sentinel newspaper.

FRANCOISE MOULY: I'm Francoise Mouly. I'm the art editor of The New Yorker.

BAUGHMAN: Wow, a woman.

(LAUGHTER)

KELLEY: Exactly, exactly.

MOULY: That's good. I hope you have this on tape.

BAUGHMAN: So how is this room of people different from any other room of people?

KELLEY: You mean the cartoonists?

(LAUGHTER)

KELLEY: Cartoonists are kind of a quirky bunch.

WUERKER: We all want to do something that's very serious at its core but frivolous, sort of, in its form.

MOULY: As does anyone who is asked to be funny, they're both very insecure and megalomaniac at the same time.

PETERS: We have things in our soul that we want to say, and this is our way to say it.

BROWN: How many people get the opportunity to make fun of the most powerful people in the world and get away with it?

BAUGHMAN: What do people say when you tell them you're a cartoonist?

ROGERS: Usually, if they're under the age of 15, they say: Draw me something.

BROWN: Make sure you don't draw me without any clothes.

KELLEY: Typically, it's wow.

WUERKER: All of them say: I've never met a cartoonist before.

KELLEY: And then they say: Well, what do you do for a living?

(LAUGHTER)

PETERS: A lot of people ask where you get ideas. And this one cartoonist, he had been around for many years, and he says, I've got an idea box. And I said to him, well, were those ideas editorial ideas or cartoon ideas? He goes: No, no. That's my bills. And I just go, I look at a bill, and I say, OK, I've got to do a cartoon. I mean, you know?

BAUGHMAN: Last one. Funniest thing so far this election cycle.

KELLEY: Oh, boy. Well, I actually went to cover the political conventions. And I have to say that Clint Eastwood, the chair.

WUERKER: The chair.

ROGERS: Empty chair was probably one of the funniest things.

WUERKER: Or the most bizarre thing I've ever seen.

BROWN: You know, if you search political cartoons, you'll probably see a ton of chairs.

KELLEY: You got to draw a cartoon the day after, you've got to do the chair. Because I took a flip cam and went around my hotel and interviewed empty chairs and asked them, you know, what they thought of Clint's speech. And I asked one chair that was upholstered which candidate would be the best for upholstered Americans.

PETERS: There's been a lot of cartoonish stuff happening out there that makes our jobs very, very easy. I mean, a couple billion dollars are going to be spent in this campaign, mostly on negative advertising. That's basically an attempt to take the other candidate and turn them into a caricature. And that's our job.

ROGERS: When people turn to the editorial page, you know, a few of them will read the letters. A few of them will read the editorials. But every single person who turns to the editorial page reads the cartoon.

RAZ: That's Rob Rogers, an editorial cartoonist with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. We also heard from many others who spoke to our producer Brent Baughman. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.