Alternative Facts

Truth Isn’t Truth


cjones08252018

Joseph Goebbels is credited for the quote, “A lie told once remains a lie, but a lie told a thousand times becomes the truth.”

While it’s uncertain if Goebbels actually made that statement, what’s not up for debate is that he was the Reich Minister of Propaganda for Nazi Germany. They were not fans of facts or a free press. Neither is the Trump administration as they’re taking their cues from Goebbels’ propaganda playbook.

Trump himself told his followers at one of his rallies that they shouldn’t believe what they see and hear. His highly paid idiots are on board the gaslighting train.

Kellyanne Conway said Sean Spicer was using “alternative facts.” Earlier in the week, Rudy Giuliani told CNN that facts are “in the eye of the beholder.” Just this past Sunday on Meet the Press, he told Chuck Todd that “truth isn’t truth.”

Giuliani argued to Todd when Russians proposed a meeting with the Trump Campaign where they would offer dirt on Hillary Clinton, that any campaign aide would take such a meeting. While it could be argued that only a slimy, traitorous, unpatriotic, shit weasel, piece of crap, would take such a meeting, what can’t be disputed are the facts…which Giuliani proceeded to dispute.

Rudy claimed that Donald Trump Jr. and his treasonous cohorts in attendance at the meeting, Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort, were unaware they were meeting with a Russian until Natalia Veselnitskaya arrived at the meeting (Hmmm? Veselnitskaya? Sounds Mexican, right?). He claimed she was not a representative of the Russian government. He claimed she was a private citizen.

The facts are; it was explained in the email from pop music promoter Rob Goldstone to Donald Trump Jr. that she was a representative of the Russian government and their interest in Donald Trump winning the presidential election. Within minutes of receiving that email, Don Jr. replied, “if it’s what you say it is, I love it.”

Rudy Giuliani has gone from being America’s mayor to just another Trump sycophant, none of whom has ever argued, defended, or supported Donald Trump without lying (it’s never been done. Ever).

They tell lies, like revoking former CIA chief John Brennan’s security clearance because his “frenzied” criticism of the administration was aiding our adversaries in “sowing division and chaos.” The truth is Brennan was a public servant back when Giuliani was still married to his cousin, and helping our nation kill Osama bin Laden while Trump was stealing from charities and grifting with a fake university.

There are various quotes going around on the internet that explains; if you ever wondered what you would have done during the Nazi era (or the Civil Rights era), you’re doing it right now.

If you believe the media is the enemy of the people, you’re doing it right now. If you believe Trump at anytime about anything, you’re doing it right now. If you believe truth isn’t truth, you’re doing it right now. You have been gaslighted.

You’re doing it right now if you’re in agreement with Donald Trump’s statement, “It is the press, above all, which wages a positively fanatical and slanderous struggle, tearing down everything which can be regarded as a support of national independence, cultural elevation, and the economic independence of the nation.”

Oops. Did I say that quote belonged to Donald Trump? My mistake. It belongs to Adolf Hitler.

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Girl, You Know It’s True


cjones01262017

Donald Trump is a liar.

You can’t trust or believe anything Trump tells you. That goes for his deceitful minions too.

Despite a long track record of lying years before he started his presidential campaign voters believed Hillary Clinton was less honest than Trump. Twenty years of a smear campaign against her was very effective and took its toll. Even to the point that this nation elected a conman over her. What does that say about the rest of the Republican field of candidates in the primary?

PolitiFact found that 70 percent of Trump’s statements during the presidential campaign were false. For Clinton, they only found 26 percent.

Trump lied for years about Obama not being born in the United States. He promised he had evidence. A few days before the election he finally admitted Obama was born in the United States. Exhibiting further signs of his narcissism, Trump didn’t admit he was wrong. Instead he blamed the Democrats for starting birtherism and gave himself credit for the great service he did for President Obama and the nation by putting the birther thing to rest. He probably used money from his charity to buy himself a trophy for the accomplishment.

He lied about Ted Cruz’s father being involved in the JFK assassination. He lied about seeing thousands of Muslims in New Jersey celebrating 9/11. He claimed the Mexican government was intentionally sending criminals into our country (Castro did that though). He said the unemployment rate was 42%. He lied when he said Obama was accepting 200,000 refugees from Syria. Who can forget his lie about being against the Iraq war?

The only time Trump has ever admitted he lied was when he said he never did those things he said he did on that tape about assaulting women. So either he was lying on that taped bus ride, or he was lying about lying. My head is starting to spin.

In the first few days of his presidency he’s lied about the numbers at his inauguration, and in an attempt to prove his legitimacy as president, is now claiming that millions of illegal voters cost him the popular vote. He even has his soulless flying monkeys going out to defend and repeat his lies. Trump spokesman Sean Spicer was actually asked at a briefing if he’ll ever intentionally tell the public falsehoods. He lied when he said no.

Politicians lie. Nixon lied when he said he wasn’t a crook. Reagan lied about Iran/Contra. Bill Clinton lied when he said “I did not have sex with that woman.” Each of those lies were to save their political careers. Trump lies because he’s pathological. Trump himself may not even be able to tell the truth from a lie. He often accuses a fact of being a lie.

What is the purpose of all these “alternative facts” other than protecting Trump’s eggshell fragile ego? It’s a distraction. While we’re asking about the stupidity of crowd sizes, his administration is installing gag orders on federal employees. He’s issuing executive orders like crazy on stuff from Obamacare, the Dakota Access Pipeline, a funding ban to foreign groups that provide abortions, directing funds to his border wall and a crackdown on “sanctuary cities,” to declaring his inauguration day as “a Day of Patriotic Devotion.” That last one will make North Korea jealous they didn’t think of it.

I wonder if Trump put a gag order on everyone who criticized Obama for his executive orders because I haven’t heard a thing from those people this week.

Trump is a liar and the press is doing what they can to hold him accountable, all except Joe Scarborough. The New York Times actually used the word “lie” in a front page headline for a Trump story. Usually the press handles that sort of thing more delicately, but Trump has opened the flood gate for these things. Now that the press is holding him accountable, will you?

Creative note: It’s not everyday I get to use a Milli Vanilli joke in a cartoon. And if you’re too young, or too old, to know who they were then that makes me sad.

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Children In The White House


cjones01252017

The press has a long tradition of respecting the privacy of children in the White House. They laid off Amy Carter (who I went to high school with for a year), Chelsea Clinton, the Bush twins, and Sasha and Malia Obama.

Many in the public, including celebrities, radio talk show hosts, and other politicians haven’t given the same respect.

During the Clinton presidency Rush Limbaugh compared 12-year-old Chelsea to a dog. Racists commenting on Fox News’ website went after Malia Obama after she was accepted into Harvard. A GOP staffer was forced to resign when she wrote that the Obama girls dressed like they were going to a bar. That same staffer was probably silent when the Bush twins were caught underage drinking in an actual bar. I’m sure you’ve seen all the Haterade if you’re on social media.

One of my conservative friends and cartooning colleagues says he never saw one conservative attack the Obama girls. Of course he’s a liar. That crap lands on every Obama posts he’s ever made (same guy spent the weekend calling all the women who marched last Saturday fat and ugly). How does someone like that not see it?

During the transition Rosie O’Donnell made a comment that Barron Trump could be autistic. She said she wasn’t trying to attack him but it’s still a place where she shouldn’t go. Autism is nothing to be ashamed of but it’s a private matter left to the family to disclose, if true. Funny thing, Trump never tweeted outrage about that slight.

After the inauguration a writer for Saturday Night Live tweeted that Barron Trump would be the first home-schooled shooter. She later deleted that tweet and was indefinitely suspended from SNL. SNL won’t miss her if she’s only contributing that type of humor.

You have to leave the kids alone, even if their last name is Trump. Politicians love to drag their kids out for photo ops and commercials and that’s fine. It changes a bit when you give them lines reading attacks and insults on another politician, like Ted Cruz did with his daughters. But Ted Cruz is the creepiest man alive so that kinda goes with the territory. Phoniest man alive too which is why his outrage when cartoonist Ann Telnaes lampooned the spot was obviously scripted.

While respecting the privacy of children, we need to watch out how these politicians, like Cruz, will use them. Cruz put them in an ad with lines and then used his outrage for a fundraiser. These are people with low morals and they’ve already proven they’ll make anything up and ignore what they’ve done in the past.

Which is why the two other children currently in the White House needs to be taken to task and held accountable. Kids say the darndest things and they can get away with it. It’s cute when they say “pasghetti.” It’s not cute when an adult says “pasghetti,” or when they scold the media, issue veiled threats, lie, and then say their obvious lies were just “alternative facts.”

Donald Trump will say anything and he’s hired people to sell his lies. Everyone spins. Trump lies. Whether it’s Muslims in New Jersey celebrating 9/11 (he claimed he saw that), Obama’s birtherism, Ted Cruz’s dad being in on killing JFK, or the latest about crowd size, and now that millions of illegals voted which is why he lost the popular vote.

Trump’s alternative reality isn’t reality. It’s not fitting for a president and it can’t be allowed to slide.

It appears the daily White House briefings are going to be difficult. Sean Spicer’s first two questions were from Trump friendly news sources (one had written an anti-Hillary book, and the other was from a pro-life outfit). We’re going to have briefings with daily lies and then Kellyanne Conway will take to the airwaves to double down on those lies.

Do you see why it’s difficult for me to find subjects other than Trump?

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Alternative Facts


cjones01232017

The Trump administration’s first day in office was a remarkable one. Not remarkable with accomplishments or in uniting the country. It was remarkable in absurdity.

Trump did manage to bring a historic crowd to Washington, D.C. Not the crowd for his inauguration. The crowd that assembled Saturday which brought over 500,000 people to the nation’s capital to protest the Trump administration. The Women’s march brought over a million people together in every major American city, in all 50 states, and in 32 nations. There was even a march in Antarctica. Trump, that means a lot of people don’t like you.

While the march was going on outside the Trump team decided to ignore it. Trump visited the CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia and that’s where the day’s propaganda campaign against the press began.

Trump brought a team to applaud him during his speech at the CIA. He claimed he has the greatest respect for the CIA and it was the media distorting the facts and perpetuating a myth that he’s feuding with our nation’s intelligence agencies. He didn’t bring up the fact that just a couple of weeks ago he compared the CIA to Nazis. Trump also claimed that the crowd for his inauguration was the largest in U.S. history.

Later in the day the Trump team announced that White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer would hold a press briefing. It started an hour later than originally announced. Anyone who’s ever watched a press briefing from the White House knows that after the Press Secretary gives the briefing that he’ll take questions from the press. Sean Spicer is no Josh Earnest, Obama’s last Press Secretary.

Spicer started the briefing by complaining about Time magazine reporting that a bust of Martin Luther King, Jr. had been removed from the Oval Office. The report was a mistake which the reporter owned up to and apologized for. Spicer tweeted that the apology was accepted. He forgot about that tweet as he engaged in a diatribe about the injustice of the report. He didn’t stop there. He then went into a tirade over the press reporting the crowd for the inauguration was smaller than Obama’s 2009 inauguration. He claimed the press were lying despite the photographic proof. He said the administration will hold the press accountable, which was a thinly-veiled threat.

Spicer’s briefing only lasted about six minutes and he refused to take any questions.

On Sunday Kellyanne Conway was interviewed by Chuck Todd on MSNBC, where as usual she refused to actually answer any questions and engaged in distractions and deflections. The part that raised everyone’s eyebrows was when she said Sean Spicer was using “alternative facts.”

What are “alternative facts?”, you might ask? Oh, those are lies. Facts are facts. Anything that are not facts are lies and propaganda. Ask Joseph Goebbels who wrote the playbook the Trump is lifting from. She also claimed that Trump’s inauguration had the highest ratings ever, which was another “alternative fact.” Obama’s 2009 inauguration had more than Trump’s, and the highest overall belong to Ronald Reagan. Sorry, Ms. Conway. But at least she’s living up to the first three letters in her last name.

There are three goals with this propaganda campaign from Team Trump.

The first goal is to sugar coat Trump’s huge ego. Ratings and numbers are very important to him. I don’t believe we’ve ever had a president get upset over ratings or crowd size in the past. We’ve definitely never had one talk about his penis at a debate before Trump.

The second goal is to distract the public and press’ attention from real issues. When they scream about ridiculous stuff like ratings and crowd numbers we stop asking the real questions like “what are you going to replace Obamacare with?” and “are you currently engaging in corruption?”

Finally the third goal is to build the public’s distrust of the press and among Trump’s strongest supporters, it’s working. They do this by gaslighting, which is a form of manipulation through persistent denial, misdirection, contradiction, and lying in an attempt to destabilize and delegitimize a target (I got that definition from Wikipedia). Destroying the credibility of the press allows the Trump team to lay out their “alternative facts” with the public believing them and not trusting the press when they ask questions or engage in fact checking.

The press already has low approval with the public and it has been that way for a long time, so Trump has a head start. Trump wants the public to trust him, not the news organizations. In the future he will continue to exert pressure on the press, fill the briefings with friendly conservative news outlets that worship Trump, punish reporters for doing their jobs, and move the press entirely out of the White House. He’ll reward those who cooperate like good puppies. Their hope, which won’t come true, is that the press will cave into pressure from the public and ease up on the administration. If that happens then the most dastardly and illegal stuff they can get away with.

The pressure is real. It’s even hitting a tadpole of journalism such as myself.

For months I’ve had prospective clients tell me they can’t use my work, even though an editor will like it, because Trump fans won’t allow it. I’ve lost a few newspapers here and there over my Trump cartoons. I’m still receiving emails from clients concerned that I draw a lot of cartoons on Trump and they tell me readers are outraged and threatening them. I expect to lose a client this week actually.

One of the ideas of self-syndicating my work to newspapers is that nobody tells me what I can and can’t draw. I refuse to cave into financial pressure and change how I choose topics. Those editors aren’t wrong as the pressure they face is financial. A newspaper’s objective is to make a profit. I do need to cover issues other than Trump, and I do when they occur and I just really get tired of Trump for a day.

I don’t draw a Trump cartoon just to do one. I don’t draw one to insult him without it involving an actual issue. The problem is that there’s a new Trump issue every day. The guy can’t stop. He is a serious threat, not just to me and the rest of the press, but to the entire nation. When the press falls democracy quickly follows.

The one problem Trump has to figure out is that he’s not just president to those who voted for him. He’s everyone’s president, whether they or he likes it or not. He needs to figure that out and govern accordingly. That goes for his team too. The entire Trump administration needs to learn how to become a presidential administration. There are no training wheels for this.

I will continue to hold him and his entire ridiculous administration accountable, even with my financial survival at stake. I hope the rest of the press does the same.

Did you like this cartoon? Want to help a cartoonist make a living? Look to the right of this page and make a donation through Paypal. I need to buy pens, paper, sandwiches, etc.. The starving cartoonist appreciates it. If you’ve donated in the past, THANK YOU!!!