CNN

Freedom Undefended


cjones07082017

You know that oath the president takes upon assuming office? It’s when the incoming president swears to defend and protect the United States. Yeah, that one. Donald Trump mouthed the words at his inauguration but he’s not defending or protecting our nation.

Trump chose to start his second presidential trip to Europe in Poland, as they have a president who is from the far right, promotes nationalism, and is working to oppress freedom in his country.

During a press conference with Polish President Andrzej Duda, the man who occupies the position that was formerly viewed as the leader of the free world, attacked his own nation.

While on foreign soil, Trump attacked American intelligence. He said Russia probably hacked our election, along with a lot of other people and other nations. In Trump’s mind, there was an international hootenanny attacking our Democratic process.

He attacked President Obama. Though he’s not sure Russia attacked our Democracy, he blamed Obama for not doing anything about it, which is a lie. Maybe he didn’t do enough, but he did act. In comparison to Trump, he’s done a lot more which starts with acknowledging Russia attacked our election.

Then, the guy who is supposed to promote American freedom to the rest of the world, attacked press freedom. He continued to describe the American media as “fake news.”

Trump only took two questions. The first was from The Daily Mail’s David Martosko, a guy who was once considered the front-runner for the administration’s communications director position. He used the friendly question from a friendly source to continue his war on CNN and the rest of the American press.

He declared that CNN has “been fake news for a long time. They’ve been covering me in a very, very dishonest way.” He called NBC “equally as bad, despite the fact that I made them a fortune with The Apprentice, but they forgot that.” How dare NBC disregard the fortune Trump made for them with his crappy reality show and allow their news division to actually do their job, which is asking questions and reporting the news.

Trump kept whining: “What we want to see in the United States is honest, beautiful, free but honest press. We want to see fair press. I think it’s a very important thing. We don’t want fake news. And by the way, not everybody is fake news. But we don’t want fake news.” Apparently, his safe place is not in Poland.

In Trump’s mind, those who are not fake is Fox News, the National Enquirer, and InfoWars. If delivering information that’s not true makes one fake, does that mean Donald Trump is a fake president?

The president should be defending and promoting what Reagan called America, the “shining city on the hill.”  Trump goes out and sells us as a shitty city on a hill.

Trump is destroying our nation’s image, credibility, and stature in the world. Never in our history have we had an American president put his ego above national interest to the extent Donald Trump has.

American presidents usually encourage their counterparts to support and allow freedom of the press in their nations. Instead, Trump is giving cover to oppressive leaders who seek to limit and control what their media does.

After whining that the press has been “dishonest” with him, he asked President Duda if he had this problem. Well, not as much as he used to.

After assuming office in 2015 as a member of the Law And Justice Party (scary name), Duda signed a law allowing the government to take political control of state media outlets, resulting in claims that the government is turning public news organizations into mouthpieces for the party.

Trump may be interested in turning American news outlets into his mouthpieces, well those that aren’t filling that role already, like Fox, Breitbart, InfoWars, and The Daily Mail’s David Martosko.

Last week, South Korean President Moon Jae-in told Trump in the Oval Office “I also suffer a bit from fake news, as you do.” They laughed and giggled together over their shared hatred of the press.

Today, Trump will be meeting with Vladimir Putin. Trump and Putin may bond over their shared loathing of people who ask questions and report facts. Except in Russia, Putin doesn’t make GIFS slamming the media or tweet vulgar insults at female talk show hosts. Putin has his critics silenced….permanently.

Trump has declared the press the “enemy of the American people” and has been waging war on the press since before he took office. He’s turning off the cameras and audio for White House Briefings. The State Department has stopped doing daily briefings. On top of all this, he’s finding like-minded souls in his party.

Maine Governor Paul LePage recently suggested that he makes up stories to “mislead the press.” LePage also said, “The sooner the print press goes away, the better society will be.”

People like Putin, Duda, Moon Jae-in, Paul LePage, and Donald Trump should keep this Thomas Jefferson quote in mind: “were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.”

That’s Jefferson’s view despite the fact that he couldn’t stand the press. He also said, “Nothing can now be believed which is seen in a newspaper.” Yet, he understood the importance of a free press and that’s you can’t have freedom of any kind without a free press.

What’s getting scary is that a lot of citizens share LePage’s view that society will be better off without the press. It’s amazing that people want to be ruled and willingly uninformed. Why would anyone be satisfied with receiving information only from the government?

Between a free press and Donald Trump, there’s only one of them that a free society can do without. Guess which one that is. I’ll give you a hint: It’s orange and white and read all over.

I want to thank everyone who has donated in the past. Your support helps me continue creating cartoons and columns with a little less stress in my life. Between competing syndicates with much larger resources, timid editors, and Trump supporters who attempt to intimidate the editors who do publish anything that criticizes their idol, it’s a challenge to make a career out of this. So your support (if you can) is appreciated. Want to help me continue to create cartoons and keep doing what I’m doing (pissing off conservatives)? Look to the right of this page and make a donation through PayPal. Every $50 donation will receive a signed print. All donations will receive my eternal gratitude.

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Your Reliable News Source


cjones07032017

CNN had a rough week. Three of their journalists resigned last week over a story about a Trump associate and his ties to Russia. The news network retracted and apologized. Conservatives are using this as proof that the mainstream media engages in fake news, especially when it comes to covering Donald Trump.

When someone gives a lecture, scolds the media, and focuses on “biased” journalism, I kinda like it if that person has an understanding of how journalism actually works. For example, I haven’t seen one complaint about the CNN story where the conservative complaining explained exactly what CNN did wrong.

So what did Cable News Network get wrong in their coverage? They reported that the Senate Intelligence Committee was investigating Anthony Scaramucci, a Wall Streeter and a member of Trump’s transition team for a meeting he had with the chief executive of the Direct Investment Fund (RDIF). What CNN got wrong was that they reported RDIF was a part of Russian state bank Vnesheconombank, which it is not. That’s very important because Vnesheconombank is under sanction by the U.S. government. RDIF is “subject” to sanctions from the U.S. Treasury Department. Fine details, but important nonetheless.

Update and correction: What CNN got incorrect, and I repeated was the part about Scaramucci being under investigation. He is NOT under investigation. A representative for Mr. Scaramucci, Arthur Schwartz, contacted me today and asked me to correct it. Schwartz informed me that Scaramucci did speak with the executive of the RDIF “briefly in public at an international finance conference with reporters everywhere.” My apologies to Mr. Scaramucci. He and Mr. Schwartz were very gracious and understanding.

CNN had to eat a lot of crap over the story (and I just ate a little) and apologized to Scaramucci. The Trump team has used it as their proof that CNN is fake news. What they don’t understand is that CNN made a mistake and owned it.

Do you recall the Seth Rich story? Fox News published an article linking his death to sharing emails with Wikileaks. As it turns out, there was no evidence of that. Fox News retracted and apologized. Nobody was forced to resign. Sean Hannity was the network’s biggest proponent of the conspiracy theory, yet he never retracted or apologized. He refused to admit it’s “fake news” and simply said he wouldn’t talk about it anymore. He wasn’t sanctioned, punished, or forced to resign. He got Bill O’Reilly’s time slot.

Every single news outlet is going to make mistakes. Sometimes huge ones. What needs to be watched is how they handle it. Do they admit it and issue a retraction, or do they leave it on their site for days with an itty bitty editor’s note, or do they sweep it under the rug?

Over the past week, the same right-wing nut jobs who faked a bunch of sabotage videos of Planned Parenthood did the same thing with CNN. They got a CNN producer who works on health segments to say the Russia thing was fake. They got Van Jones on camera saying it was a “nothing burger,” a term that has seriously “jumped the shark.” Another producer for their morning show New Day, is on camera saying voters are idiots and the Russian narrative is “bullshit.”

This is where the critics don’t understand journalism. When you interview someone the subject should be aware that he’s being interviewed. The interviewer is supposed to inform the subject who he represents and what he’s covering. Another biggee, Somewhere in the video the guy asking the questions should be identified. That’d be like me drawing cartoons without signing my name. Also, you shouldn’t deceptively edit the video so it delivers propaganda.

So these people who really hate biased journalism use biased “journalism” to attack the legitimate press. It’s amazing that people can engage in hypocrisy with straight faces. That brings us to Donald Trump and his sycophants.

After scolding the press during a White House briefing, Sarah Huckabee Sanders told the press they should watch the sabotage videos and said, “whether it’s accurate or not, I don’t know.”  Seriously. She did that right after scolding the press for not using facts.

Trump is the biggest complainer of journalism doing its job. While he loves to cite fake statistics and just makes up shit, he blasts CNN, The New York Times, and The Washington Post. He tweets sexists insults and engages in feuds with morning show hosts. He posted a video today of him giving CNN a “clothesline.” The clip is from his days with World Wrestling Entertainment (a fake sport). Talk about inciting violence.

Trump hates the press who actually investigates, but he loves the fake media. He retweets articles from InfoWars (who are afraid of gay frogs), and Breitbart (the bastion of racism and white nationalism and where nobody ever gets fired for printing lies). He made the chief of Breitbart his number one political Nazi strategist. Trump has spoken of and tweeted bogus stories from the National Enquirer such as, there are women out there who want to sleep with Ted Cruz. In fact, Trump is buddies with the publisher of the National Enquirer, David Pecker. Seriously, His name is David Pecker. Trump thinks Mr. Pecker should have won the Pulitzer for his fine investigative journalism, and be leading Time Magazine. Perhaps if Pecker was the publisher of Time then they’d create actual covers praising Trump, like the fake covers he hangs in his golf resorts.

Let me finish with a note on the coverage of the White House: Trump doesn’t have to like his coverage. No president does (you know, like saying he wasn’t born in the United States…ahem!). He’s entitled to say it’s unfair. But what is unfair? The reporting has been fair. There is an investigation on Trump’s ties to Russia. In fact, there are a lot of investigations in Trump and Russia. You can’t claim there’s no evidence when all your guys are stonewalling and they keep meeting with Russian spies, then forgetting the meetings ever happened.

Is the commentary fair? No. Commentary is never fair. Neither are political cartoons. When you watch your news shows at night, whether it’s Fox, CNN, or MSNBC, none of it’s fair. CNN has best rounded collection of talking heads, with Trump lovers and haters. If a talking head hates everything about Trump, he or she isn’t being entirely fair, and neither are the Trump lovers. If you excuse everything Trump does or make excuses for it, that’s not fair coverage. You suck and you’re nothing but a sycophant.

Sycophants have no place complaining about fake news.

It’s really hard being a one-man syndicate when editors (who receive death threats from Trump supporters) are afraid of cartoons with opinions, while I’m also competing against other syndicates with dozens of cartoonists (who offer lots of right-wing cartoons and the kind without any opinions). So your support (if you can) is appreciated. Want to help me continue to create cartoons and keep doing what I’m doing (pissing off conservatives)? Look to the right of this page and make a donation through PayPal. Every $50 donation will receive a signed print. All donations will receive my eternal gratitude.

Kathy Gets A Head


cjones06032017

Liberals are supposed to be tolerant, especially when compared to Republicans. Most are. But when you start wishing violence and even death on your opposition, you’re not any better than Ted Nugent.

The libs who post such nonsense justify it by saying their target is worthy of a death wish. No, they’re not. Not even Donald Trump. Hell, not even Ted Cruz (who even a few Republicans have wished violence upon). It’s not cool. It’s NEVER cool.

I wish I could say it’s uncommon, but that would be a lie. I see posts from liberals wishing very hateful things on Trump and his administration quite frequently. It disgusts me. It’s not a nice thing to do, especially when you’re supposed to be going high when they go low, and it destroys your argument….unless your argument is armed insurgency.

The comedian Kathy Griffin staged a photo shoot this week with her holding a prop of a bloody Donald Trump head. Conservatives immediately went after her and a lot of them said it was typical of liberals. Donald Trump Jr., who’s usually chopping off heads of wildlife, tweeted “it’s not surprising.” He also said, “imagine if conservatives did this to Obama as POTUS” (they did). Most liberals were disgusted too. Chelsea Clinton condemned it and you know she’s not a fan of Donald Trump.

Conservatives also stated that Kathy Griffin isn’t funny anymore. Dudes and dudettes, Kathy Griffin was NEVER funny. Never. Never ever. I’ve been told that women find her funny but women also think cats are interesting, so who knows (I’m gonna get some shit for that one).

Griffin posted a video “begging” for forgiveness. Seriously? It took backlash for you to realize that posing with a bloody Trump head was a bad idea? Kathy Griffin does not represent liberals or any political ideology. She’s an idiot.

As I said, it’s not cool. I didn’t even like it last week when Bloom County cartoonist Berkeley Breathed scammed the internet with a fake letter from Donald Trump’s attorney that was threatening a lawsuit. The internet believed it. They had a hard time believing it was a fake because left or right, everyone has confirmation bias. I was even accused of being a sycophant for Trump when I pointed out it was fake. How dare I reveal the truth.

We want to believe the worst about the people we hate, even if it’s not true. If you hate the guy you’re less likely to do any research into the shit you find on the internet. I found it ironic that so many liberals were falling for “fake news” over the Breathed thing. As it turns out, he was just trying to sell some crappy T-Shirts.

Here’s the thing, peeps: You don’t have to make stuff up. Donald Trump will legitimately overreact and threaten to sue somebody. He’s done it before. And if given enough time, he’ll cut off his own head.

The other thing is: You just gave the perpetually victimized Republicans another reason to whine. They already believe their whiteness, Christianity, and Christmas itself, is under attack by progressives. You give them an even bigger reason to go all snowflake on us.

Even Trump freaked out about the Kathy Griffin pic. He must have stopped his “covfefe” in mid-tweet to freak out. He tweeted that it disturbed his son, Barron. Dude, are your nannies not supervising his online viewing habits? Was the picture posted at Pornhub? But hey, no one’s supervising The Donald’s internet usage so why would they with Barron?

During the Obama administration, effigies of him were hung. Posters were created to make him look like a terrorist. Ted Nugent threatened to shoot him (did he ever apologize?). Obama’s critics accused him of being a Muslim-terrorist sympathizer who wasn’t born in this nation. Obama kept his head above it all (no pun intended). But we’re talking about Trump here. A man who believes he’s the most unfairly treated president in the history of presidents…or people. So good job, Kathy. You gave Republicans another reason, when they usually just make them up, to whine to pretend they’re oppressed.

Griffin is a correspondent for CNN during their New Years Even broadcast with Anderson Cooper. There’s talk that CNN may ditch her for this event. New Years is six months from now but conservatives have a long memory when it comes to butt-hurt. I think they should fire her, and if it’s for this, so be it. She doesn’t bring any newsworthy to their network or broadcast. Whoops! Just got the update. CNN just axed her (pun totally intended). She also lost a gig endorsing Squatty Potty which is something I don’t want to research.

And Trump, who already hates women, shouldn’t spend too much fretting about Kathy Griffin. Robert Mueller is coming for his head.

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Trump’s Real News


cjones01122017

This cartoon isn’t as much of a cartoon as it is an illustration of what really happened at Donald Trump’s first press conference since last July.

Trump is no fan of the media unless it’s the National Enquirer or Breitbart. He’s even feuded with Fox News on occasion.

Trump used his press conference to punish the two news organizations he’s angriest with at the moment, Buzzfeed and CNN. Buzzfeed published the 35 page dossier on Russia supposedly having compromising information on Trump. CNN reported there was a dossier. Trump still assaulted CNN for what he considers “fake news.” The man behind the birther movement being upset with “fake news” is a brand new irony for a man full of ironies. Trump, who asked Russia to release hacked information during the campaign and proclaimed at more than one rally “I love Wikileaks” told the press on Wednesday how upset he was over leaks.

He punished CNN by not allowing their reporter, Jim Acosta, to ask a question. He even shouted the man down. This will go over well with his supporters as they hate legitimate news organizations also. After refusing to take Acosta’s question he allowed Breitbart, the racist alt-right news source where he got his chief strategist and home of massive propagandist lies, to ask a question which was on reforming the news industry.

The rest of the press conference was exceptionally weird, even for Trump. He packed the place with his supporters who applauded his answers. There’s nothing like a room full of paid yes men. He compared US intelligence to Nazis and praised the Kremlin’s information. His main purpose of the presser was to inform the media that he’s putting his businesses into a blind trust…run by his sons. He even brought props which consisted of stacks of paper to prove he’s signing his business away…which will still pay him. It was like when he brought Trump steaks to a press conference last Summer which still had the labels from Walmart or wherever he actually bought them.

What bothers me is how news outlets allow Trump to abuse them. A free press is very important to a democracy which is something Trump obviously doesn’t want. He admires nationalistic strongmen like Putin too much.

None of the news organizations stood up for CNN at the press conference. They waited until it was over and even then it was much later in the day.

In the past Trump has unleashed his wrath on other members of the press. He banned The Des Moines Register from his campaign during the primaries because he didn’t like one of their editorials. He corralled members of the media covering his rallies into a pen and encouraged his supporters to jeer them. He’s ejected reporters from The New York Times and Telemundo out of events. His campaign manager manhandled a female reporter from Breitbart and that organization didn’t stand up for her…and Trump eventually made their chief executive his new campaign manager and now his chief White House strategist. A day doesn’t go by when he doesn’t refer to a news organization are “failing” or members of the press as “liars” and “terrible people.”

On Wednesday Trump’s spokesman Sean Spicer threatened to throw Acosta out of Trump Tower if he attempted to ask another question.

A lot of people are talking about Trump’s war with US Intelligence. Somewhere there should be a headline reading “Trump Hates Intelligence.

Intelligence is going to be a rare commodity for the next four years.

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Idiocracy


cjones12142015

The 2006 film Idiocracy is about a future where mankind dumbs down. Society consists of nothing but stupid people. A man from our present is put into a deep sleep and wakes up in this future and he’s persecuted for being smart. Does that sound familiar? Not the waking up in the future part, but the part of being ridiculed for being intelligent.

In this fictional future quantity is placed above quality. Carl’s Jr sells Extra Big Ass Fries and Extra Big Ass Tacos. Entertainment includes an Oscar winning movie titled “Ass”, and that’s all it is. One ass.  The top television show features nothing but hits to the groin (Have you ever seen TruTV? They have shows that revolve around people injuring themselves). People get degrees at Costco (Trump University, anyone?).

Science is disregarded for commerce. A Gator Aid like drink is used to water crops and the government wonders why nothing is growing. Cities suffer massive landslides of garbage.

The film is set hundreds of years in the future but it seems we’re not that far off. We have elected officials that ignore science, even when nearly every scientist in the world tells them Climate Change is a problem. They watch cities and even nations (the Marshall Islands are disappearing) get ravaged by climate and they believe it doesn’t exist because it snows in Buffalo in January. The chairman of the Senate committee of Environment and Public Works is throwing snowballs on the Senate floor. In the movie they don’t want to put water on crops because water is what’s in the toilet.

Republicans refute Bill Nye the Science Guy because his title rhymes with his name and he wears a funny tie. They hate scientist Neil DeGrasse Tyson because he puts science over religion and they consider him a geek. In the film they say of the smart guy “he talks like a fag”.

The one area the future in this film doesn’t exhibit is mass racism, which is something today’s Republican party is inviting.

Today we have candidates who lie, and after being caught, defend the lie and their supporters still believe them. They pander to xenophobia and racists and then wonder why their party is full of so much hatred. The top candidates for the GOP nomination has zero to very little public office experience. The top candidate in the polls is running on a platform of replacing Obamacare with “something better.” Voters who don’t like Obama because he’s an elitist with a high opinion of himself love Donald Trump. People believe the answer to gun violence is more guns, which would be like fighting cancer by introducing more cancer. A town in North Carolina has rejected a solar farm because they believe it will “suck up all the sun’s energy.”

I don’t believe the Republican party is stupid. Not all of it anyway. I don’t think all of the candidates are unintelligent. But they are definitely selling policies to those who are. Fear, hate, and dumb solutions are top sellers. They are all in a contest for the stupid vote.

Maybe this cartoon is stupid. If so, it should be a big hit.

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, and dog food. The starving cartoonist and his Beagle appreciates it. If you’ve donated in the past, THANK YOU!!!