Fake News

Hopping For New Press Rules


cjones11292018

After losing a legal battle to bar CNN’s Jim Acosta from the White House press briefings, the most dangerous administration to the First Amendment announced new “rules of conduct” for reporters covering their briefings.

Donald Trump hasn’t just attacked the media collectively, but also individually. He’s called them “fake news” and has accused questions of being stupid and even racist. Trump wants to dictate to the press how they cover him.

While Trump has attacked journalists April Ryan, Yamiche Alcindor, and Abby Phillip recently, most of his animosity is toward Acosta. While the administration and Trump supporters accuse Acosta of being out of control and irresponsible, it seems their criticism is empty. For example, to prove he’s terrible, they shared a doctored video of him created by the conspiracy website Infowars.

Their main issue with Acosta may be the way he questions the administration. Each of his questions starts with a preface. If you ask someone about something they said that’s not true, the preface usually includes the fact that your statement lacked facts. The Trump administration doesn’t like this. So, they have come up with new rules for the press.

The idiots in the White House who share from Infowars wants to tell the press how they should report.

The new rules include limits on follow-up questions, which are necessary when the first question remains unanswered. The reporters are to “yield the floor” after their question and physically give up the microphone to White House staff. Anyone who doesn’t obey the rules may have their press credentials revoked. According to Sabrina Siddiqui of The Guardian, “I don’t think that anyone has agreed to the rules because there’s no reason for the White House to dictate the terms about how reporters do their jobs.”

Reporters shouldn’t allow the White House or any politician to dictate how they do their jobs. This White House’s treatment is so bad that even Fox News sided with CNN and Jim Acosta in their fight to restore his credentials. Acosta is being accused of bad behavior by a president who shouts insults at women. This is also a president who has forgiven a foreign power for their murder of a journalist.

Trump’s war with the media starts by battling one reporter and banning him. That tactic will continue with others until the only outlets at White House press briefings are Breitbart, Daily Caller, Infowars, and Diamond and Silk. It works that way with freedom too. You take away one right before you move on to another. Trump is starting with freedom of the press. The only freedom of the press he believes in is their freedom to ask him softball questions, like Sean Hannity.

The press should not allow Trump to dictate how they do their jobs. They should continue to do it on their terms, and be willing to return to court each time Trump forces them to. They’re not defending one reporter or news outlet. They’re defending all of us. This isn’t about Jim Acosta.

New York Times chief White House correspondent Peter Baker said, “It leaves this idea that they are going to be the judge of who gets to cover them based on some probably arbitrary criteria that they will be the only ones to determine. The idea that suddenly you’re going to try to determine who is polite enough to ask the president questions is just kind of ridiculous.”

A free press is an American institution. What’s truly ridiculous is a president trying to destroy it.

Be Complicit

What kind of person would want to be part of something that disparages, slanders, and disrespects Dear Leader and his sycophantic followers? Hopefully, you. 
Making a contribution supports my work and keeps the cartoons, columns, and videos coming. My income is from newspapers that subscribe to my work and small contributors. George Soros hasn’t sent me a million dollar check in weeks. Making a contribution of any amount, or buying a print for $40.00, makes you part of this specific resistance, and a member of Team Claytoonz (we’re still working on the name). You are complicit, an accomplice, and in cahoots (and whatever gangster terms we can think of) with this political satire pointing out that the stupid emperor has no clothes. Contributions can be made through PayPal, checks, and wads of cash exchanged in back alleys.
Whether you can help support, can’t, or just choose not to, please continue to enjoy and keep reading my work. Thank you!!! 

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Clubbing With The Fake News


cjones11132018

If you’re a Donald Trump supporter, you don’t have any credibility on any political or social issue. Being a Trump supporter is like a snake eating its own tail. How so? I’ll explain.

Donald Trump accuses the media of being “fake news.” He also says they’re the “enemy of the American people.” Never mind for a moment that there is no such thing as “fake news,” because if it’s fake, it’s not news. Never mind for a moment that they’re not our enemy. Let’s focus on what makes you lose all credibility.

The Trump reasoning is; if you’re dishonest and lying to the American people, then you’re their enemy. Nobody lies more to the American people than Donald Trump. That’s not hyperbole. He employs people to lie to the American people. Sarah Huckabee Sanders sent out a manipulated video from Infowars. Kellyanne Conway calls Trump lies “alternative facts.” Rudy Giuliani says, “Truth isn’t truth.” So, if you buy Trump’s argument that people who lie to us are the enemy, then Trump is the enemy.

So, you either have to believe that Donald Trump never lies, which is like defying gravity, or you believe his argument on fake news…at any rate, you’re that snake eating its tail. You are eating your own ass.

You can’t be one of those Trump people who say “I wish he didn’t tweet so much, but I like what’s done with the economy.” Bull shit. That just proves you’re a liar too. This is Obama’s economy, which he created out of the recession the last Republican president made. You can’t argue, “but Hillary’s dishonest.” Nope. Again, you’re a liar. You can’t argue about her server because Trump is doing the same thing. You can’t argue about the Clinton Foundation because Trump engages in “pay for play” and he literally steals from charity. And, if you start with “I like what he’s done for the military” or “he’s making us respectable again,” someone should slap you in the lying mouth.

You have no credibility. You’re a liar. You’re definitely not someone to be in business with, because you’re a liar and dishonest, and you’re probably a very shitty friend. The only people you can hang out with and talk to are other shitheads. You suck. You ate your own ass.

This is especially egregious if you’re in the news business. Facts are supposed to be important to you. Not just Trump’s talking points. You can’t say Jim Acosta and CNN are “fake news” without telling us why they’re fake news. Can you point out the lies they’re telling or is all you got is the cry of “fake news?” The truth should be important to all of us. Unfortunately, half the nation doesn’t care.

Seriously, if you’re a news person, Trump should have lost you on the first day of his administration when he sent Sean Spicer out to lie about crowd sizes. He should have lost everyone that day, but you especially. You are no longer a news person. You’re not “fake news” either. You are propaganda.

At some point, you have to bring reason back into your life. When he tells you he didn’t know someone but it’s later revealed his penis was inside her, you have to accept he’s lying. If you don’t leave now, he’s going to start beating you and you’re going to hang in there hoping he’ll change or claim it was your fault for making him angry. You shouldn’t have left a wet towel on the floor.

But, then again. If you’re a Trump supporter, you probably didn’t understand any this. Facts, irony, subtlety, hypocrisy, analogies, and metaphors to you are like math is to me. You put the what where? I have a calculator, but what’s going to help you when you refuse to use the calculator (that metaphor is; stop reading Infowars and listening to Trump and start watching CNN).

The people who report the news aren’t the enemy of the people. The people who want to get rid of the people who report news so they can’t report what they’re doing to you are the enemy of the people.

Be Complicit
What kind of person would want to be part of something that disparages, slanders, and disrespects Dear Leader and his sycophantic followers? Hopefully, you. 
Making a contribution supports my work and keeps the cartoons, columns, and videos coming. My income is from newspapers that subscribe to my work and small contributors. George Soros hasn’t sent me a million dollar check in weeks. Making a contribution of any amount, or buying a print for $40.00, makes you part of this specific resistance, and a member of Team Claytoonz (we’re still working on the name). You are complicit, an accomplice, and in cahoots (and whatever gangster terms we can think of) with this political satire pointing out that the stupid emperor has no clothes. Contributions can be made through PayPal, checks, and wads of cash exchanged in back alleys.
Whether you can help support, can’t, or just choose not to, please continue to enjoy and keep reading my work. Thank you!!! 

You can purchase a signed print of this cartoon.

Watch me draw.

Enemy Of The People


cjones09052018

The FBI arrested a 68-year-old man in Encino, California Thursday for making repeated threats against The Boston Globe, which included the catchphrase “enemies of the American people.”

Where have we heard that phrase before? It’s one of Donald Trump’s favorites which he uses against news outlets that print information he considers critical of him, like facts.

The FBI said Robert Chain began threatening the Globe after the newspaper announced it was organizing a campaign for newspapers to respond collectively to Trump’s repeated attempts to demonize the media.

Chain also used the term “fake news” while threatening to kill employees of the newspaper by “shooting them in the head.” Making his threats over the phone, he also said, “You’re the enemy of the people, and we’re going to kill every f—ing one of you. Hey, why don’t you call the F, why don’t you call Mueller, maybe he can help you out, buddy.” The FBI found 20 guns when they arrested him.

Why, who could have inspired this lunatic to make these kinds of threats? Chain actually told the newspaper he was motivated to attack the media because of the way they covered Trump.

Last June, a man killed five at the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland. The White House issued a statement decrying the violence, but it wasn’t long before Trump started repeating his catchphrases again, “fake news” and “enemy of the American people.”

Donald Trump does not care if people are hurt by his rhetoric, much like he doesn’t care if economies collapse, alliances are destroyed, businesses fail, careers are trashed or international trust in the United States is ruined because of his self-indulgent temper tantrums. The only thing Donald Trump cares about is Donald Trump. He is a horrible president who inspires horrible people to do horrible things.

Trump is warning that there will be violence if Republicans lose control of Congress in the midterm elections. But, are they really warnings or are they encouragements? He also warned in 2016 that there would be violence if he didn’t win the presidency.

By attacking the free press, Trump is attacking Democracy. He doesn’t care about this nation or Democratic institutions. He doesn’t care if people are killed or injured. Trump only wants to advance the agenda of being Trump. It’s all about ratings and rallies.

Ultimately, there will be violence inspired by Trump. The press is being threatened merely for doing their job, and doing it well. After the violence, they’ll continue to do their jobs and Trump will check his ratings.

Your support in the form of donations is appreciated. I am fully independent as I’m not employed by a newspaper or with a major syndicate (leaving one to be independent). It does take a lot of work to provide you with cartoons, columns, and videos almost every day (more than any other political cartoonist), and I don’t charge my clients much at all. If you can, please consider making a financial contribution to keep the fun flowing, or purchase a signed print for $40. Whether you can help support, can’t, or just choose not to, please continue to enjoy and keep reading my work. Thank you!!!

You can purchase a signed print of this cartoon.

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Newspapers Strike Back


cjones08172018

This Thursday, over 70 newspapers (so far) will run coordinated editorials defending a free press from Donald Trump’s attacks that the media is the “enemy of the American people” and “fake news.” It’s being coordinated by The Boston Globe.

I probably have several newspaper clients participating in this, but one that’s definitely on board is the Sarasota News Leader. They asked me to do a cartoon on the subject they could run with their editorial this Thursday. It’s something I wouldn’t miss being a part of.

To me, an enemy of the American people and democracy is one who attacks a free press. A leader who believes an informed public is dangerous is not a leader for a free nation.

Your support in the form of donations is appreciated. I am fully independent as I’m not employed by a newspaper or with a major syndicate (leaving one to be independent). It does take a lot of work to provide you with cartoons, columns, and videos almost every day (more than any other political cartoonist), and I don’t charge my clients much at all. If you can, please consider making a financial contribution to keep the fun flowing, or purchase a signed print for $40. Whether you can help support, can’t, or just choose not to, please continue to enjoy and keep reading my work. Thank you!!!

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Let’s Get Orwellian


cjones08082018

Which is more ironic; that the guy who tried to invalidate the previous presidency with a conspiracy theory will now have his own presidency invalidated with conspiracy or, that the same guy is trying to make our nation look like something from the novel 1984, yet he’s never read a book?

This week, the National Security Adviser, Director for National Security, the Director of Homeland Security, the Director of the FBI, and Director for National Intelligence spoke from the White House podium to warn us that Russia is currently attacking our nation by meddling in the upcoming midterm elections. Kirstjen Nielsen (Homeland Security) said, “Our democracy itself is in the crosshairs.”

On the same day at one of his hate rallies, Donald Trump called it all a hoax.

The White House said it was Trump’s idea for the top security officials to make this announcement, yet he wasn’t there and he later contradicted the warning. This is Orwellian.

I read 1984 in 1984. It seemed as much of a fantasy as Star Wars at the time. Now, it serves as a warning. Another good read from George Orwell is Animal Farm. I highly recommend both. Both tomes present a great illustration of the people at the top and those who follow them.

Much has been made that Trump has increased his frequency of lies. The Washington Post pointed out that in his first year in office, 2,140 false claims. In just the last six months, he has nearly doubled that total to 4,229. In June and July, he averaged sixteen false claims a day. On July 5th at a rally in Montana, the Post found 76% of Trump’s statements were lies. At his rally in Tampa this week, he told 35 lies.

What is really Orwellian is Trump telling his people not to believe what they see and hear. Truth is lies and lies are truth. Critical thinking is discouraged. People who report facts are the enemy. Conspiracy theories are now state propaganda. Big Brother has arrived.

It’s 1984, and we’re standing in the animal farm.

Your support in the form of donations is appreciated. I am fully independent as I’m not employed by a newspaper or with a major syndicate (leaving one to be independent). It does take a lot of work to provide you with cartoons, columns, and videos almost every day (more than any other political cartoonist), and I don’t charge my clients much at all. If you can, please consider making a financial contribution to keep the fun flowing, or purchase a signed print for $40. Whether you can help support, can’t, or just choose not to, please continue to enjoy and keep reading my work. Thank you!!!

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Media Accosted


cjones08062018

Donald Trump took his traveling freak show to Tampa Tuesday night and it was a coming out party for the worst of us.

He continued his war against the media, where he’s labeled them in the past as scum, dishonest, terrible people, bad actors, liars, fake news, and even the enemy of the American people. During the presidential campaign, he would single out MSNBC’s Katy Tur at rallies to the point she would need security to get out of the building without being harmed. In case you haven’t noticed yet, Donald Trump is a bully.

Another one of his favorite targets is Jim Acosta from CNN. On Tuesday, Acosta captured footage of Trump’s supporters screaming and cursing while flipping him off. Where do these people come from? They come from 4chan (and 8chan, which I just found existed. What the Hell is 8chan? A place for those who find 4chan a little too tolerant?).

4chan is a forum where right-wingers, racists, and conspiracy theorists can gather online and combine all their horrible traits into a wonderful and colorful cornucopia of duh. They call this group QAnon.

What is QAnon? They’re following someone named “Q,” who probably doesn’t exist or is a persona of multiple people, who claims to possess a top-level security clearance and evidence of a worldwide criminal conspiracy. It’s another deep-state conspiracy. In this one, Robert Mueller isn’t really investigating Trump. He’s targeting Hillary Clinton, President Obama and other members of the “deep state” like John Podesta and John McCain. The theories for why they’re being investigated range from being the real colluders with Vladimir Putin to being involved in a global pedophile ring that includes members of Hollywood’s A-list, like Tom Hanks.

Don’t look at me like that. I didn’t make this shit up.

Furthermore, they believe many of these individuals are wearing ankle bracelets for Mueller to track them and bring them into custody after Trump gives the order.

Maybe the “Q” comes from NyQuil, and they get their beliefs after downing several bottles of the stuff.

We can laugh at these people. We can find it highly amusing, and we do, because, “Ha-ha! They’re stupid!” But, we need to recognize the real danger in this Q thing.

It wasn’t that long ago that a conspiracy theorists, who got his information from some of the same sites as the Q-balls, went on a shooting spree at a Washington, D.C. pizza shop because he believed Hillary Clinton was operating a child-sex-slave ring out of the basement. The place doesn’t even have a basement, but I hear the pizza’s not bad. Unfortunately, most conspiracy theorists prefer Papa John’s.

In late July, a shooter killed five people at a Maryland newspaper. Trump paused for a few hours before he continued attacking the press because he’s classy like that.

This is dangerous because these people follow Donald Trump. Trump engages in conspiracy theories, and he loves to feed red meat to his base. In Tampa, QAnon signs were spotted as well as people waving some with “We Are Q,” and others wearing shirts with giant Q’s. I was most impressed so many Trump supporters didn’t misspell “Q.”

Wednesday, White House Spokesgoon Sarah Huckabee Sanders shared a conspiracy theory from the official WH podium to the media. If she is a member of the order, she’s not the only famous person. Roseanne Barr and Curt Schilling are members and have tweeted support and posted videos for the group on Facebook.

Trump tells his followers that they shouldn’t listen to the media and not to believe what they see and hear. That they should only listen to him. They’re listening. He’s also riling them up.

Jim Acosta described being at Tampa’s rally as “it felt like we weren’t in America anymore.” That didn’t even look 2018 to me. It more resembled Munich in 1923.

Sean Hannity piled on and lectured Acosta on how to do journalism which must be like getting a cooking lesson from Jeffrey Dahmer. Hannity said, “I’m actually going to give your network some advice, if you have an open mind and an open heart. The people of this country are screaming at you for a reason. They don’t like your unfair, abusively biased treatment of the president of the United States.”

No, Sean. They’re screaming at him because he is doing his job. If conspiracy theorists don’t like a journalist, then good on that journalist. But, why should any journalists listen to Hannity? Hannity doesn’t listen to them. He only listens to Trump.

Hannity is a conspiracy theorist and Fox News pays him around $20 million a year to go on their network at their most valuable hour to peddle bunk, not news. Do you remember the Seth Rich story? Hannity peddled that one until the brass at Fox told him to stop. He never corrected himself or apologized. What kind of news network puts on a conspiracy theorist taking his orders from Donald Trump? Fox News, that’s who.

Instead of defending journalists, facts, and information, Hannity stood up for the conspiracy crowd. What’s worrisome, since he has a direct line to him, is when the president will start publicly peddling these theories. Run, Forrest! Run!

Trump promises he’s going to make America great again. His supporters believe this while shouting and cursing at the press. They believe they’re the ones who will make America great again while they’re flipping a journalist off for doing his job and while signing autographs and taking pictures with children.

Being a troglodyte is not how you make America great. Neither is being a willfully uninformed, stupid, conspiracy-theory believing sycophant who can’t think for himself.

If this QAnon-Hooterville consortium of knuckle-dragging Neanderthals is making America great again, I’m not seeing it.

Your support in the form of donations is appreciated. I am fully independent as I’m not employed by a newspaper or with a major syndicate (leaving one to be independent). It does take a lot of work to provide you with cartoons, columns, and videos almost every day (more than any other political cartoonist), and I don’t charge my clients much at all. If you can, please consider making a financial contribution to keep the fun flowing, or purchase a signed print for $40. Whether you can help support, can’t, or just choose not to, please continue to enjoy and keep reading my work. Thank you!!!

Watch me draw.

Fake Editing


cjones06282018

Even before the major reasons why Donald Trump should not have been seriously considered for the presidency, I had a few that may appear petty but point to larger problems with the guy.

Trump’s inexperience, stupidity, sexism, and racism are all great reasons why the man shouldn’t have gotten farther than the rent-is-too-damn-high guy. But stuff like not paying people who work for him reveals a dishonest person who can’t be trusted. Stealing from his own charity also reveals dishonesty along with corruption because he’s a con man.

His insecurity and pettiness are exhibited by trophy wives, an extremely bad comb-over, and suits that don’t fit despite the fact he’s a billionaire who owns his own clothing line. But one of the kickers for me, as a journalist, is his love for the National Enquirer, a gossip tabloid that pays for stories and is sold at checkout lines next to Weekly World News (which is a much more entertaining read).

Put aside Trump’s penchant for labeling any real news and facts he doesn’t like as “fake news,” and his attacks on the press as “dishonest” and an “enemy to the American people.” Look at the judgement of a guy who believes the Enquirer should have won a Pulitzer and its editor should be in charge of The New York Times.

Trump has a friendship with the Enquirer. Its owner, David Pecker, is a pal. You can count the number of newspapers that endorsed Trump with both hands and have fingers left. The Enquirer is one of them. In addition to the endorsement, the paper would pay for the exclusive rights to stories from women claiming affairs with Trump, only to kill the stories.

Sam Nunberg, an early adviser to the campaign, compared the Enquirer to a campaign mailer. While a mailer was expensive, sent to prospective voters, and hardly ever read, the Enquirer was seen at every checkout line in the nation. Everyone reads the headlines while standing in line. Now, we’re learning those headlines were approved by Trump.

According to three sources with the weekly rag, the paper would send stories, photos, and mock front pages to Trump’s attorney/fixer Michael Cohen for approval. One story sent for approval was on Hillary Clinton’s health with a headline stating she only had six months left to live. Why vote for a dying candidate, right? That was published in September 2015 and in case you haven’t noticed, Hillary Clinton is still alive in 2018.

During the primary, the paper ran stories linking Ted Cruz’s father to JFK’s assassination, and even more unbelievable, rumors of Ted having multiple affairs.

A newspaper can print whatever it wants as long as it’s not libelous. They can publish lies. There isn’t even a law saying a publication can’t coordinate with a campaign. But, if a candidate exerts control over a publication then that can violate federal election laws.

The company that owns the Enquirer said they never sent stories for approval, but they also told us there were multiple women willing to have sex with Ted Cruz.

According to the sources, stories didn’t just go through Cohen. Trump would often have his assistant Hope Hicks contact Pecker (the publisher, not Trump’s little soldier) with story ideas, and would often call the guy himself.

According to one of the people with knowledge of the practice, the sharing continues. The source said, “Since Trump’s become president and even before, [Pecker] openly just has been willing to turn the magazine and the cover over to the Trump machine.”

Federal prosecutors subpoenaed American Media Inc., the Enquirer’s owner, as part of their investigation into Michael Cohen. They probably found a lot of interesting files related to the paper after raiding Cohen’s office, home, and hotel room.

I’m not sure if the paper violated any laws, and I would defend their First Amendment rights, even if they really are “fake news.” However, it goes beyond being a member of the free press and journalism if they acted as an extension of the Trump campaign.

I wouldn’t want to read a newspaper that favors Donald Trump, like the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette which just fired their cartoonist Rob Rogers for drawing Trump cartoons. It’s even worse when the publisher allows Trump to dictate their coverage.

I hate the term “fake news.” If it’s fake, it’s not news. And neither is the National Enquirer.

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