first amendment

Larry Flynt


cjones02132021

You will hear a lot of really bad things about Hustler founder and publisher Larry Flynt, and all of them will probably be true. He was a porn peddler. He had very bad taste. He degraded, demeaned, and objectified women. He fought with religion. He’s probably the only guy to be attacked by preachers and feminists at the same time. He was no real champion for decency or humanity. The guy’s magazine had a regular cartoon called “Chester the Molester,” as though pedophilia is something we can have light-hearted jokes about. But, because of Larry Flynt, we have the freedom to publish cartoons like Chester the Molester.

Larry Flynt used to argue that if the First Amendment protected a pervert like him, then it’s going to protect the rest of us. He put his money where his mouth is…and probably a lot of other things.

Larry Flynt had one legal battle after another (he once wore an American flag as a diaper to court, which still isn’t as offensive as beating a cop to death with an American flag on a pole during an insurrection), and he was always championing the First Amendment. While leaving a court house after fighting that our First Amendment rights protects his magazine of sexual fetishes, someone put him in a wheel chair for life with their Second Amendment fetish.

I was having a spirited argument with a conservative cartoonist a few years ago. This guy is the kind of conservative who is hypocritical, narcissistic, and has an inability to comprehend. Yeah, I know…they’re all like that. But we were discussing the First Amendment and I told him he owed a thank-you to Larry Flynt. He said he didn’t owe anything to a pornographer like Flynt as though somehow his First Amendment rights were different from my First Amendment rights. But again, if Larry can publish Chester the Molester, that cartoonist can publish cartoons that Joe Biden is a hair-sniffing groper. He owes Larry a big thank-you.

Larry Flynt hated hypocrites, even if he was one. But he especially hated religious hypocrites. His favorite target was the biggest hypocrite of them all, Jerry Falwell, the leader of the Moral Majority. So, Larry being Larry published a satire of a Campari liquor ad that was popular at that time. It was titled, “Jerry Falwell talks about his first time.” First time doing what? Uh oh.

In this fake ad, Jerry Falwell is endorsing the liquor and reflecting on how it was a big part of his first sexual escapade…which was with his mother…in an outhouse.

In this satire, Larry Flynt didn’t just have Jerry Falwell endorsing and drinking liquor. He didn’t just have him having drunken promiscuous sex. He didn’t just have him having drunken promiscuous sex with his mother. He had him having drunken promiscuous sex with his mother…in an outhouse. As someone who makes his living at satire I have to ask: How is that not funny? How is that not just fucking hilarious.

The only thing possibly funnier is Jerry Falwell not finding it funny.

Jerry Falwell didn’t find it funny. Falwell was so upset that he sued Larry Flynt in 1983 for $45 million for libel and emotional distress. A Virginia court rejected the libel charge because the satire was obviously satire. Duh! Nobody likes Campari. But that court did agree Falwell was emotionally distressed and awarded him $200,000 for his pain and suffering. Not sure if his mother was awarded anything.

While $200,000 was nothing to Larry Flynt, a man who was probably worth more than $400 million, the principle did matter. Larry Flynt took it all the way to the Supreme Court.

The smut peddler who published cartoons about pedophiles, rapists, bestiality, and a preacher diddling his mom in an outhouse, won over the most respected televangelist in the nation. The Supreme Court didn’t just hand Flynt a victory. They handed him a unanimous victory. In case you’re a Republican, “unanimous” means all of them. Even staunch right-wing lunatics like William Rehnquist and Antonin Scalia voted in favor of Larry Flynt over Jerry Falwell.

The highest court in the land ruled that public figures can NOT be awarded damages for emotional distress caused by parody, caricature, or satire, even if it is INTENTIONALLY inflicted, which, quite frankly, most political cartoons are.

Justice Rehnquist, of all people, wrote in the majority opinion, “The appeal of the political cartoon or caricature is often based on exploitation of unfortunate physical traits or politically embarrassing events — an exploitation often calculated to injure the feelings of the subject of the portrayal.”

He also cited the “intentionally injurious” cartoons Thomas Nast inflicted against Boss Tweed and wrote, “Despite their sometimes caustic nature, from the early cartoons portraying George Washington as an ass to the present day, graphic depictions and satirical cartons have played a prominent role in public and political debate.”

And this is where my story starts.

When I was staff cartoonist at The Free Lance-Star, I had a lot of battles over my cartoons. There were days when I’d draw over five ideas just to have each killed. This was really hard for me, especially coming from the Honolulu Star-Bulletin where they weren’t afraid of anything and believed in hiring a weird cartoonist and leaving him alone. the only thing an editor at the Star-Bulletin ever changed was the word “heinie” in a cartoon because he thought it was a slur against Germans (really), so he made me change it to “okole,” the Hawaiian word for “ass.” I actually resisted this change because I had used “okole” so much in my cartoons, I was afraid our readers would think it was the only Hawaiian word I had learned. Also, who cares if I offend a bunch of Germans in Hawaii? Dave Shapiro, our great managing editor, cared.

My FLS editor, who has since passed away, was afraid of everything.

A lot of stuff was killed over it not being the paper’s position. Other stuff was killed for taste. Some stuff was killed because my editor just didn’t get it or didn’t think it was funny. But I lost a lot of battles because my editor was afraid we’d get sued. That was a battle we had a lot.

Sometimes to shut me up, my editor would take a cartoon to the newspaper’s lawyer. He figured that if the lawyer would back him up, then I didn’t have a case. But every time he took a cartoon to the paper’s lawyer to see if it was libelous and would get us sued, the lawyer always, each and every time, shot him down. The lawyer even once said, “no rational person would find this libelous.” So, my editor stopped taking the cartoons to the lawyer. He started taking them downstairs to the news desk where he had backup.

I didn’t fight over everything that was killed, but I did fight every time they said it was “libelous” when I knew it wasn’t. My reply to, “We’ll get sued” being, “So what? Fuck those fuckers” wasn’t winning any arguments. I had to do better. I had to know my audience.

Every time he took a cartoon to the news desk, they agreed with him. “We better be safe and not run this cartoon” or “This is totally libelous,” and “You can’t make an accusation in a political cartoon like this.” Blah blah blah. I was even told I was wrong because my opinion was in the minority, which I would reply with, “I’m not going to be wrong on this just because the rest of you are wrong.” I cited the Flynt Vs. Falwell case that went to the Supreme Court and I was told, “That’s just a movie.”

It wasn’t just a movie and I thought, “I have to prove this and fight for my work.” So, I ordered a book about the case so I could have something to cite other than Woody Harrelson, and you really can’t make a strong argument in a newsroom if you’re quoting Courtney Love. But I would have this book as backup for the next time they killed a cartoon over concerns about libel, which I wouldn’t have long to wait for. And guess what. I found something to cite that wasn’t in the movie.

What I found was that there were many “friends of the court” briefs on the side of Flynt. Naturally, they were from organizations and others who had an interest or stake in First Amendment rights. The Association of American Editorial Cartoonists (AAEC) was one of those groups. These briefs, officially called “Amicus Curiae,” are written by parties who are not a part of the case, but offer expertise, insight, or information on the subject.

The next time we had the argument at the news desk, I pointed out the Flynt/Falwell case wasn’t “just a movie,” and that my association, the AAEC, had supported Flynt with a “friend of the court” brief and that a lot of newspapers, you know…our business…had also written these briefs on the side of Flynt. They said it was probably just a bunch of liberal newspapers. I pointed out one of those submitting a brief was the Richmond newspaper, which was a right-wing newspaper. They replied, “Well so what? That’s just Richmond. They’re idiots.” That was true, they were idiots…but also right on this subject. But then I pointed out another newspaper that wrote a friend of the court brief.

That newspaper, writing a brief on the side of Larry Flynt, the smut peddler, Vs. Jerry Falwell, America’s most trusted televangelist, in defense of the First Amendment, was none other than…wait for it…The Free Lance-Star. The paper we all worked for, where the editors were screaming that my cartoons would get us sued, had argued on the side of Larry Flynt for our First Amendment rights. My newspaper, which kept killing my cartoons out of fear of libel, had argued on the side of the porn king. You would think the newspaper would remember that.

One editor already knew this and said he was hoping I’d never find out (I was already difficult to live with). The reason being, he didn’t really think the cartoons were libel. They were just afraid of making important people angry which brings us back to “fuck those fuckers.” The rest of the editors, including mine, were shocked. Our paper supported a smut peddler? No. Our paper supported the First Amendment. Just like all those feminists were on the same side as evangelicals against Hustler Magazine, we were on the same side as the smut guy in fighting for the First Amendment.

I argued our paper had a strong history, right up to the United States Supreme Court, in supporting the First Amendment, so you, my editors, should continue to support the First Amendment instead of soiling yourselves and curling up underneath your desks in the fetal position every time I show you a strong cartoon. Granted, I am not the best at arguing my position without pissing editors off. My cartoon was still killed that day. But I was still right. Fuck those fuckers.

When I argued with my conservative cartoonist colleague and with my editors, I told them they were not endorsing porn, pedophilia, bestiality, or degrading women by siding with a porn guy for our First Amendment rights. The truth is, if Larry Flynt can publish Chester the Molester and say Jerry Falwell had incestous sex with his mum in an outhouse, then I can draw our mayor as a drunken tree sloth. I did that and then a councilmember made bumper stickers of the drunken tree sloth.

I met Larry Flynt. He gave a speech at an AAEC convention in Kentucky (where he was from) and praised political cartooning. A lot of the conservative guys skipped that speech. It was like the time Al Franken was our keynote speaker, before he was a senator, and a poor bastard right-wing cartoonist from some fucknut state like Nebraska went for the steak and chicken not knowing what he was in for. Ever see an upset Nebraska cartoonist drag his wife out out of a banquet hall while Al Franken was speaking? I have. He probably finished his steak first. Al Franken was hilarious, by the way. He can draw an American map from memory including every state, and he was very pleasant to talk to afterward at our nightly drunken party in the hospitality suite. Now there were some drunken tree sloths. Once, in Pittsburgh at one of these conventions, the maids the next morning thought they had discovered a dead body in the hospitality suite, but it was just a drunk, passed-out cartoonist from Arizona. I might have had something to do with that.

Larry Flynt was nice too. I spoke to him just for a minute. It was important to me that after all the battles I waged with my editors where I cited his fight for the First Amendment, that I thank him for that fight. I spared him the long story I just typed out for you, but I thanked him.

Larry Flynt spent millions not to pay that $200,000 to Falwell. Larry Flynt spent millions so I could draw my mayor as a drunken tree sloth. Larry Flynt spent millions so I could draw Donald Trump as a racist narcissist with a sippy cup who quite frankly, wouldn’t mind taking his daughter to an outhouse.

Larry Flynt spent millions fighting for my right to draw satire, caricatures, and parody. Larry’s fight put him in a wheelchair for life. So yeah, people like me do owe him. Even if you’re a right-wing cartoonist, you owe him. By the way, that right-wing cartoonist also drew cartoons for Playboy. Told you they can’t comprehend shit.

Thank you, Larry…you disgusting pervert.

Creative note: I drew a rough of another idea of Larry Flynt at the Pearly Gates. I’m not showing it to you. It’s not disgusting or dirty in the sexual sense. There’s no flagrant nudity (OK, just a little bit). It’s no Chester the Molester but it’s that it’s very insensitive. One of my proofers, who’s proofed a lot of my cartoons showing bare asses, confirmed this and said it even made her queasy. And I agreed with her. So, you’re not going to see it. Now, I bet you’re really curious.

Signed prints: The signed prints are just $40.00 each. Every cartoon on this site is available. You can pay through PayPal. If you don’t like PayPal, you can snail mail it to Clay Jones, P.O. Box 9103, Fredericksburg, VA 22403. I can mail the prints directly to you or if you’re purchasing as a gift, directly to the person you’re gifting.

Notes on my book, Tales From The Trumpster Fire: I have an order of 20 copies of my book (11 are left to purchase) on the way, which I’m selling for $45.00 each, signed. The books won’t arrive until after the new year, but orders are being taken and they’ll be shipped as soon as I receive them. Also, I have copies of my first book from 1997, Knee-Deep in Mississippi available for $20.00.

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Enemy Of The State


cjones02202017

Donald Trump tweeted that the media is an enemy of the American people.

Every president has despised the press at some point, if not constantly. For being such a supposed liberal institution you would think Democratic presidents like Clinton and Obama would love the press, but no. They hated the press too.

Trump doesn’t just hate the press. He needs to frame them as the bad guys. Republicans have always done that but stating they’re an enemy to the nation, as if they’re not better than al Qaida, is irresponsible and reckless.

A free nation requires a free press. The limitations on the press tells you a government isn’t free, like Iran, Saudi Arabia, China, and North Korea. Journalists worldwide are imprisoned and murdered for doing the job of providing information to a nation’s citizens.

The press makes mistakes. The press has freedom to make mistakes and those responsible will correct them. You’re allowed to be angry with the press. That doesn’t make you a bad person. People in the press get mad at the press. However, the press does not have a liberal bias. Facts have a liberal bias.

Donald Trump doesn’t like the press because they report facts. Donald Trump doesn’t tell facts. Donald Trump tells lies and everyone in his administration is a liar. They don’t like people who point that out. Trump would prefer that he create lies such as a terrorist attack in Sweden and have everyone accept whatever bullshit coming out of his mouth as irrefutable facts.

Their model is to tell lies and then tell their supporters that those telling the truth aren’t just the opposition or bad guys, but enemies to the entire nation. That sounds like something from an Orwell novel.

Trump supporters don’t read Orwell, history books, or read anything much at all. As insane as Trump’s comments and strategy may be, his supporters eat it up. They are on Team Trump for the long haul.

How dare Donald Trump tell lies and paint those who point it out as villains. The man is a bully. Telling American that a free press is their enemy is a strongman tactic. It’s not the tactic of a president who intends to be a leader of free people. When you lose a free press, you start to lose freedom.

In the 1950s a United States senator from Wisconsin, Joe McCarthy, held hearings to expose communists in our nation, specifically in the entertainment industry. He had a lot of supporters. It was their way to deal with criticism. It ignored our Constitution and overlooked the fact (there’s that word again) that you’re free to be a commie in America. Most of those accused were not communists. It ruined lives. It spawned the term “McCarthyism” which means to demagogue. That’s exactly what Trump is doing.

Donald Trump would rather paint his critics as terrorists than use a strategy of winning with the truth. Lies are easier for Trump and to be honest, they’re working with his base.

Any conservative journalist who agrees with Donald Trump, or defends his statement, isn’t just an enemy of a free press. You, like Trump, are an enemy of America. And that’s a fact.

Update: After a crazy week and a crazier weekend I’m all good. For the most part. Saturday morning my internet was fritzing out so I published my cartoon using the WiFi at Sheetz. I must work OK under pressure as that cartoon will be in USA Today this Monday (right now. Go buy one).

I was really getting frustrated with internet this weekend. It went out at home. I go to Sheetz on Saturday morning and the WiFi works but it’s really slow. That sucks when you have to upload four files. I moved to a new home Sunday night. I don’t have a desk at my new home and I can’t draw on my lap or sitting up in bed. So I went out last night to an establishment where I could place my drawing platform on a table. Yeah, their internet worked with everything but the device I used to draw the cartoon. I couldn’t upload it.

I was a day behind posting to GoComics which I felt really bad about. I’m very consistent with them. I also wanted to publish my latest cartoon for The Costa Rica Star. So I return to my new digs where I’ll spend my very first night. But first, I want to upload files and publish. I can write and size files while sitting up in bed. The WiFi provided…I was given the wrong password. I finally received the correct one around 5:00 AM.

I want one normal day. Please. Let things run smooth tomorrow. Let me work. Let me have WiFi. Let me not have drug dealers knocking on my window at 2:00 AM. Let me remain unstabbed. Is that too much to ask?

Four things I did do successfully yesterday. I drew a cartoon. I moved to a new home. I helped a friend change a flat tire. Finally, I restrung the string through the hood of a hoodie. That, my friends, is a serious accomplishment.

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!!!

Smell That Freedom


cjones02042017

Many people say you lose a political argument when you make a comparison to Hitler or Nazis. The exception to this is when you’re talking about actual Nazis. You are allowed to compare fascists with fascists.

And I know it’s not entirely fair to compare people like Donald Trump to Adolph Hitler. For comparison’s sake, Hitler actually wrote his own book without a ghostwriter.

When it comes to Trump and his Trumpanzees I don’t want to go overboard with the comparisons to Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Nixon, Palpatine, Klansmen, Dr. Evil, Sergeant Schultz,  Oompa Loompas, etc.

The First Amendment guarantees our freedom of speech. Hell, I make my living from it. I believe that even horrible and atrocious viewpoints have the same rights I do. You have to allow the Westboro crazies to assemble and wave signs reading “God hates fags,” but you don’t have to let them in your house.

So while universities like Berkeley are bastions for opposing viewpoints their students and the public have the freedom to say they don’t want to provide the platform for a speaker with racist ideas.

Milo Yiannopoulos is an editor for Breitbart and he is a racist and a bully. He’s started a scholarship program open only to white male students (because white guys never get breaks). He received a lifetime ban from Twitter for bullying actress Leslie Jones for her role in the Ghostbusters remake. There were a lot of reasons not to like that movie other than a black chick being in it. Seeing that this guy is a racist troglodyte and expresses horrible views, why would you want him in your house? Have you ever tried to Scotchgard an entire university?

When Milo speaks at a campus he brings white supremacists. The white supremacists bring recruiters. They encourage and promote horrible ideas to be inflicted upon minorities. I can understand why people may not want that element hanging around funking up the place.

Students protested. Then a bunch of bad people showed up in masks and started to trash businesses and started fires. If there’s any further proof that these vandals weren’t part of the liberal protesters, they trashed a Starbucks. Liberals would never trash a coffee house. Especially one that financially supports liberal causes and that conservatives are currently boycotting. So while it’s safe to drink a mocha in an environment without someone dropping an N-bomb, a flaming garbage can may come flying through the window.

UC Berkeley eventually cancelled Milo’s speech out of safety concerns, but he still led a rally on the campus for his racist supporters.

Donald Trump was upset at the activists and expressed the opinion that maybe federal funding should be pulled from universities that discourage free speech. Two things about that: The university invited the Nazi, so you can’t say they discourage free speech. The second thing is, Trump is against free speech. His administration is gagging federal employees.

Conservatives love to tout how liberals prevent them from expressing their ideas. Really? You want to tag yourself with the racist ideas of Yiannopoulos and claim that’s standard conservatism? You want to claim him as one of you? OK then. He’s one of you guys. You can have him.

By the way, while you’re complaining about violence at liberal protests you’re conveniently forgetting there have been 172 documented hate crimes on college campuses since Donald Trump’s election.

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!!!

Trumping The Constitution


cjones12022016

Proponents of a flag burning Amendment say the Founding Fathers didn’t envision people burning flags. They probably didn’t envision people owning Uzis either.

On Monday night Donald Trump watched something on Fox News about a guy burning a flag at a college in Massachusetts. Because he’s easily led and has impulse control issues Trump tweeted that anyone burning an American flag should lose one’s citizenship and serve a year in jail. Saying crap like that is what makes people want to burn a flag. And someone did right in front of Trump Tower.

A lot of people agreed with Trump. I find that bizarre and hypocritical as those same people cry about Obama desecrating the Constitution but they’ll hand Trump the scissors to chop it up. You can’t be a Constitutionalist if you’re not defending the freedom it guarantees. I know conservatives love that Second Amendment thing but I encourage them to learn a bit more about the Constitution. People like Donald Trump (Psst, Donald. There’s 27 Amendments).

A lot of people disagree with Trump, even many conservatives. But they all say the politically correct thing which is “I’m disgusted by people burning the flag but I protect their right to do so….but I really wanna assault them.” West Virginia Senator and Democrat Joe Manchin said something to that effect.

Burning the flag is protected speech. What other reason does one have to burn a flag? You’re not going to replace charcoal with flags next July 4th to grill your weenies.

The Supreme Court has ruled, twice, that burning the flag is protected speech. Even Trump’s hero Antonin Scalia ruled it was protected. Also, you can’t revoke someone’s citizenship. That’s another thing protected by the Constitution. The government can not revoke someone’s citizenship against their will. It seems Trump might wanna brush up on these sort of details as he takes the presidency.

Trump is no fan of the Constitution. He’s already made goals of restricting freedom of the press. Trump’s rhetoric is such a threat to the 1st Amendment that some people are moving to Canada (hippies). The non-profit internet archive, which is based in San Francisco (gay hippies), is commonly referred as the “Wayback Machine.” What it does is archive web pages. So when one doesn’t exist anymore they may have it. Information such as vice president-elect Mike Pence’s first Congressional run when he wanted to strip funding for Aids research and use that money to convert gays into being straight (show them this Trump cartoon). The Wayback group is going to preserve a copy of all their archives in Canada as Trump has threatened the First Amendment and Net Neutrality.

In the early 1990s Congress tried to pass a new Amendment which would forbid flag burning. It was supported by President George H.W. Bush. It failed. These sort of issues are squirrels. You know, as in “SQUIRREL!” They’re distractions, kinda like when states would put gay marriage restrictions on ballots. Hey, ignore all the messed up stuff we’re doing and ignoring….gays are getting married and burning flags. The question is: What is Trump trying to distract us from? Did he just lease the South Lawn to Irish keggers?

But why stop at outlawing burning flags? Why not add to it by forcing everyone to erect a manger scene in front of their house and demand that Starbucks put snowflakes on their cups?

As I said, it’s politically correct to say you’re against flag burning but you protect the right to do so. I’m gonna be honest. I’m not offended by burning flags. You’re gonna have to push my buttons a lot harder. I don’t care if you think this country sucks. That’s too bad. I don’t care if you burn a piece of fabric with an image on it, even if that image is the United States flag or…gasp…the Chicago Cubs logo (doesn’t mean I have to like you). Besides, America does suck. America also rocks. It sucks at a lot of things like our mortality rate and the fact most people who want to ban flag burning can’t name the three branches of government. It’s great that it allows those people to be stupid, moronic, racist, Trump voters. That’s your right. It’s also great in that fake news is entirely legal and can scare the masses to give us a Cheeto Potentate, which totally sucks. Basically America is a mixed bag. Burn a flag, revere the flag, build a manger, scream at coffee cups, do what you want. Don’t hurt anyone and I won’t be offended.

I am much more offended by people trampling the Constitution because that protects us. The flag doesn’t protect anybody and nobody ever fought for a flag. It’s a symbol. Maybe it means a lot to you, but it’s just an image. I’m also more offended by people being trampled on, being disenfranchised, rights taken away, abused, punished unfairly and imprisoned for a corporate profit system. I’m more offended when someone burns a church, mosque, synagogue, than a flag.

 

You don’t have the right not to be offended. Sorry, Sunshine. Besides, nobody offends you. You’re choosing to be offended. You can do that because America, and the Constitution rocks. Let’s not let Donald Trump crap in it.

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!!!

Identified The Problem


cjones08192014

 

This is America, the land of the free.  Right?  We enjoy the most press freedom in the world…..uh…not really.  A few other countries, not many, are rated at being better than we are at press freedom.  What’s going on in Ferguson might knock us further back.

Right now the First Amendment is taking a huge hit in Missouri.  Reporters and photographers are being arrested.  The press is being told where to go and where they can’t go.  The press has been tear gassed.  A no-fly zone for the media has been placed over Ferguson so news helicopters can’t cover the story.  And I believe for the very first time ever, Amnesty International has boots on the ground in the United States monitoring a situation.

The majority of Americans don’t trust the news.  But you can’t have a free country without it.  Do you want the subjects of a story dictating how the story is covered?

I think it’s bizarre that gun lovers who constantly cry for the 2nd amendment and hate big government are the first to poop on the first amendment and defend the police without question.