Free Press

Enemy Of The Saudi People


cjones10142018

The United States is a beacon of freedom for the rest of the world. We present an example that encourages other nations to follow. Past presidents have been champions and ambassadors of American freedom. It’s what the world expects from us. Citizens in oppressed nations need to hear it from our leaders.

Our most important freedom is freedom of the press. That’s why it’s in the First Amendment, and not the Second. Journalism is the only profession explicitly protected by the United States Constitution. While supporters of Donald Trump rejoice in having a president who is a “Constitutionalist,” he says, “It’s frankly disgusting the way the press is able to write whatever they want to write, and people should look into it.”

Trump calls the press “fake news” and the “enemy of the American people.” He’s targeted specific journalists from Katy Tur to Jim Acosta for bullying and harassment. Journalists have received death threats mimicking Trump’s language and even adding “MAGA” to their promises of violence. A major news network recently received a threat stating, “I swear allegiance to my leader, and he says you’re fake news, you’re the enemy. I must rid the country of you because you’re the enemy of the people.” One Trump supporter threatened to travel to the offices of The Boston Globe and commit a mass shooting. Apparently, Trump sycophants aren’t the only ones inspired by his free press hating rhetoric.

The government of Saudi Arabia is accused of killing a Saudi citizen, journalist for The Washington Post and resident of Virginia, Jamal Khashoggi. The Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, is suspected of ordering the murder of Khashoggi. Mohammed and the Saudi government were not discouraged by the United States from murdering a journalist, even after U.S. intelligence intercepted the prince’s plans to lure Khashoggi back to Saudi Arabia.

Last week, Khashoggi was lured into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey and he never left, at least not alive. The Turkish government has accused Saudi Arabia of murdering the journalist, flying his body out of the country, and that they even hacked him into several pieces.

Khashoggi was a prominent critic of the Saudi government, and many within it would probably describe him as an “enemy of the Saudi people” who wrote “fake news.” Why would the Crown Prince be discouraged by America from murdering a journalist when the president of the United States calls the press the enemy?

The Saudi’s may also believe there would be no repercussions from the Trump administration. Saudi Arabia was the first nation to receive a visit from a President Trump. They lavished praise on him, blasted his image on jumbotrons across Riyadh, and even treated him to a sword dance. Mohammed has become a close friend to Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, often engaging in private phone conversations that are not on any public record, and striking concern within the U.S. intelligence community. Mohammed has been quoted as saying Jared is “in his pocket.”

Mohammed initiated a crackdown against many in his nation perceived to be a threat to his power, which included arresting a Trump critic. Donald Trump praised the move.

If Saudi Arabia is responsible for the death of Khashoggi then the United States must implement sanctions against them, which would include individuals. How will Donald and Jared handle leveling punishment to their good buddy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman?

There are a lot of things Trump doesn’t understand. The Nuclear Triad, why we have troops in South Korea, words on paper, etc. I don’t expect him to understand why press freedom is important or that he bears responsibility when people threaten and attack journalists while screaming his catchphrases. Trump will never understand what it means to be presidential as he’s still operating as a con man.

The United States needs a leader who will stand up to those who threaten freedom, from Saudi Arabia to Vladimir Putin. Donald Trump needs to demand Saudi Arabia to explain what happened to Jamal Khashoggi. We need a leader who will put the nation and our values before himself.

We also need a leader who isn’t a coward.

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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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.

Watch me draw.

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!!!

Watch me draw.

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.

Sunshine Week 2017


cjones03132017

Sunshine Week is a national initiative by the America Society of News Editors. It started in Florida and went national in 2005 and is recognized for a week every March. It coincides with James Madison’s birthday.

Freedom of information and access to open government is crucial to have a free nation. It’s a constant fight for the press from your hometown weekly to The New York Times. Politicians from each party attempt to conceal information from the public. These perpetrators are on city councils, county supervisors, legislatures (general assembly in Virginia), to the United States Congress to presidents. There are a lot of people in government who don’t want you knowing what they’re doing.

We’re at a point where it’s more crucial and threatened than ever. We have a president who can’t tell the truth. He is a man who promised to reveal his tax returns before the election and has yet to do so. Releasing tax returns is not a requirement, but it sure would be nice to know who he’s in debt to.

This president has also referred to the press as “fake news” and an enemy of the American people. Donald Trump wants you to believe lies and deny the truth.

If you’re fine with Trump’s attacks on the media and his attempts to destroy a free press, ask yourself these questions: How are you informed? Do you like facts and information? Maybe you’re fine with the press shutting down because you don’t believe them anyway, which usually just means you don’t like what you’re hearing. Do you trust politicians to be the only source of everything you need to know?

If you get all your information from sources like Breitbart and InfoWars, then you’re not informed. You’re choosing ignorance and dumbing down. Those are not news organizations. They’re propaganda.

A free press isn’t just important to people like me, who make fun of politicians, and it’s not just important to those who report on politicians. It’s important to you whether you like it or not.

To quote Hannah Arendt, a German-American theorist, who said in 1974 “The moment we no longer have a free press, anything can happen. What makes it possible for a totalitarian or any other dictatorship to rule is that people are not informed; how can you have an opinion if you are not informed? If everybody always lies to you, the consequence is not that you believe the lies, but rather that nobody believes anything any longer.” Gee, that sounds like she’s describing someone we all know today.

If she’s not smart enough for you then maybe you should listen to Thomas Jefferson. He’s smarter than all of us. He said “The basis of our government being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right; and 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.”

I’ll stand with Tom over Donald. How about you?

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Who’s Your Caddy?


cjones02252017

What is it with conservatives and hypocrisy?

They spent eight years complaining that President Obama spent too much time on golf courses while neglecting his duties (and then complained when he’d issue executive orders).

During Trump’s first term in office he’s been on a golf course six times. He actually corrals the press into a club house where the windows are blacked out so they can’t see him play. Is the conservative press complaining about this? Of course not which might be why they’re not excluded from Trump press briefings.

On Friday Donald Trump spoke at CPAC and continued his war with facts and information. Once again he claimed a free press is the enemy of the American people. He said he doesn’t like “fake news,” despite actual fake news helping him win the election.

Before Trump took the stage his chief adviser Steve Bannon spoke to the group and declared the war against the media will intensify. He labels the press as the “opposition.” If information and facts are the opposition, what does that make you? Oh yeah. Liars. Lies and misinformation were Bannon’s bread and butter while he was head of Breitbart, that racist, alt-right, “information” source.

On Friday Trump’s press secretary held a press “gaggle” and prevented several legitimate news organizations from attending. He blocked The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, CNN, Politico, and Buzzfeed.

Interestingly enough, Breitbart, who shouldn’t even be allowed on the White House grounds, was invited. Also invited was The Washington Times, which is very pro-Trump, and owned by a religious cult (the Times fancies itself “America’s newspaper” and a competitor to The Post, but their circulation has fallen to less than 60,000). The third conservative news outlet invited was One America News, which you’ve probably never heard of, or if you have seen it on cable you mistook it for an angry infomercial. You can make an argument that The Washington Times is a news source, but the other two are not.

News is not what the Trump administration wants shared. They’re against news. The Trump teams wants propaganda and they’ll punish those who won’t play along. Bannon has promised to make things worse for the press. That means he’s going to make things worse for everyone who actually cares about freedom in this nation.

And those conservative outlets? They’re carrying Trump’s bags.

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!!!

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!!!