Journalism

Bone Saw Dreams


cjones10222018

Which is worse? That Donald Trump is too stupid to understand that continuing to attack the press in the wake of the death of Jamal Khashoggi is tacky, tasteless, and offensive, or that he knows and just doesn’t care?

Earlier this week at a rally in Montana, Trump talked about a Republican’s physical assault on a reporter, which he and his angry mob all laughed over.

Last May during a special Congressional election in Montana, Greg Gianforte attacked Ben Jacobs, a reporter for the Guardian. Gianforte initially denied doing it until witnesses and a recording of the attack came to light. He apologized and was found guilty of assault. Naturally, in this new normal, he won the election.

Trump praised the guy and said, “Any guy who can do a body slam … he’s my guy” and made a gesture mimicking a body slam. Don’t forget, Trump is a wrestling fan. The theme of Trump’s speech was highlighting how Republicans are the party of “law and order” and Democrats are for “angry mobs.” I’m starting to believe that cognitive dissonance is contagious.

The Guardian’s U.S. editor, John Mulholland said, “In the aftermath of the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, it runs the risk of inviting other assaults on journalists both here and across the world where they often face far greater threats. We hope decent people will denounce these comments and that the President will see fit to apologize for them.”

Places like Turkey and Saudi Arabia weren’t bastions for press freedom before Trump came along, but now, journalists are literally being killed in brazen fashion.

The Saudis killed Khashoggi in their Istanbul consulate. After claiming for two weeks they had no idea of Mr. Khashoggi’s whereabouts, then speculating that he was dispatched by “rogue killers,” a theory Trump also tossed about, they now admit he’s dead. They claim he died in a fist fight and that eighteen nationals have been arrested. Turkey claims his body was cut into pieces while he was still alive.

There are still questions. Why was he being questioned? Why was he being questioned by so many people? What proof is there that anyone has actually been arrested? Finally, where is the body?

While stating the death was “unacceptable,” Trump added that Saudi Arabia is a “great ally.”

Trump, who has done business worth millions for years with Saudi Arabia, has consistently expressed that money is more important than this journalist’s life. He is more concerned about a potential arms deal with the Arab nation than press freedom. Perhaps favoring the dollar over humanity is how Trump became a billionaire, in addition to conning and inheriting. Saying an attack on a journalist is “unacceptable” is a little hard to swallow when you’re leading a hate rally in laughing about an attack on a reporter.

Every journalist’s freedom should be defended by the leader of the free world. An American president should make it a top priority to defend the life of a journalist working for an American news outlet, even if he believes they’re “fake news.” He should not be helping autocrats he idolizes in covering up a murder.

What has been proven this week is that we have a fake president.

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.

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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!!! 

You can purchase a signed print of this cartoon.

Watch me draw.

O’Keefe’s Petard


cjones12012017

James O’Keefe is a conservative provocateur who has spent years trying to prove liberals and those who report the news are just as horrible, unethical, and dishonest as he is. It doesn’t matter to conservatives that each time he’s released the results of one of his sting operations that it’s always packaged with lies.

O’Keefe leads Project Veritas, which is a 501(c)(3) organization. It’s received financial support from Breitbart and The Trump Foundation. O’Keefe conducts sting operations where he and others infiltrate organizations under false pretenses to prove they’re breaking the law or being abusive and dishonest. To do this, O’Keefe has broken the law and been abusive and dishonest. He always deceptively edits videos and recordings to make people appear to be saying something they didn’t say. He’s had large successes and even larger failures.

He brought down ACORN with misleading videos and exposed an NPR executive making partisan remarks. He’s also been arrested while conducting a sting operation against then-Senator Mary Landrieu in New Orleans. Last year, his operation accidentally left a voicemail for a George Soros group it was trying to sting, laying out its whole plan. In 2010, he plotted to embarrass CNN reporter Abbie Boudreau by mock-seducing her on a boat equipped with sex toys. His latest blunder was a sting operation against The Washington Post.

There’s already a large segment of the conservative population that refuses to believe anything that comes from the legitimate press. If it’s from CNN, The New York Times, or The Washington Post, they automatically believe it’s a lie. One conservative recently stated that if Jesus Christ returned and told him Donald Trump colluded with Russia that he’d have to hear it straight from Trump before he could believe Jesus. O’Keefe set out to justify these ridiculous beliefs of people living in an alternative reality.

Many conservatives don’t believe the women who have accused Roy Moore, the Republican nominee of Alabama’s Senate seat, of pedophilia and attempts to date teenage girls. They believe The Washington Post is creating these allegations and paying women for their statements. They believe The Post has an anti-conservative agenda. When you are an organization that presents facts, you are often accused of being anti-conservative.

O’Keefe set out to prove that the Post doesn’t use ethical guidelines in its reporting and research and that they will publish any lie presented to them about a conservative. His agenda was to discredit alleged sexual-abuse victims by planting a fake news story with a legitimate news outlet.

He sent a woman named Jaime Phillips to contact the Post with a false story that she had an abortion after Roy Moore impregnated her when she was 15. She hoped the Post reporters would believe her, run the story, and then O’Keefe would produce videos proving how reckless and dishonest they truly are. He failed. The paper did what it’s supposed to do and checked out the story, which is what real journalists do.

The Post’s reporters researched the woman and her background and it didn’t add up. She claimed she only spent one summer in Alabama while she was a teenager, yet she had a number with that state’s area code and “rolltide” as part of her email address.

Reporters were concerned by Phillips asking repeatedly if her story would lose the election for Roy Moore. She was baiting to catch them in a way that would suggest they were out to get Moore. Unfortunately for her, she was dealing with some of the best reporters in the nation.

Phillips claimed she worked for a lending company in Westchester, New York, but when the Post called that company for verification, they said “who?” She also claimed she interviewed for a job at the Daily Caller, a conservative muckraking website. She named a woman named Kathy Johnson as her contact. That person doesn’t exist and the Daily Caller told The Post that Phillips didn’t interview there.

Here’s where it gets even dumber. Phillips created a GoFundMe page seeking to raise money for a move to New York where she planned to find work in the “conservative media exposing the lies and deceit of the liberal MSM.” One of the contributors was her daughter, but I’m guessing Roy Moore is not her daddy.

And then came the real kicker. Monday morning, Post reporters saw her walking into the New York offices of Project Veritas. They noticed there was only 16 miles between her home and O’Keefe’s office, so they followed her. Phillips did not respond to calls from the Post later in the day.

After Phillips was observed entering the Project Veritas office, The Post made the unusual decision to report her previous off-the-record comments.

“We always honor ‘off-the-record’ agreements when they’re entered into in good faith,” said Martin Baron, The Post’s executive editor. “But this so-called off-the-record conversation was the essence of a scheme to deceive and embarrass us. The intent by Project Veritas clearly was to publicize the conversation if we fell for the trap. Because of our customary journalistic rigor, we weren’t fooled, and we can’t honor an ‘off-the-record’ agreement that was solicited in maliciously bad faith.”

Conservatives have created lies that the Post paid Moore’s accusers, and they even conducted a robocall falsely claiming to be a Post reporter seeking women “willing to make damaging remarks” about Moore for money.

O’Keefe proved, like most conservatives, that he doesn’t understand how basic journalism works. Instead of destroying the credibility of Roy Moore’s accusers and The Washington Post, he helped it. He proved that the newspaper puts serious research into their reporting before they go to print. O’Keefe was out of his league.

Post reporters confronted O’Keefe outside his office, and he refused to answer their questions, but told them to return at a later time…which he used to prepare for them. They confronted him again, which he filmed and later edited to make it look like he was interviewing and catching them with a hidden agenda. O’Keefe actually complained about the Post “ambushing” him.

Here’s the thing about that “ambush,” James. When the Post’s reporters came to you, they weren’t lying about who they are or their objectives. You should try that approach.

Project Veritas is an official tax-exempt charity and it pulled in $4.8 million in 2016. O’Keefe pulls in around $240,000 a year, which is a lot more than an honest, sarcastic, freelancing political cartoonist makes.

Project Veritas must steer clear of political activity to maintain its tax-exempt status. They’re definitely not supposed to be supporting candidates. But, with his sting operation of a sitting senator and defense of a candidate, they’re definitely being political. I hope the IRS conducts their own research into this organization to see if they deserve to keep their status as a tax-exempt charity.

Maybe there should also be a rule where you lose your tax exemption if your organization lies, distorts, breaks laws in sting operations, and defends pedophiles.

If you can’t use facts to fight your enemies then you’re on the wrong side of the fight.

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 $40 donation will receive a signed print (please specify which print you want or I won’t mail one). All donations will receive my eternal gratitude.

The Press, Deplorables, And Hurricanes


cjones09142017

When the president of the United States trolls his angry crowds by telling them that the press, the people who hold government officials accountable and who often put their lives in danger to report the news, are the “enemies of the American people,” someone must stick up for them.

While there were a few unfortunate incidents on live television, the press has done an outstanding job covering the hurricanes. I saw a few posts on social media where horrible people were attempting to downplay the job the press has done, like accusing them of using green screens, or saying the environment the reporters were in was “just a slight breeze.” Does it look like CNN’s Sara Sidner is standing in a slight breeze? It wasn’t fake debris that struck this reporter.

People who hate the press and deride it as “fake news” usually exhibit their qualifications to grade the media by sharing links to Breitbart, Daily Caller, and InfoWars. I bet these same people, especially if they were in Florida, relied on the press’s tracking of the storm.

News coverage actually saves lives during this sort of disasters. In addition to tracking the storm, they report where the shelters are and their capacity, evacuations and the routes, which road are closed and open, in addition to other vital information. They have helped people find missing family members. In some cases, they’ve jumped into the story to save a life.

When people watch reporters stand outside during a category five hurricane, they often ask “isn’t this stupid?” That’s a very fair question. Yes. Yes, it is stupid. As CNN’s Chris Cuomo stated, “There is a strong argument to be made that standing in a storm is not a smart thing to do.”

Reporters are telling viewers to evacuate, don’t play in the water, run from the hurricane, it’s dangerous out there, all while they’re standing in the middle of it dodging flying debris.

The defense of this is; reporters are doing this so you don’t have to. If nothing else, you can believe what they’re saying. One can obviously tell how dangerous the storm is by the way a flying hubcap nailed that reporter in the gonads. Stay inside! Do people actually need visual proof of just how bad a hurricane actually is? Have you met Republicans?

Reporters also jump into war zones. A lot of times they don’t come back. A report compiled by the International News Safety Institute says 115 journalists died in 2016. Our president will tell you they’re the bad guys. I don’t have a number of how many journalists died from his favorite publication last year, The National Enquirer, but I’m betting it was pretty low. Though to be fair, those guys are in constant danger of getting bitch-slapped by Leonardo DiCaprio….or even more humiliating, hit in the gonads by Justin Bieber.

Earlier this week, a Facebook troll had the gall to accuse me of being a defender of the press and the people who report the news. How dare he. Remind me later to get upset.

I trust the media. When they report something that’s inaccurate, they correct it. When the current head of our government tells us a lie, he makes up for it by telling us an even bigger lie. The press and government both have low approval ratings, but I trust one way more than the other.

While journalists will risk their lives to give you the information you should know, Donald Trump and his deplorables will castigate them for it.

Creators note: It’s kind of a cliche to draw people watching TV. But, it’s hard to avoid that imagery when the subject is people on TV. However, I think I’ve used this concept enough for the year, so I’m going to try to make this my last one for a while. My problem might be that I’m always watching TV. My TV is on the news constantly. I know basically every commercial by heart. I constantly have the “My Pillow” jingle in my head. Please kill me.

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 $40 donation will receive a signed print. All donations will receive my eternal gratitude.

Trump Train


cjones06182016

After Trump insinuated that Obama was sympathetic toward terrorists (wink wink, nudge nudge), The Washington Post published a story on his comments. Trump reacted by banning the Post from covering his events. He claimed they were taking his words out of context and that he never would insinuate that Obama would be behind such a horrible attack. Then he doubled down on his comments and tweeted out a Breitbart story about how Obama is an ISIS sympathizer. He’s also given press credentials to Infowars which is a conspiracy site.

It’s kinda telling that Trump hates The Washington Post but loves Breitbart. Trump hates journalists but Breitbart is OK because they’re not real journalists. They’re like news chlamydia. There’s a cure for it, but if you caught it once then you’re probably gonna go back and catch it again. Trump has a thing about bashing reporters. He claims the New York Times is a failing newspaper while touting the fine reporting of The National Enquirer. He blasts The Washington Post. He was a huge fan of the show Morning Joe which tells you a lot about that show (though I don’t think he likes them anymore). He even feuded with Fox News and Megyn Kelly. Then he makes up, feuds again, makes up, feuds again, etc.

Trump has banned nine media outlets from his events. NINE! In addition to The Post they include, National Review, Politico, The Des Moines Register, The Huffington Post, Buzzfeed, The Daily Beast, Univision, and Gawker for running an investigation on his hair. He’s banned specific reporters from Mother Jones, Fusion, and The New York Times. He’s taken credit for the Union Leader in New Hampshire being dropped from a debate.

Trump is now talking about having his own network, much like Sarah Palin attempted a while back (which fizzled and burned out). If Trump actually wants a media empire then he better quit the race and start now. After he loses to Hillary Clinton in November his brand won’t be as marketable. He’ll be a loser like he accuses Romney of being, though Trump won’t carry as many states as Romney did in 2012.

Back to the Post: Editor Bob Woodward, who is no journalistic slouch, has unleashed 20 reporters to dig into Trump’s background to find stuff we don’t know yet. He’s doing the same on Hillary Clinton (though I doubt there’s anything new there after almost 30 years of being in the spotlight).

Bob Woodward was half the team that broke the Watergate story. If Trump is actually elected president I’m sure he looks forward to the story that will lead to his impeachment.

It seems the only correct way to cover a Trump event is not to report what he actually says. He doesn’t like that.

Creative note: When I got this idea I told myself to think of another idea. I really liked this idea but I’m not a big fan of drawing trains. Some cartoonists hate drawing crowds. I don’t like trains. Bicycles suck too.

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!!!

Access To Hillary


cjones07072015

I’m not a huge fan of Hillary Clinton. I do share her views on most issues and I don’t dislike her personally. It’s her style as a public servant I have issues with. I don’t think she’s honest and that doesn’t have anything to do with Benghazi. I think she’d lie about what she had for breakfast. I think she’s too secretive and too controlling. Every politician attempts to control the message but they don’t literally try to corral the journalists covering them.

The other day Hillary was walking down a street and her staff had a rope the media weren’t allowed to get past, and the staffers walked the media down the street like dogs.

So maybe I don’t like her personally. I defend her from personal attacks and generally support her policies. I just want someone else to push those policies. I don’t care what’s in her emails as much as I care that she’s secretive and cagey about her emails. I don’t care that she doesn’t talk to the press (Obama doesn’t talk to the press). I care more when she does talk to the press and controls how they’re going to cover her. I don’t care about the Clinton Foundation’s fundraising. The Foundation is not Hillary Clinton.

If Hillary feels she should operate sneakily as a private citizen, Senator or Secretary of State, then how will President Hillary Clinton operate?

I don’t think Bernie Sanders can beat Hillary. Bernie is on a huge roll because he raised $15 million. That’s impressive but Hillary has raised $45 million. Bernie better have a really great strategy.

I can’t see Lincoln Chafee or Martin O’Malley beating her either (Google them if you don’t know who they are). Living in Virginia, I should be excited, interested or amused about Jim Webb running but I don’t feel anything but bewilderment.

That leaves Hillary (Since Elizabeth Warren won’t get in the race). Clinton is going to be president unless it’s proven that she’s the one who actually fired rockets into the Ambassador’s compound in Benghazi, or a dinosaur-killing-sized comet hits the planet, or she’s been writing song lyrics for Justin Bieber.

Then again, maybe one of those GOP candidates will inspire the country’s voters to thrust them into the White House. Smarter money is on the comet.