National Enquirer

Pecker Problem


Bad people hang out with other bad people. Choir boys don’t run with drug dealers. Dolphins don’t swim with sharks. Donald Trump doesn’t hang out with Barack Obama. Donald Trump hangs out and does business with people who get indicted and go to prison.

Donald Trump hired George Papadopoulos, Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, Michael Flynn, Michael Cohen, and Roger Stone. He admires men like Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong Un, Rodrigo Duterte, Recep Erdogan, and Mohammed bin Salman. Another sleazy individual in the Trump orbit is David Pecker, publisher of the National Enquirer, a sleazy publication.

The business of the National Enquirer is to sell as much sleaze as possible. Its agenda is to expose the worst of us. The people behind the publication don’t care who they destroy in the process. It usually publishes false information. You can only find it in checkout lines next to Skittles and Mars Bars. It’s an impulse purchase. Donald Trump believes the paper should have a Pulitzer Prize and its editor, Mr. Pecker, should be hired to run The New York Times, which he considers “fake news.”

The publication uses its platform to engage in other sleazy activities. It would pay women for their exclusive stories about having sex with Donald Trump, a friend to David Pecker, then they’d sit on the story and it would never be published. This is a practice they call “catch and kill.”

In 2003, the Enquirer signed a $20,000 contract with a woman to get exclusive rights about the story of her alleged extramarital affair with Arnold Schwarzenegger, who was running for governor of California at the time.

In 2015, Harvey Weinstein asked the Enquirer for help in snuffing an accusation about him groping a model. When they couldn’t reach a financial agreement with the woman, they turned to collect personal and damaging information about her and other Weinstein accusers.

Also in 2015, the Enquirer’s parent company, American Media (AMI) paid $30,000 to a doorman at Trump Tower for exclusive rights to his allegations that he overheard a conversation about a child Donald Trump had with a woman who is not his wife but never published an article on the topic.

In 2016, they apparently paid $150,000 to Karen McDougal, a former Playboy Playmate who claimed to have had an affair with Donald Trump. Of course, they never published a story about it. Instead, they published stories about Hillary Clinton only having six months to live…back in 2016 (if you’re a Republican, that was two years ago).

Karma finally caught up to AMI and David Pecker, and they signed an agreement with federal investigators to provide all information on hush payments to help Trump in exchange for witness immunity. Part of the deal is that they’re to disclose all illegal activity to the federal government and stay out of trouble for three years. In case you’re a Republican, last August was not three years ago.

Late yesterday afternoon, Jeff Bezos, the owner of Amazon, The Washington Post, and the richest man in the freaking universe, published a blog on Medium, titled “No Thank You, Mr. Pecker,” accusing AMI and Pecker of blackmailing him. He claims that AMI asked him to make specific false public statements suggesting that there is no evidence of AMIs coverage being “politically motivated or influenced by political forces.” They wanted him to lie his ass off.

Pecker and AMI made two mistakes. They put it in writing, and they were messing with the richest man in the freaking universe.

The publication had already exposed Bezos’ extramarital affair, thus ruining his marriage. Bezos hired an investigator to discover how the Enquirer acquired private texts between him and his special lady friend. Now, the publication has possession of dirty selfies Bezos took and were threatening to publish them unless…Bezos and his investigator would publicly lie and say the Enquirer wasn’t politically motivated. You know, working in the interest of the president of the United States.

Donald Trump hates Jeff Bezos. He hates The Washington Post. He hates Amazon. He calls the newspaper the “Amazon Washington Post.” He has asked the Post Office to increase postage to hurt Amazon. Let me remind you, AMI and Pecker, were friends and maybe still are, to Donald Trump.

In his blog, Bezos wrote, “My ownership of the Washington Post is a complexifier for me. It’s unavoidable that certain powerful people who experience Washington Post news coverage will wrongly conclude I am their enemy.” In case you’re anyone who is not Jeff Bezos, “Complexifier” means it’s complicated.

Bezos’ marriage is already ruined. Now, the worst thing the Enquirer can do to him is to publicly embarrass him by showing all of us his sexting. Are people going to stop shopping on Amazon because they saw Bezos junk? I don’t think so. I’m expecting an order of Pop Tarts to arrive today.

Will people stop investing and doing business with the guy because of the shame? Of course not. The worst thing that can happen to Bezos from this is that people will laugh at him until they forget about it.

Bezos called them out, published the letter they sent describing each photo they had, thus exposing himself in the process and taking away all leverage from the goons attempting to extort him. Oh yeah, he also exposed those people to federal investigators because, in case you’re a Republican, blackmail and extortion is not legal. It’s especially dangerous if you signed an agreement with a federal prosecutor.

Again, in case you’re a Republican, let me explain; In their agreement with federal prosecutors, AMI and Pecker disclosed illegal activity they were involved in. If they violate the agreement then the prosecutors can charge them for all the information they gave up. They wanted to expose the junk of Bezos, but instead, they delivered to prosecutors their own balls on a silver platter.

Bezos is not an angel. He was having an affair. Bad, Bezos, bad. But, this is a man who has helped save American journalism. And, did I mention the Pop Tarts? He’s also a guy who didn’t roll over to sleaze merchants attempting to blackmail him. Bezos explained in his blog, “Any personal embarrassment AMI could cause me takes a back seat because there’s a much more important matter involved here. If in my position I can’t stand up to this kind of extortion, how many people can?” By standing up to Pecker of pecker pics, Bezos has stood up for everyone.

Bezos also wrote, “These communications cement AMI’s long-earned reputation for weaponizing journalistic privileges, hiding behind important protections, and ignoring the tenets and purpose of true journalism. Of course I don’t want personal photos published, but I also won’t participate in their well-known practice of blackmail, political favors, political attacks, and corruption. I prefer to stand up, roll this log over, and see what crawls out.”

Maybe in this situation, you don’t want to use the term, “roll this log over,” but Bezos is doing the commendable thing.

This can be a win-win for all of us. Bezos can help take down the National Enquirer and the sleaze merchants behind it, make it a “complexifier” for Donald Trump and his other assorted minions, and we never EVER have to see the photos of Bezos’ stuff.

Then, we can all roll this log over.

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. 
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Clay’s Weird News


Michael Flynn has flipped on Trump. Rick Gates has flipped on Trump. His personal lawyer/fixer Michael Cohen, who recorded everything, is flipping. His chief financial officer, Allen Weaselburger (actually, Weisselberg. I just like “Weaselburger”) just got immunity after being implicated by Cohen, which will probably implicate a lot of other people, and a few named Trump. Now, Trump has to worry about his leaky pecker.

I’ve always wondered what kind of person believes the stories in the National Enquirer. I’ve also wondered what sort of person would believe anything that comes out of Donald Trump’s mouth. Now, I’m starting to get it.

The gossip rag National Enquirer was supportive of Donald Trump during the 2016 election. They ran front page headlines praising Trump and bashing his opponents. They accused Ted Cruz’s father of having something to do with the assassination of JFK. They ran multiple front pages on Hillary Clinton, claiming she was going to jail, only had six months to live, had brain cancer, was an alcoholic, has a lesbian lover, had a massive weight gain, and that she had framed the Trump family.

The Weekly World News’ headline about Bill Clinton hiring a three-breasted intern was more believable than anything the Enquirer published about Hillary.

The Enquirer also collected dirt on Trump. They investigated multiple stories of Trump’s infidelity…and proceeded to bury each. They enacted a program called “catch and kill,” which was to sign exclusive rights to a story and then bury it. That way, the person claiming they slept with Trump couldn’t tell their story to another publication.

This kind of “journalism” won high praise from Trump, who labels most of the media “fake news.” He said the Enquirer’s publisher, David Pecker, should be in charge of The New York Times and that the Enquirer should have won a Pulitzer Prize. Meanwhile, Pecker was storing all the Trump info in a safe.

After Trump won the election, Pecker became fearful having all the stories in the safe was a liability, so he moved them. To where we don’t know. But, since he, like Weaselburger, was implicated in a Cohen recording…wait for it…Pecker has flipped. Pecker has struck an immunity deal in the Trump inquiry.

The guy who paid off women, set up shell companies, and helped seek deals in Russia for Trump has flipped. Trump’s money man has flipped. And now, the guy with a safe full of dirt on Trump has flipped. If you want to see Trump flipping out, just watch his Twitter feed.

One tabloid headline claimed that Hillary Clinton was fleeing the country to avoid jail. I can see a future headline similar to that one, but perhaps with a different subject.

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Fake Editing


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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Trump Love Child


“Enquiring” minds want to know. Is there a Donald Trump love child out there? A love baby The Donald didn’t want anyone to know about? And it’s not Eric? As Trevor Noah said on his show, every kid in America who doesn’t know his father is panicking right now.

It does sound far-fetched that Trump has a sixth child from a fourth woman, but the FBI is looking into whether the National Enquirer paid a Trump Tower doorman $30,000 not to speak of Trump knocking up one of his maids. Yeah, it sure does sound unbelievable, unless the payment is true. Keep in mind, the National Enquirer, along with the dumbest attorney in America, Michael Cohen, have paid women to keep quiet about shagging Donald. There is a pattern of people being paid hush agreements for stuff that “never happened.”

The National Enquirer, the bastion of journalism Trump says should be a Pulitzer Prize winning newspaper, has a program they call “catch and kill.” This works by buying a story from a source, something actual journalism outlets do not do, and they kill it, as in, they never publish the story. Sheesh. The worst Fox News does is have their talking heads attending weekly dinners with Donald Trump. When Trump says “many people want him to fire Mueller,” “many people” is Sean Hannity.

Why would a newspaper, especially a crappy gossip tabloid conduct a catch-and-release program? They didn’t catch and kill the story about John Edwards being a baby daddy. They didn’t kill the story about Ted Cruz leaving a trail of booty calls across the nation. They didn’t kill the story of Michelle Obama’s secret divorce file. They didn’t kill the story of the Hillary Clinton sex scandal cover-up. They didn’t even kill the story about Hillary only having six months to live, back in 2015. So, why wouldn’t they want to run a story about Donald Trump plowing Playboy Playmates and porn stars? Because, David Pecker, that is his real name, is a Trump supporter (I used to have an editor who I’d refer to as Mr. Pecker, but it wasn’t his actual name).

Trump’s allies are afraid, and they should be. The FBI raid on Cohen’s office, home, and hotel room may have given the feds recordings the attorney made with his clients. How stupid is that? There may be recordings between Cohen and Trump discussing all sorts of illegal and nasty stuff, like “Where should we hide all these rubles?” “Are you sure she was eighteen?” “How much pee was there?”

It’s not necessarily a crime to pay hush money, but it can be if it’s designed to manipulate an election, as in an illegal campaign contribution. There are questions about where the company that owns the National Enquirer is getting their money for these payouts, as the publication has declared bankruptcy twice.

The FBI raid had Trump’s legal team call off negotiations to have the president interviewed by Mueller’s team. Now, Mueller may issue a grand jury subpoena and there’s now reports he’s building a case for obstruction of justice to send to the Deputy Attorney General if Trump doesn’t fire him first. It’s Friday, so anything can happen tonight around 8:00 PM.

Now, who wants to do a count of how many Trump scandals involve a pecker?

Here’s the video.

Please consider making a donation to keep the cartoons, columns, and videos coming. Reader contributions, small and large, really do help and are appreciated in a time of dwindling revenue for political cartoonists. You will also be supporting free speech and liberty while those in power are doing all they can to suppress it. You can also support by purchasing a signed print for $40.00. Just look at the right of this page and click the PayPal button, or you can email and make other arrangements. Thank you!

A CIA Briefing


Now that Donald Trump is the presumptive Republican nominee he is going to receive briefings by the CIA. Yes, the Central Intelligence Agency. An Agency with the word “intelligence” is going to tell Trump secrets. Trump, the guy who gave out Lindsay Graham’s phone number at a campaign rally. Donald Trump. That guy.

Donald Trump, who doesn’t have the intelligence to realize a taco bowl isn’t authentic Mexican food (and whether his restaurant serves them or not), is going to receive government secrets. The odds of Trump actually becoming president are very remote, but every day a new potential horror is revealed. We’re worried about Hillary’s email server? A greater security risk is Trump’s mouth.

Since 98% of everything Trump says is a lie, the only good thing about any of this is that if he does spill a secret, no one is going to believe him…well, except for 30% of Republican voters.

Donald Trump LOVES the National Enquirer. He believes it’s real news. The National Enquirer ran two stories on Ted Cruz and Trump used both against his opponent. Those two stories involved Cruz’s father being connected to Lee Harvey Oswald (go ahead and laugh) and Ted Cruz being a super stud having multiple affairs (go ahead and laugh much harder). It also reported that Ben Carson once left a sponge in a patient’s brain. Turned out that story was false and the sponge was actually Ben’s brain.

Trump is buddies with the CEO of the Enquirer, David Pecker. No, I am not making that name up. Trump even tweeted and bragged about pecker (the CEO) and that he should take over Time Magazine. There is something more frightening to journalism than another Rupert Murdoch purchase.

I really hope Trump University doesn’t offer journalism degrees.

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The Seduction Of Ted Cruz


I don’t know what’s less believable. Five women slept with Ted Cruz or that you can find five women who would admit it.

Yeah, I know. I already drew a cartoon this week on the icky bed lovin’ of Ted Cruz but that was before the National Enquirer came out with their story that Teddy Bear has been getting a whole bunch of action on the side. Did you just raise one eyebrow in disbelief or did you get all gleeful at the prospect of dirt on Ted Cruz?

I could join in on that glee business at the expense of Cruz’s political career. It would be awesome. But two things: I don’t care about his sex life and I’m much more concerned about the disaster he wants to inflict upon this nation. Four years of a Cruz administration would force the entire nation to do a walk of shame. I’m just not really interested in living in a theocracy led by Ted Cruz, whose wife and father believe is a divine messenger from God. Yeeks! That is a bigger concern than where he’s been putting Little Ted.

The second thing is, I don’t believe the Enquirer story. You’ll bring up the argument that the National Enquirer has been proven right on John Edwards, Gary Hart, Tiger Woods and a few others. OK so they’ve been right maybe three or four times…throughout their entire history.

The National Enquirer has a silent policy of no criticism of Donald Trump. They have also endorsed Trump which seems fair since their publication is probably his only news source, and odd that the National Enquirer is endorsing. That might be a reason not to vote for someone. The guy who provided this salacious information on Cruz has a history of playing dirty political tricks and he’s a good friend of The Donald, something Ted doesn’t have, friends.

The only thing that actually makes it somewhat believable is Ted Cruz’s denial. He came out strong, angry and blamed Trump. He even gave Trump a nickname, “Sleazy Donald,” which is fair since Trump keeps calling him “Lyin’ Ted.” I think these two should meet at the bike racks after school and fight it out. Trump blamed Cruz for the super pac ad of his wife, so I guess they’re even there. Trump attacks Heidi Cruz. Super pac attacks Melania Trump. Poor attention starved John Kasich is probably wondering why nobody ever calls his wife a “ho.”

None of the alleged paramours are named. Their photos are pixilated which has everyone guessing. Names are being tossed around. Normal journalism ethics are tossed out in the tabloid’s reporting, which is standard to the National Enquirer.

Sure I could be wrong on this but I’m not going to convict on such shoddy evidence.

How long until Trump brags that his mistresses are better looking than Cruz’s booty calls?

If other cartoonists read my blog they’d probably get six or seven cartoon ideas from each post.

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!!!