Seth Rich

The Dictator


The Trump administration will throw any bone out there to make their case that the Russian Colluding story is “fake news.” They’re so desperate that they’ll trample on a man’s grave to push the narrative. If only there was an unethical news organization to help with….oh yeah…Fox News.

Seth Rich was murdered in Washington, D.C. in July 2016 in what police describe as a botched robbery attempt. That’s all conspiracy-lovin’ right-wing douchebags needed to make the case that Putin didn’t help Trump win the election. Fox News and others (the type who spread the story that Hillary Clinton was running a child-sex-slave ring in a D.C. pizza joint) ate it up. Eventually, Fox News had to discredit and retract the story (except for Sean Hannity who said he’d just stop talking about it).

Now there’s a lawsuit filed by a private detective hired to investigate the murder alleging that Fox News worked with White House officials to push the case to undermine allegations of Russian collusion with Trump’s presidential campaign. Rich worked for the DNC, and the debunked conspiracy is that he, not Russia, leaked all the emails to WikiLeaks and that Democrats had him killed.

Fox News used quotes from Rod Wheeler, the detective, that he claims he never said. He even has recordings with the Trump supporter, Ed Butkowsky who paid him to investigate, where Butowsky acknowledges the quotes are fake. Butowsky is a frequent guest on Fox business programs.

Wheeler and Butkowsky met with Sean Spicer during the investigation which Spicer has confirmed, though last May he said he didn’t know anything about the story (Spicer is now selling Trump bullshit pro bono). Butowsky messaged Wheeler before their meeting with Spicer, “We have the full attention of the White House on this.” Butowsky also claimed in emails to Wheeler that he was keeping the president informed, and that Trump really wanted the story published. On Tuesday night, Butowsky went on CNN to yell at Chris Cuomo and defended his statements as “jokes.” Republicans really gotta work on their humor because Butowsky’s jokes are about as funny as jokes that cops should practice police brutality and “if Russia is listening, they should release Clinton’s emails.”

I’m sure the odds of Fox News colluding with the White House is total bunk, and we could get a statement from Sean Hannity assuring us it’s just crazy talk, or “fake news.” Except, Sean is probably too busy having a secret dinner with Trump in the White House. Whatever do they talk about over the meatloaf?

Of course, the White House is denying this just like they denied that Trump Jr., Jared, and Manafort met with a Russian lawyer who promised dirt on Hillary Clinton. Maybe another example is the one they served up yesterday where Trump’s lawyer, Jay Sekulow denied that Donald Trump wrote Jr’s initial statement that the meeting was only about Russian adoptions….only to have the White House confirm Trump was involved in creating the statement. Presidenting is really hard when you gotta keep creating diversions for your children and other henchmen over all the shady shitty shit they keep doing. Why can’t a wannabe dictator get good help?

The White House explained it as a father taking interest in his son’s endeavors. Now it is good news that Trump is finally interested in helping to raise his 39-year-old son, though to be fair, he was always interested in Ivanka and Tiffany’s “developments.” Still, it does warm my heart to see Junior groomed to take over the evil family business, much like Dr. Evil groomed Scott Evil.

Of course, there’s really no indication that Trump would care about debunking the Russia Collusion story by blaming Democrats….other than his daily tweets, statements, casual remarks to whoever’s passing by about it.

Sean Hannity, the president’s dining partner, likes to argue that he is not a journalist. OK then, no argument. But, it’s peculiar that someone who makes that claim has a prime-time slot on a news channel to talk about news.

Creative note: I wrote this entire blog with a kitten in my lap. It’s really warm.

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Romping With Hannity


Now that Fox News’ Sean Hannity has abandoned his hunt for the “real” story in the murder of Seth Rich, he can apply his amazing journalistic instincts on another matter. Like defending Republicans who beat up journalists.

Hannity spent a week pursuing a story into the death of Rich, a staffer for the Democratic National Committee. It was a story that Fox News retracted and said it didn’t meet their journalistic standards.

The original story published May 16 reported as fact that Rich was actually the person who leaked tens of thousands of emails from the DNC to WikiLeaks and that his murder was tied to that action. Rich was shot and killed last July in Washington in what police describe as a “botched robbery.” There is no public evidence that even suggests he shared DNC emails with Wikileaks. The Rich family pleaded with Fox to stop spreading speculation without facts.

Fox eventually retracted the story, though without an apology. Hannity, however, on his radio show said that he retracts nothing and will continue to push the story. Hannity was relentless in pushing the bogus conspiracy theory and said that he “is not Fox News.” Later, on his TV show, he said that he would stop covering the issue “out of respect for the family’s wishes — for now.” It turns out he IS Fox News. That means his bosses, and probably a few lawyers clamped down on him. Also, advertisers are bailing on his show faster than if he was spotted at Bill O’Reilly’s strip-club-bachelor party.

Sean Hannity is not a real journalist. He was covering for Donald Trump and his Russia connections. It’s a sad state we’re in when the top-viewed news outlet hires hatchet men instead of reporters.

The press has never been popular. Every town’s newspaper has a derogatory nickname for it. But now it’s worse than ever. The president says the press is the “enemy of the American people” and he’s advocated changing the Constitution to change libel laws and imprison journalists. Your crazy uncle believes Breitbart has as much, or more, credibility than The Washington Post and The New York Times. CNN stands for the “Clinton News Network.” Republicans are body-slamming journalists and breaking their glasses.

The freedom the press enjoys is indicative to what sort of nation we live in. A free press means freedom to all. When that’s shut down or infringed upon, your freedom is next. The press’ freedom is your freedom. You need to understand that. It’s not just so Anderson Cooper can run wild and roll his eyes at Kellyanne Conway. It’s so you can live in a free nation where your right to know is not violated….or your right to report.

Apparently, you even have a lot of freedom to report lies. Ask Sean Hannity.

Creative notes: I started this cartoon last night and put it aside to draw my Hulk cartoon. I think I made the right choice but I still wanted to finish this. I called up my former FLS colleague Hilary and asked her where I should put the hyphens in “conspiracy.” Hilary is smarter than I am and she makes me write good (see what I did there? That’ll piss her off to no end).

Men’s rompers were in the news earlier this week. Do you know why? I don’t. If you find out, can you let me know what’s up with men’s rompers? I didn’t care enough to do any actual research into it. I just saw a bunch of posts on Facebook and then I Googled to see how many recent news stories came up. Quite a few. I didn’t read any of them but they were there.

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