The New York Times

The Times Chickens Out


cjones06132019

The New York Times is probably the best newspaper in the United States, if not the entire world, but they have never respected editorial cartoons or cartoonists. While they have reprinted syndicated cartoons (I know this because they’ve reprinted mine), they have never employed a staff cartoonist, and for this, they are quite proud.

However, their international edition has made use of them for years, using syndicated cartoons and hiring cartoonist Patrick Chappatte. Now, after running a cartoon a month and a half ago that drew condemnation for antiSemitism, the Times has decided to stop running political cartoons entirely.

The Times would never ditch opinion columns over one offending columnist, which proves their disrespect for cartoons.

This news gained widespread attention after Chappatte, who did NOT draw the offending cartoon, published a blog post about the Times’ decision. Previously, the Times dropped using syndicated cartoons after the controversy and scolded the editor who approved it. Now, all cartoons have to go from every edition.

Chappatte points out that this isn’t just a slight upon making funny pictures, but a serious danger for all of journalism. He writes, “I’m afraid this is not just about cartoons, but about journalism and opinion in general. We are in a world where moralistic mobs gather on social media and rise like a storm, falling upon newsrooms in an overwhelming blow. This requires immediate counter-measures by publishers, leaving no room for ponderation or meaningful discussions.”

Joining those moralistic mobs on social media to condemn the “antiSemitic” cartoon were conservative cartoonists, who leap at any opportunity to attack the “failing” and “fake news” New York Times. In regards to the Times ending all political cartoons, they’re silent.

Ann Telnaes, one of two Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonists employed by The Washington Post, called the Times “feeble” in a Twitter post. She also wrote, “Every online newspaper ought to have a link to its editorial cartoonists’ work on the homepage. In a sea of words, readers gravitate toward an editorial cartoon.”

My friend Ann is absolutely correct and her suggestion makes the most sense for online news outlets, which means none of them are doing it.

While I was in Raleigh two weeks ago, hanging out with several political cartoonists celebrating the life of one of our own, news came in that Gatehouse, a corporation that eats newspapers, was laying off three cartoonists in their chain. There are fewer online papers with cartoonists to highlight on their homepage. These are homepages that are less interesting.

Even more mind-boggling for me is the that not one online news publication, like The Daily Beast, Buzzfeed, Vice News, Slate, Salon, Vox, etc, are employing a staff cartoonist, or even hiring a freelancer.

Readers do gravitate toward editorial cartoons. Why aren’t news outlets utilizing a feature that would draw in more readers, repeat readers, reader comments, and audience engagement? If nothing else, they should employ one just for the opportunity to win a Pulitzer Prize.

While not respecting cartoonists, news outlets do respect Pulitzers. In fact, The New York Times actually won a Pulitzer Prize in 2018 for…wait for it…EDITORIAL CARTOONS. The award was given to the Times for the work of two freelancers who created a graphic series for the newspaper. The Times has no use for cartoons except to pick up prestigious journalism awards from their work. Since the Times refuses to use cartoons, does this mean they’ll refuse to enter their graphics into the Pulitzer’s cartoon category?

Newspapers have been laying off cartoonists for at least two decades. There were over 150 cartoonists employed when I got into the business in 1990. Today, there’s probably less than 30. You have a better chance of becoming an NFL quarterback than of becoming an employed political cartoonist in an American newspaper.

Today, cartoonists are having to create new outlets for their work and revenue. Many are using Patreon to help generate income from reader support. I have the link below asking readers to help out if they’re willing and able. I and many others are creating new outlets for our work.

Cartoonist Matt Bors created The Nib, a daily online publication that focuses on political cartoons and graphic journalism. Rob Rogers, who was fired after 30 years at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette for refusing to stop drawing cartoons critical of Donald Trump, is one of the brains behind Counterpoint, another online publication for political cartoons. My own endeavors to survive without a position at a daily newspaper was to create this blog, this syndicate, and gain, by accident, a new outlet for cartoons, CNN‘s weekly opinion newsletter.

The New York Times does great journalism which may be more important today than ever before. Likewise, it’s more important today than ever before to offer the best commentary, not just on Trump and threats he poses, but on all current events. The Times has abandoned one of the best forms of commentary.

What can we do? You can email the Times at editorial@nytimes.com. If you do have a subscription and decide to cancel, tell them you’re going to subscribe to The Post because they employ TWO political cartoonists.

Lastly, tweet this cartoon AT The Times. If their notifications keep annoying them over a cartoon, maybe it’ll show them how much of an impact a cartoon can have.

And maybe then they’ll start to respect political cartoons.

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.

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The Heart Of Trump


cjones11302015

Donald Trump doesn’t have to win the election to carry an exclusive title. He’s already First Jerk. Maybe First Ogre would be more appropriate. He’s proving himself to be a heartless, insecure human being. He can’t handle criticism and he insults people. He tweets with the reckless abandon of a teenage girl. I know this because I have nieces.

Trump has a routine. He says something horrible and then he claims he didn’t say it. He mentioned Megyn Kelly bleeding out of her whatever and then claims it didn’t mean what everyone knows it means. He calls Carly Fiorina ugly and says he wasn’t talking about her appearance. He makes fun of a reporter’s physical disability, physically mocking him, then says he’s misunderstood and that he was unaware the reporter was handicapped, even though he’s met the reporter and claims he has the world’s best memory.

Trump, like most of the GOP candidates, is a horrible person. He has attacked individuals, Hispanics, African Americans, Gays, Women and now the disabled. Lovely.

If Trump wants people to stop calling him out for being a jerk, then he should stop being a jerk. The same for lying. Stop lying. In general, Donald Trump should stop being an asshole.

Other non-related news:

My last cartoon got a lot of hits. My site says the it was shared on Facebook over 4,000 times and that counter isn’t accurate so it’s probably a lot more. It’s a good day when my site has 500 views. Saturday it had close to 4,000 and Sunday it had over 11,000. Twitter has been nice to me also. So to everyone who visits this site and shares my cartoons, thank you very much.

I like the cartoon. I think it’s very good. But I realize that one reason it went over so well is because it was the only cartoon on the shooting at Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs. It had two days to hog the limelight all by itself. There will be a flood of them Monday which I’m looking forward to reading.

Again, Thank you.

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!!!

The Gray Lady


cjones07282015

I was telling my favorite buddy about my idea for this cartoon. He liked the idea but his only confusion was the “Gray Lady” part. When you receive any criticism you have to be honest and ask yourself the question “does this actually work?”. Is the criticism valid? Usually when an idea is criticized there is at least some truth to the criticism. Creators can be very defensive. I know I can be. After I put my ego aside I can focus on the question and I will either rework the idea, trash it, or totally ignore the concern. This time I decided to throw caution to the wind and go with the idea as I originally intended.

Ya’ see, “Gray Lady” is the nickname for The New York Times. Maybe only news heads like myself will know that. Either way, I think it still works because Hillary is old (haha) which means she’s kinda gray.

Background for dummies:

The New York Times totally messed up a story about Hillary Clinton’s emails by making it look like she did something illegal when there isn’t any proof. That was some National Inquirer type coverage. Meanwhile some crazy private group distributed a heavily edited video to make it look like Planned Parenthood has been selling aborted baby body parts so they can buy Lamborghinis.

It doesn’t matter that either story is fake. Conservatives are clinging to them like the holy gospel. So yeah. I figured if the Times wanted to slander Hillary then I’d go to town with the cartoon. I’m just surprised she hasn’t been accused of clubbing baby seals yet.

I want to thank my friend Hilary for copy editing this cartoon. No, not the presidential candidate Hillary. Hilary (with one L) told me where the hyphen goes and that it’s “Gray Lady” and not “Grey Lady.” I know it was “Gray” over “Grey” but I wanted to double check with someone I trust.

Another note: Drawing the text for The New York Times was a total be-yotch. Most cartoonists would just take an image and plant that crap on a file in Photoshop. But I’m Clay Jones and I don’t play like that. It’s all Sharpie, Bic, card stock paper, sweat, blood, grime, organic and analog here at Claytoonz HQ, baby (except for coloring in Photoshop shut up).