Washington Post

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.

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Bama Jewy Robo Call


cjones11172017

When you’re on the right side of an issue, you don’t have to make shit up. That totally explains why Roy Moore, his wife, their racist lawyers, Breitbart, Alabama Republicans, and all the hideous goons on social media are making shit up.

I’m glad I’m not a conservative cartoonist, but if I was then I like to think I wouldn’t act like a hideous ogre and follow talking points designed to defend a pedophile. Today, I’ve already seen four political cartoons using the sexcapades of Bill Clinton as a deflection for Roy Moore’s pedophilia. In addition to those four cartoons, there was a propaganda piece masquerading as a political cartoon by that Branco guy (look him up) following the same talking point. I can’t wait to see what Ben Garrison does on it (whatever it is, it’ll include about 38 labels). But then again, these are the same people who defended Nazis recently.

Just when I thought to deflect for a pedophile was rotten enough, news came out yesterday that some right-wing troglodytes are robocalling voters in Alabama to increase support for Moore. Every campaign conducts robocalls for their candidate, but in this case, the calls are pretending to be something they’re not.

The person on this call is posing as a Washington Post reporter offering money to anyone who claims they were sexually assaulted by Roy Moore.

The caller, going by the name the very Jewish-sounding name “Bernie Bernstein,” says, “I’m a reporter for The Washington Post calling to find out if anyone at this address is a female between the ages of 54 to 57 years old, willing to make damaging remarks about candidate Roy Moore for a reward of between $5,000 and $7,000.” The caller also states they will not be “fully investigating” the claims and could be contacted at albernstein@washingtonpost.com. The email is phony and will bounce back if you use it. They don’t really want a reply. They’re just trying to piss people off.

The first clue it’s a fake call is that the name doesn’t match the email address. The second clue is that the email doesn’t work. Another big one is the fact The Washington Post does NOT pay for stories or to sources. They’re not the National Enquirer.

Moore’s supporters have already spread stories that were quickly debunked, that the Post paid the women accusing Roy Moore of sexual misconduct. If you’re wrong, you make shit up. You make a divisive situation more divisive. You also hire a racist lawyer to defend your lying candidate.

If you think my cartoon is stereotyping, wait until you hear about this.

Yesterday, an attorney for Moore went on MSNBC and told host Ali Velshi that his “background” would help him understand Moore’s “process.” 

Co-host Stephanie Ruhle asked the attorney, Trenton Garmon, why  Moore “would need permission from any of these girls’ mothers if they weren’t underage.” Garmon replied, “Culturally speaking, obviously there’s differences, (I) looked up Ali’s background there, and wow, that’s awesome that you have got such a diverse background, it’s really cool to read through that. But point is this, each culture has…” Then Ruhle interrupted him and asked, “What does Ali’s background have to do with dating a 14-year-old?”

Garmon said, “Sure — in other countries, there is arrangement through parents for what we would refer to as consensual marriage… “ Ruhle interrupted to inform the racist attorney that Velshi is from Canada. The attorney continued to drown from there…which is what everyone is doing who are defending Roy Moore.

As for me, I know how to swim. I suggest conservatives who are defending Moore take a few lessons.

Creative notes: So yesterday, my research entailed asking a friend, who is Jewish, if the term is “Jewy” or “Jewwy?” I’m fortunate she’s a really cool person and knows what I’m up to when I ask what seems like an absurd, and anti-Semitic question. I didn’t ask her because she’s Jewish. I worked with her at my last newspaper job, and I still ask her to proof text and the phrases for a lot of my cartoons. So, she gets a lot of crazy questions from me. I usually don’t tell her what I’m working on just so it’ll get her curiosity up.

Also, yeah I stereotyped the South with this cartoon…but I can do that. I’m from the South. But, in all honesty, the people in this cartoon are everywhere. Alabama just has a lot more of them. The people I have worked with in the South are some of the most creative people I’ve ever worked with, and they educated me on this business. And like Jews tell the best Jewish jokes, nobody laughs harder at Southerners than Southerners.

I have covered local issues before on people keeping chickens inside their homes, but most of that was when I was working in Honolulu. In fact, that city had to pass a law limiting how many chickens people can keep in their apartments. Seriously.

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.

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!!!

Ted Cruz Battles Cartoons


cjones12252015

Ted Cruz is upset and very angry. I know that’s not breaking news and he’s usually upset and angry, but this time it’s for an interesting reason and an extremely stupid reason. OK, that’s not unique either and I’ll try again. Cruz is mad at the “liberal media.” Ah screw it.

Ted Cruz created a little satire of him and his family reading holiday classics with a twisted conservative bent. First off, Ted…you gotta stop reading out loud and trying to be cute. Stop reading Green Eggs And Ham on the Senate floor. Stop acting out bits from The Princess Bride. Anyone else can do it. You can’t. It’s creepy. by comparison, it makes Dick Cheney appear warm and cuddly. I digress.

In this witty little satire Cruz has his daughters reading lines, one even attacks Hillary over her email server and calls her the Grinch. Cute. A few days later Ann Telnaes, a Pulitzer prize winning political cartoonist for The Washington Post (and creator of the best Dick Cheney caricature EVER), published a cartoon on their site where she draws Cruz as an organ grinder and his daughters are the monkeys. Mean? Yes. Justified? Absolutely. She did not caricature the daughters or name them.

Normally we cartoonists have a rule where we don’t go after children. But we do bend and break that rule when the politicians themselves use them as props. There is a line. Politicians posing with their children or letting the public get a glimpse of their family life isn’t really exploiting the kids (which every politician does). If the politician puts them into the fire and political mix, then they’re in the fire and you can go at it. The cartoonist didn’t expose them. Daddy did. Daddy is a hypocrite. Daddy is upset that someone exploited his children to make fun of him exploiting his children. How dare a cartoonists attack his children and draw them as monkeys. He said this was typical of the “liberal media.”

Later, the Post pulled the cartoon off their site with editorial page editor Fred Hiatt writing “I failed to look at this cartoon before it was published. I understand why Ann thought an exception to the policy was warranted in this case, but I do not agree.” Ted Cruz sent out an email with the cartoon to his supporters and saying he needed a million dollars within 24 hours to send the Post a message.

I watched CNN and MSNBC all day and nobody defended the cartoonist. That got me very angry. What angered me the most was that none of the talking heads were understood the issue. I saw a lot of posts on social media from conservative cartoonists who also also failed to grasp the issue. It annoyed me they would side with partisanship over professionalism. These same cartoonists were very silent when a cartoon ran in The New York Post depicting Obama as a monkey. They were also silent when Rush Limbaugh called Chelsea Clinton a dog and Amy Carter was the most unattractive presidential daughter in history, or when Glenn Beck mocked Malia Obama’s intelligence, or when Fox News Andrea Tantaros wondered out loud if Malia would go on birth control.

As I mentioned above, a lot of details where left out by the “liberal media” so I’m going fill in the gaps. I’m gonna start by sharing my friend Mike Peterson’s comment on the issue: “One of the oddities of our political scene is that the conservatives who criticize the climate of “victimization” and attack minorities for complaining over unfair treatment, and condemn any demand — even any request — for politeness as ‘Political Correctness’ turn out to be the biggest crybabies and whiners in our society” Yes. Republicans tend to reflect.

First off, Ann Telnaes is a friend of mine and she is excellent at what she does. I also know Fred Hiatt, The Post’s editorial page editor, and I have a good history with him. He puts out a great page (especially when he runs my work…or used to after this). I agree with Ann and I disagree with Fred, which is not the first time I’ve disagreed with an editor. Ann was perfectly fine with her cartoon and it would have been nice if her paper and editor had her back. It would also be nice if a few more of her colleagues had her back. And yes, at times I have disagreed with liberal cartoonists in the past when they stirred a controversy.

Ted Cruz put his daughters out there. He gave them lines to call Hillary Clinton a Grinch. One of the books about the Speaker of the House had the speaker holding a glass of wine which is a shot at John Boehner. He is now using them to raise money. Ann should send him a bill for the cartoon. His campaign says they need to use them to raise the money, because the cartoon inflicted so much monetary damage that they will never make up. Seriously. They said that.

The Senator and his family were not attacked by the liberal media. Ted Cruz, not his children, was attacked by a cartoonist. The cartoonist is NOT the media. We’re just a part of it. Also, the cartoon is an opinion piece. It’s not news coverage or reporting. Journalism, yes. But this is not the “liberal media” coming out to get you. To state the entire media is represented by one cartoonist would be like me saying that because of Ted Cruz, every politician is a creepy, icky, awkward-goose-stepping, whiny, crybaby, friendless, Grandpa Munster looking, fascist pig. But I’m not gonna say that.

Other people have pointed out that you can’t draw Obama’s children as monkeys. Well d’uh. But there is a difference and it’s quite bizarre that it needs to be explained to you. The president’s children are black. Ted Cruz’s children are not. It’s a false equivalence. Stop being stupid.

I don’t expect this cartoon or column to make a huge splash in the current controversy. First off, I don’t have the platform of The Post. Second, I don’t think it would work in a Ted Cruz fundraising email. I do hope it stirs more discussion among my colleagues and readers.

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!!!

I RAN From Jounalism


cjones10142015

It would have been nice if part of the nuclear deal the United States  five other countries recently struck with Iran included the release of Washington Post reporter Jason Reziain and other Americans currently detained in Iran. However, I realize the nuclear deal is important and is a totally separate situation than anyone arrested and detained by the Iranian government.

This is not the Iranian Hostage crisis which gripped the nation from 1979 to 1981 and helped destroy the Jimmy Carter administration.

Washington Post reporter Jason Reziain was arrested by the Iranian government on charges of espionage and other crimes. One of the charges is that he identified companies that may have evaded U.S. sanctions against Iran.

In a secret trial in Iran, Reziain has been convicted of crimes that haven’t been explained by the government, nor is has his sentence been revealed. The government doesn’t have any evidence that the journalist is guilty of anything other than doing his job.

Washington Post executive editor Martin Baron said in a statement “Iran has behaved unconscionably throughout this case, but never more so than with this indefensible decision by a Revolutionary Court to convict an innocent journalist of serious crimes after a proceeding that unfolded in secret, with no evidence whatsoever of any wrongdoing,” They plan to appeal.

Iran will now try to swing a separate deal for Reziain and other Americans, hoping to get Iranians held by the United States released. The other Americans are Amir Hekmati, a former Marine sentenced to death in January 2012 for espionage, and Saeed Abedini, a pastor detained in Iran in 2012 and sentenced to eight years in prison on charges of attempting to undermine the government.

Every single person I have ever met from Iran has been extremely kind. They are some of the nicest and warmest people I have ever had the pleasure to meet. I have never met anyone from the Iranian government.

In November a few of my cartoons, along with hundreds from other professional cartoonists, will be auctioned at an event called Cartoons & Cocktails at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. The funds will go towards supporting cartoonists detained, arrested, tortured and oppressed in countries that don’t allow a free press. Support for a free press in other nations should be important to every American journalist.

I realize that my drawing funny pictures of government officials is something that would have made me disappear a long time ago if I wasn’t fortunate enough to be doing it in a free nation.

If you’ll be in the area, I highly recommend attending the event in D.C.

Jeff Bezos’ Jungle


cjones08202015

Occasionally the Washington Post will run a cartoon of mine in their Saturday edition. The last time was a couple weeks ago. I’m not going to hold my breath for them to publish this one.

I’ll be interested if their staff cartoonist, the always excellent Tom Toles, does a cartoon on the issue.

This cartoon took a while to color. I drew the cartoon super early Wednesday morning and finished it around 6:00 AM. It took forever to color.My giant Venus Flytraps are influenced a tad by Little Shop Of Horrors. Feed me, Seymour! Feed me!

I waited several hours to post this as I wanted my Trump/Stork cartoon to have the limelight to itself for a while.

Good Riddance


A big shout out and thanks to my friend and D.C. resident Kathy Mannix (who does exceptional work for the charity Cartoons and Cocktails which benefits student journalists and oppressed cartoonists in violent regions) for pointing out that this cartoon made The Washington Post Saturday. Thanks, Kathy.

claytoonz

cjones09262014

As soon as news came out that Attorney General Eric Holder will be resigning the tweets from Republicans were fast and furious.

Congressman Darrell Issa, that gem of a public servant who’s wasted so much tax-payer money on fruitless investigations, tweeted that Holder is the most divisive Attorney General ever.  It’s divisive when you push for American progress.  It’s divisive if you push for gay marriage or at least move the government away from restricting it.  It’s divisive if you want equal treatment for all.  It’s divisive if you fight against anti-voting laws.  It’s especially divisive if you would like to see the police in this country stop pulling people over for driving while being black and being shot for being black.
The most ridiculous thing (OK, these are Republicans and it’s hard to find what’s MOST ridiculous) is that anyone who points out racism gets labeled by the right…

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