Thursday 27 June 2019

The End of Political Cartoons at "The New York Times"

Ed Noor: I am posting this older article because this is another example of censorship although not necessarily against Conservative cartoons; both Liberal and Conservative artists lost their employment with this cowardly act by the editorial leadership of this left wing rag. It is interesting to read Patrick Chapatte's words on losing his work after being the man to bring political cartooning to the publication.

Cartoon published on the front page of the NYT website on January 8, 2015, after the Charlie Hebdo attacks and won the 2015 Overseas Press Club Award.
All my professional life, I have been driven by the conviction that the unique freedom of political cartooning entails a great sense of responsibility.

In 20-plus years of delivering a twice-weekly cartoon for the International Herald Tribune first, and then The New York Times, after receiving three Overseas Press Club awards in that category, I thought the case for political cartoons had been made (in a newspaper that was notoriously reluctant to the form in past history.)
2011 Overseas Press Club Award

2018 Overseas Press Club Award

But something happened. 

In April 2019, a Netanyahu caricature from syndication reprinted in the international editions triggered widespread outrage, a Times apology and the termination of syndicated cartoons. 

Weeks later, my employers tell me they're ending political cartoons altogether by July. 

I’m putting down my pen, with a sigh: that’s a lot of years of work undone by a single cartoon ~ not even mine ~ that should never have run in the best newspaper of the world.

Cartoon by Antonio Antunes, Expresso, Portugal.

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. 

Twitter is a place for furor, not debate. 

The most outraged voices tend to define the conversation, and the angry crowd follows in.

Over the last years, with the Cartooning for Peace Foundation we established with French cartoonist Plantu and the late Kofi Annan ~ a great defender of cartoons ~     or on the board of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists, I have consistently warned about the dangers of those sudden (and often organized) backlashes that carry everything in their path. 

If cartoons are a prime target
it’s because of their nature and exposure:
they are an encapsulated opinion,
a visual shortcut
with an unmatched capacity 
to touch the mind.

That’s their strength,
and their vulnerability.

They might also be a revealer of something deeper. More than often, the real target, behind the cartoon, is the media that published it.

“Political cartoons were born with democracy. 

And they are challenged when freedom is.”

In 1995, at twenty-something, I moved to New York with a crazy dream: I would convince the New York Times to have political cartoons. 

An art director told me: “We never had political cartoons and we will never have any.“ 

But I was stubborn. 

For years, I did illustrations for NYT Opinion and the Book Review, and then I persuaded the Paris-based International Herald Tribune (a NYT-Washington Post joint venture) to hire an in-house editorial cartoonist. 

By 2013, when the NYT had fully incorporated the IHT, there I was: featured on the NYT website, on its social media and in its international print editions. 

In 2018, we started translating cartoons on the NYT Chinese and Spanish websites. 

The U.S. paper edition remained the last frontier. 

Gone out the door, I had come back through the window. 

And proven that art director wrong: The New York Times did have political cartoons. 

For a while in history, they dared.

Along with The Economist, featuring the excellent Kal, The New York Times was one of the last venues for international political cartooning ~ for a U.S. newspaper aiming to have a meaningful impact worldwide, it made sense.
Cartoons can jump over borders.
Who will show the emperor Erdogan that he has no clothes, when Turkish cartoonists can’t do it? ~ One of them, our friend Musa Kart, is now in jail. 

Cartoonists from Venezuela, Nicaragua and Russia were forced into exile. 

Over the last years, some of the very best cartoonists in the U.S., like Nick Anderson and Rob Rogers, lost their positions because their publishers found their work too critical of Trump. 

Maybe we should start worrying. And pushing back. 

Political cartoons were born with democracy. And they are challenged when freedom is.

“The power of images has never been so big.“

Curiously, I remain positive. This is the era of images. 

In a world of short attention span,
their power has never been so big.

Out there is a whole world of possibilities, not only in editorial cartooning, still or animated, but also in new fields like on-stage illustrated presentations and long-form comics reportage ~ of which I have been a proponent for the last 25 years. 

(I’m happy, by the way, to have opened the door for the genre at the NYT with the “Inside Death Row“ series in 2016. 

The following year, another series about Syrian refugees by Jake Halpern and Michael Sloan got the NYT a Pulitzer Prize.) 

It’s also a time where the media need to renew themselves and reach out to new audiences. 

And stop being afraid of the angry mob.

In the insane world we live in, the art of the visual commentary is needed more than ever. And so is humor.

Patrick Chappatte
June 10, 2019

See an archive of Chappatte’s cartoons for the NYT here
His comics journalism series inside death row here.

Here is the statement issued by the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists on the New York Times' decision to cease publishing editorial cartoons and halting the regular contributions of one of the finest cartoonists in the business, Patrick Chappatte.

Editorial cartoonists across America and the world have consistently, uniformly and vigorously defended the ideal of a free press from the attacks of tyrants, dictators and twittering demagogues.

But now cartoonists are united in their outrage as it has become apparent this week that The New York Times has indeed sadly failed. 
Monday, the Times announced it would no longer publish in-house editorial cartoons in its editions, ending their regular publication of the work of internationally acclaimed cartoonist Patrick Chappatte. 
This decision comes weeks after the Times was burned by their own editorial negligence in running a syndicated cartoon that was widely condemned as being anti-Semitic. 
Doubling down on this clumsiness in response to the resultant furor, the Times announced that they would no longer run syndicated editorial cartoons. 
Their decision now to not run in-house cartoons as well only adds to that ham-handedness, blaming the medium of cartoons for what resulted from their own lack of editorial oversight. 
In a statement defending their action, the Times said they “plan to continue investing in forms of Opinion journalism, including visual journalism, that express nuance, complexity and strong voice …” 
From this description, it seems the type of “visual journalism” the Times envisions has more to do with storytelling than with expressing strong opinions. 
The best editorial cartoons are not celebrated for their nuance. 
It is their clarity and pointedness, the sharpness of their satire, that makes them such powerful vehicles for expressing opinion. 
There is no 
 “on the other hand” 
in an editorial cartoon. 
This power, understandably, makes editors nervous, but to completely discontinue their use is letting anxiety slide into cowardice. 
With their decision to end using editorial cartoons, the Gray Lady, as the Times has been called, has become even more gray and dingy. 
And the environment for free expression and the free exchange of ideas has become even bleaker. 
The Board of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists

Kevin Siers, President


By choosing not to print editorial cartoons in the future, the Times can be sure that their editors will never again make a poor cartoon choice. Editors at the Times have also made poor choices of words in the past. I would suggest that the Times should also choose not to print words in the future ~ just to be on the safe side. 
Daryl Cagle, head of the syndicate Cagle Cartoons, which distributes Chappatte’s work to about 800 subscribing clients.

"The Times chickens out" on Clay Jones' blog.

Saturday 22 June 2019


Summer Solstice Greetings to you all. Hopefully this will be another summer of all that is good, politics notwithstanding. Get out, enjoy the gifts of life and forget all that political stuff for awhile. Refresh and reset. We are, fundamentally, blessed to have such beauty at our fingertips. 

Meanwhile please accept my apologies for the lateness of this post. Blogspot was being very unkind. Everything was ready to post yesterday morning because I had a mild medical procedure booked and thought I might not be up to the task when I got home. All that remained was to load it.

However, Blogspot/Google had other plans. Nothing worked, nothing downloaded. I tried. I went to bed and got up twice in the night to try again. Nada.

Usually I load in groups of 20. Today I had to load in groups of 5, taking an extremely long time. At last things are loaded, late morning Saturday, but rather than prepare the post, I prefer to go spend time with my beloved grandson who has been, at 9 months, jaunting about Europe for the past month and is wanting to tell me about his adventures. 

But, come heck or high water, this will be up before the sun sets this Summer Solstice evening. Perhaps they will be SUNDAY cartoons for this week. Meanwhile, all of you be well. 

And home. The Grandson was perfection; his travel-exhausted parents were pleased to have someone divert his attention so they could unpack. All I can say is I am totally in love with that infant who recognized me after a month of being held and loved by European strangers. Apparently in Portugal, if you are carrying a baby, everyone loves you but expects an exchange with the infant.  Anyhow, it is dinner time on Saturday. I am eating fresh strawberries and plain yogurt for dinner. Life is good! 

And now your cartoons are going to be late but, please, enjoy!

Rather than pan opponents, some folks are putting up these warning signs on their lawns!

How I feel, due to my love of this nation being torn apart.

They thought he was house trained! Cue The Doors with "Break on Through to the Other Side"!

The Himalayas today. The route to the top of Everest is somewhat over-used these days. Sir Hillary would be so proud.


Time warp!

This did not age well!

As a child I used to fill an aquarium with these little creatures every spring. I caught them in the ponds around where I lived, now known as Agincourt, Toronto, but once fields of horses and endless miles of greenery. I preferred the big fat tadpoles up at our lake, but these tiny creatures always fascinated me as they developed and grew.

Proving once again that her nitwittery has no limits, AOC has again riled up the Right with a tweet declaring, "the United States is running concentration camps on our southern border, and that is exactly what they are. They are concentration camps."

Far from backing away from this odious statement, AOC has doubled down on the "accuracy" of her tweet by saying that concentration camps weren't the same as death camps. This is pretty much a distinction without a difference, considering the countless WWII prisoners who died agonizing deaths owing to starvation, exhaustion, exposure to the elements, vicious abuse, and an almost complete lack of medical care. All of which occurred under the ever-present threat of being sent to a death camp.

Sometimes, stupidity can be amusing. At other times, it is dangerous and repugnant. This is one of those times.

Since potential war with Iran is being talked about a lot, we thought this might be a good time for a quick retrospective to show just how the Ayatollahs got the idea that America could be pushed around.

We begin by going back to 2009, when a people's revolution failed after receiving no support or even encouragement from Iran's best buddy...

Jumping ahead, let's consider Obama's infamous "Iran Deal," which was intended to be the centerpiece of his legacy. And, if war breaks out, it actually may be...

We hope that the tension surrounding Iran ramps down peacefully. But if it doesn't, we would do well to remember who it was that shipped $400 million in cash to Iran in the dark of night, and planted the dangerous idea that the United States would always back down from a challenge.

Aerial views:
Lots of green space in Sweden.

Packed like sardines in Las Vegas!

And here you have the Bronx.

Joe Biden continues to lead the pack (well, by now it's a herd) of Democrat presidential candidates, and he's just made it abundantly clear what it is that makes him different from all the others: his bloodlust and willingness to implement a "final solution" to handle those on the Right. 

Biden's declaration of war was made during an address to the Moral Action Congress of the Poor People's Campaign (no, seriously) following a question about what he would do as president if those darned Republicans obstructed his agenda like they did when Obama had a super-majority. Yes, yes ~ we know that the Republicans weren't able to obstruct anything, but just try telling that to a Democrat.

At any rate, Battlin' Biden said when it comes to congressional Republican resistance, "there are certain things that take a brass knuckle fight," later snarling "Let's start a real physical revolution if that's what you're talking about!" And he probably would have capped off the remark with a throat-ripping Howard Dean-style berserker scream were it not for the likelihood that the shock might kill a number of geriatrics in the audience. Or at the very least, cause blowouts in their Depends.

It's hard for us to picture exactly what a Joe Biden revolution would look like, but we're pretty sure that hand-to-hand combat would be replaced with "hands-to-inappropriately-personal-areas" combat, and that members of the Biden infantry would stand on the balconies of their mansions shooting shotgun blasts into the air.

It's a terrifying picture, and we can only pray that the Moral Action Congress of the Poor People's Campaign will ignore Biden's calls for violence. And change their ridiculous freaking name.

On my way home I listened to a Conservative reporter make an observation about Trump's rally in Florida. He was not making it as a point against the President, just something they should note. This man has attended over 90 Trump rallies. 

He said that in this instance, the place was jam-packed but he noticed that during the event people slipped out the door. Not a lot, but enough that he noticed. My thought is they might have been considering the confusion after the rally or were already exhausted from waiting for the event to begin.

Nature streamlines best. Look at that absolute killer focus.

Add caption

Yes, (((he is))).


Another month and a half and these will be everywhere for the picking. Sometimes we went and filled a few buckets and pails with these and made jam and so many good things. Places where so much bounty are harder to find now.

 Rothschilds at dinner.

Where do Christian Zionists come from?

I have always been a fan of this guy. He seems woke and grounded. So far he has not gotten involved in politics but his movies have been majorly influential.

Although I am allergic to housecats, I am fine with other breeds of feline. If possible, would I do this? Surely this woman and cat are bonded; given the opportunity I would give it a try. I lay odds she is wide awake, however.

What a silly woman! Truly silly.

Ain't this the truth?!?!

Who'da thunk it?



Not since Charlie Hebdo have I seen cartoonists from around the globe stand in such unison against an issue as this NYT banning of editorial cartoons. What I do not understand is why some of them insist on blaming Mr. Trump when this paper leads the pack in enmity towards the President. The NYT is deeply involved with George Soros. So I doubt Trump has anything to do with it. But then, I am told he is responsible for the disappearance of the dinosaurs so perhaps he did have a hand in everything to do with the NYT.

Er, Plug and Play Pink?

Somewhere in Saudi Arabia.

No, not all of them. Not all of us. 
The gloss is off, but what is the alternative?

Back to the Scofield Bible belt. This really saddens me. These people would have such a rude awakening if they went to Israel and were not in special zones, saw how Christians are really considered over there.

After dinner bath. Let no blood go to waste.

 "Jim Acosta, put on that dunce cap or get the hell out." 
White House Spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders has announced that she's leaving her position at the end of the month, and she will be sorely missed. Or at least, she'll be sorely missed by those of us who appreciated her strength, her humor, her intelligence, and her mastery of facts. And more than that, her delectable ability and willingness to rip new superhighway-sized buttholes in the many aggressively ignorant poltroons in the Press Room.

Which is why the mainstream media is unsurprisingly doing their best to savage this fine woman on her way out. A quick check of "news" related to her departure offers up nice, neutral headlines like these: "Sarah Sanders was the disdainful Queen of Gaslighting (Washington Post)," "With Sarah Sanders Leaving, Trump Now Lies Along (USA Today)," "As Sarah Sanders Signs Off, a Look Back at Her Biggest Lies (Vanity Fair)," "Sarah Sanders' Legacy: The Death of the White House Press Briefing (CNN)."

During her tenure, many on the supposedly pro-women Left decided if they couldn't match wits with her, they'd attack her personally. Her weight, her makeup, her clothing choices, and her Arkansas roots were all mocked viciously and repeatedly, clearly demonstrating the hypocrisy and snobbishness of the Progressive Left. And Sarah handled it all with unflappable style and wit.

It's hard to conceive of a tougher job than that which Ms. Sanders has handled so impressively, and hard to imagine who can now do the job as capably. There are fun speculations out there: not only our own Busty Ross, but names like James Woods, Mark Steyn, Diamond and Silk, Greg Gutfeld, Jordan Peterson, Gilbert Gottfried, Roseanne Barr, ventriloquist Jeff Dunham and "Walter," and (our personal favorite) Deadpool.

Whoever gets the job, we hope they're as willing to bring the fight to a combative Press Corps as was Sarah Huckabee Sanders. She should be proud of her service, and we eagerly look forward to seeing how she will dumbfound and torture those on the Left in the future.