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Blog Newsletter Syndicate

Social Media and Stifling Free Speech

Cartoon by the great Dario Castillejos from Oaxaca, Mexico

I wrote a syndicated newspaper column yesterday. Here it is.

While the mainstream media is rightfully focused on the second impeachment of President Trump and the assault on the Capitol, right wing media is obsessed with “Freedom of Speech.”

Right wing outlets are calling for action against the “censorship” of conservatives by big, liberal, tech companies after Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites banned President Trump, taking away his preferred megaphone. The radical social media platform Parler was shut down after Amazon refused to continue hosting the site.

I run a newspaper syndicate for editorial cartoons and columns. Half of America’s daily, paid-circulation newspapers subscribe to my service, which features about 75 political cartoonists and ten columnists. Sometimes I choose to “kill” a cartoon or column that I think is inappropriate, which often leads to an angry response from the creator about censorship and First Amendment rights. I always remind them that I have First Amendment rights too, and I can choose to syndicate whatever I want.

I also hear from cartoonists whom I don’t syndicate, demanding to be on my Web site as some kind of entitlement, claiming that I’m violating their rights by refusing to allow their voice to be heard. I also hear from cartoonists in nations with no press freedom about how their government censors their cartoons; they claim this is “just the same as in America” because there are editors here who kill cartoons, too.

Cartoonists don’t seem to understand that our First Amendment rights of free speech and a free press are protections only against censorship by the government, and they don’t give cartoonists a right to be reprinted in any publication or a right to avoid editors. Cartoonists don’t have the right to be syndicated, or to be reprinted in newspapers, and no one has the First Amendment right to force Twitter or Facebook to post their rants.

If I syndicate anything that violates the rights of third parties, I can be sued. Potential liability encourages people to act responsibly. President Trump wants to strike back at social media companies by repealing “Section 230,” which generally protects these companies from liability for third party content, treating the social media sites more like telephone companies that aren’t held responsible for what people say on their telephones.

Defenders of Section 230 argue that big tech can’t be expected to police the billions of posts on their sites. This is nonsense.

Social media sites may not be liable for user posts that libel or incite violence, but they are liable for copyright infringement, and there are millions of posts that violate copyrights, especially involving cartoons. Congress imposed rules on big tech in the “Digital Millennium Copyright Act” (DMCA) that created a procedure for copyright holders to demand that a hosting company remove infringing content within a short time period, and if they don’t, the hosting company can be sued.

As a cartoonist and syndicate guy, I’ve filed hundreds of these “DMCA notices,” and in every case the hosting company has followed the procedure properly and responded to take down the content before their deadline. Some people complain about abuses of the DMCA system, but the system works, and it proves that tech companies can comply with millions of demands from injured third parties.

Why should tech companies have liability protections for some kinds of third party content (libel or incitement to violence) and not for others (copyright infringement)? Big tech can and should be liable for any harm they do.

The Section 230 protections for big social media companies should be repealed. But that’s not really what conservatives want, because removing these protections will make the tech companies act even more responsibly, prompting them to remove even more voices from the far right.

Calls to repeal Section 230 have been diminishing as conservatives begin to see this irony, replaced by calls for big tech monopolies to be broken up, replaced by condemnations of “censorship,” and replaced by demands for “Free Speech” that use the same goofy logic I hear from cartoonists.


Our reader supported site, Cagle.com, still needs you!  Journalism is threatened with the pandemic that has shuttered newspaper advertisers. Some pundits predict that a large percentage of newspapers won’t survive the pandemic economic slump, and as newspapers sink, so do editorial cartoonists who depend on newspapers, and along with them, our Cagle.com site, that our small, sinking syndicate largely supports, along with our fans.

The world needs political cartoonists more now than ever. Please consider supporting Cagle.com and visit Cagle.com/heroes.  We need you! Don’t let the cartoons die!

 

Categories
Blog Newsletter Syndicate

Too Close to Call!

Our reader supported site, Cagle.com, needs your support!  America needs editorial cartoonists now more than ever!  Please consider supporting Cagle.com and visit Cagle.com/heroes.  Our newspaper clients are in general decline and are crashing with the pandemic. Cartoonists need you now more than ever!

This morning the election is undecided, with President Trump claiming victory and the Biden campaign confident of victory. The lawsuits are starting and the cartoonists are drawing!  Here are the first cartoons about our election purgatory. I expect lots of great cartoons to keep coming in – keep your eyes on Cagle.com!

Martin “Shooty” Sutovec

 

John Darkow

 

Pat Bagley

 

Bob Englehart

 

John Cole

 

Adam Zyglis

 

Jeff Koterba

 

Joe Heller

Categories
Blog Newsletter Syndicate

Enos Decade!

Here are Randy Enos’ favorite cartoons of the past decade!  Randy is a legendary illustrator and one of the founding creators at The National Lampoon.

See Randy’s favorite cartoons on USA Todaywhere you can click on each cartoon and see it blown up to fill the screen with a pretty, high-resolution image.  See the complete archive of Randy’s syndicated cartoons here.

Look at our other, great collections of Cartoons Favorites of the Decade, selected by the artists.
Pat Bagley Decade!
Nate Beeler Decade!
Daryl Cagle Decade! 
Patrick Chappatte Decade!
John Cole Decade!
John Darkow Decade!
Bill Day Decade!
Sean Delonas Decade!
Bob Englehart Decade!
Randall Enos Decade!
Dave Granlund Decade!
Taylor Jones Decade!
Mike Keefe Decade!
Peter Kuper Decade!
Jeff Koterba Decade!
RJ Matson Decade!
Gary McCoy Decade!
Rick McKee Decade!
Milt Priggee Decade!
Bruce Plante Decade!
Steve Sack Decade!


We need your support for Cagle.com (and DarylCagle.com)! Notice that we run no advertising! We depend entirely upon the generosity of our readers to sustain the site. Please visit Cagle.com/heroes and make a contribution. You are much appreciated!


 

  


Read many more of Randy’s cartooning memories:

Never Put Words in Your Pictures

Explosion In A Blue Jeans Factory

The Garden of Earthly Delights

Happy Times in the Morgue

I was the Green Canary

Born in a Volcano

When I was a Famous Chinese Watercolorist

My Most Unusual Art Job

A Duck Goes Into a Grocery Store

A Day With Jonathan Winters and Carol Burnett

Illustrating the Sea

Why I Started Drawing

The Fastest Illustrator in the World!

Me and the GhostBusters

The Bohemian Bohemian

Take it Off … Take it ALL Off!

I Eat Standing Up

The Funniest Cartoon I’ve Ever Seen

The Beatles had a Few Good Tunes

Andy Warhol Meets King Kong

Jacques and the Cowboy

The Gray Lady (The New York Times)

The BIG Eye

Historic Max’s

The Real Moby Dick

The Norman Conquests

Man’s Achievements in an Ever Expanding Universe

How to Murder Your Wife

I Yam What I Yam

The Smallest Cartoon Characters in the World

Chicken Gutz

Brought to You in Living Black and White

The Hooker and the Rabbit

Art School Days in the Whorehouse

The Card Trick that Caused a Divorce

The Mysterious Mr. Quist

Monty Python Comes to Town

Riding the Rails

The Pyramid of Success

The Day I Chased the Bus

The Other Ol’ Blue Eyes

8th Grade and Harold von Schmidt

Rembrandt of the Skies

The Funniest Man I’ve Ever Known

Read “I’m Your Bunny, Wanda –Part One”

Read “I’m Your Bunny, Wanda –Part Two”

Famous Artists Visit the Famous Artists School

Randy Remembers Tomi Ungerer

Randy’s Overnight Parade

The Bullpen

Famous Artists Schools

Dik Browne: Hot Golfer

Randy and the National Lampoon

Randy’s Only Great Idea

A Brief Visit to Outer Space

Enos, Love and Westport

Randy Remembers the NCS

Categories
Blog Syndicate

Trump Sweeps Into My New Store

No matter what garbage comes out each day, Trump just sweeps it under the patriotic rug so it becomes invisible to his supporters.

I drew a similar cartoon some years ago, when I was angry with Obama for sweeping our civil rights under the constitution-rug with his massive system of surveillance on everyday folks …

Sometimes it seems like only the rugs change.

Do you like the Trump flag-rug cartoon? Come visit my cool new store.cagle.com store site where we have framed prints and cool products, like this coffee mug …

… and this phone case …

We’ve gotten requests for framed prints for a long time. We have some nice ones in store.cagle.com now …

I selected by most popular cartoons for store.cagle.com. Come take a look!

Categories
Blog Syndicate

How to Draw Donald Trump and Ted Cruz

I struggled a bit to get my caricatures of Trump and Cruz right in this cartoon, and I had over 100 concurrent viewers of my live stream on Twitch for the first time, watching me struggle. This live stream stuff can be a little stressful. Here’s the latest cartoon.

trump-cruz-leaf

Watch me work this one through in real time in the YouTube videos below!

And here’s part two …

Categories
Blog Syndicate

Donald Trump Birther-Bashes Ted Cruz

Republicans loved it when Donald Trump led the “birthers” in their suspicions that President Obama was ineligible to be president because he was supposedly born to his American citizen mother in Kenya. Trump claims credit for forcing Obama to release his “long form” birth certificate to prove he was born in Hawaii. Now Ted Cruz, who was born to an American citizen mother in Canada actually fits the mold.

Republicans likely don’t care much about the “birther” argument applied to Ted Cruz, but I’m enjoying it. Here’s Donald Trump bashing Cruz with his Canadian-flag-speech-balloon.

 

As I was drawing this I noticed that Trump’s speech balloon is pointing at his crotch. Perhaps this is a visual Freudian slip.

I’m trying to live-stream all of my drawings now. Watch the YouTube video below! My apologies for this video being a little jerky in places; I’m still getting the hang of this.

Categories
Blog

Egypt! Snowden! DOMA! Oh my!

It has been too long since I have posted new cartoons here!  I took time away for the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists convention in Salt Lake City. (You can see me opine on the convention with Rob Rogers and Pat Bagley here.) Then it was the end of the quarter and I had to pay the cartoonist royalties, another three days lost.  So I’m late.  But here are the missing cartoons!

I drew this one of Edward Snowden a couple of weeks ago.
133597 600 Egypt! Snowden! DOMA! Oh my! cartoons

It wasn’t long before Ecuador was no longer talked about as a possible asylum for Snowden, so I drew a revision.

134264 600 Egypt! Snowden! DOMA! Oh my! cartoons

Today it looks like Venezuela will be the lucky winner in the Snowden derby.

The next one is Obama sweeping some crud under the constitution rug. I thought about labeling the crud “NSA,” and I could have labeled it “Guantanamo,” but I decided labels are for sissies.  Given the e-mail I get from readers, I probably should have labeled the constitution also.

134245 600 Egypt! Snowden! DOMA! Oh my! cartoons

Next is Mohammad Morsi in his prison garb.
134171 600 Egypt! Snowden! DOMA! Oh my! cartoons

This one is actually in response to a reader comment.  I had posted this oldie of Morsi on my blog …

122900 600 Egypt! Snowden! DOMA! Oh my! cartoons

Thanks to Cheryl Akins, who posted a comment that I should draw Morsi in prison garb now – and, of-course, she was right.  I made his face a little cuter the second time around.  I probably should have stuck with the uglier version.

With Egypt falling into chaos, I reposted one of my favorites from earlier this year.
126311 600 Egypt! Snowden! DOMA! Oh my! cartoons

Which brings us back to the Supreme Court’s DOMA and Prop 8 decisions.  I drew this one.

133768 600 Egypt! Snowden! DOMA! Oh my! cartoons

We had a nice bunch of DOMA decision cartoons, but the best one came from by buddy Nate Beeler, who drew this big wet kiss that went viral on Facebook.

133776 600 Egypt! Snowden! DOMA! Oh my! cartoons

I don’t think I’ve ever seen an outpouring of love for a cartoon as I witnessed for this Beeler beauty.  Nice work, Nate.

 

Obama and the Constitution

134245 600 Obama and the Constitution cartoons

Categories
Blog

That First Amendment is SOOOOOO Annoying

Rick McKee, our brilliant, Conservative cartoonist from the Augusta Chronicle in Georgia, drew this interesting cartoon today, and I asked him to explain.

MckeePhoto600 That First Amendment is SOOOOOO Annoying cartoons

 

Rick writes:

 

“Sticks and stones may break my bones” and apparently, internet Photoshops can really get under the thin skin of Georgia State Representative Earnest Smith, (D-Augusta). Recently, he became upset, to say the least, over a manipulated photo in which a blogger digitally pasted his head onto somebody else’s very naked body.

So, he’s cosponsoring a bill that would make it illegal to alter a photograph so that it “causes an unknowing person wrongfully to be identified as the person in an obscene depiction.” I understand where he’s coming from. Nobody wants their head stuck on an obscene image. Problem is, it’s perfectly legal and protected by the Constitution under the First Amendment. You’d think a guy in his position would know this.

Of course, he’s brought the wrath of the Internet down upon him. Bloggers and forums are trying to outdo one another with lewd images featuring the noggin of Rep. Smith.

But then Smith goes further and says, ““No one has a right to make fun of anyone. It’s not a First Amendment right.”

Wow. This is truly embarrassing coming from an elected official. If that’s true, then as a political cartoonist, I am breaking the law every day. Go ahead and lock me up. Jon Stewart and David Letterman can be my cellmates.

Perhaps, in the future, our elected officials should be required to take a basic middle-school level civics class. Or, at the least, we could include a disclaimer in their job description, “Warning: This occupation may be a hazard to those with thin skins!”

Categories
Blog Featured

Santorum feeds hungry Republicans

Here’s my newest cartoon about everyone’s favorite birth control warrior, former Pennsylvania Senator and Presidential Candidate Rick Santorum (view more Rick Santorum cartoons here). For a man who not afraid to tell voters what’s on his mind (no matter how looney), Santorum now regrets saying he wanted to “throw up” after watching John F. Kennedy’s speech to Baptist ministers in Houston in 1960.

Just for the record, here’s what Kennedy said in his speech:

I believe in an America that is officially neither Catholic, Protestant nor Jewish; where no public official either requests or accepts instructions on public policy from the Pope, the National Council of Churches or any other ecclesiastical source; where no religious body seeks to impose its will directly or indirectly upon the general populace or the public acts of its officials; and where religious liberty is so indivisible that an act against one church is treated as an act against all.”

Wow, Kennedy didn’t want The Pope to control American politics. Harsh.

You see, Santorum wanted to hurl because despite what our Constitution says, he doesn’t believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute.

“The idea that the church can have no influence or no involvement in the operation of the state is absolutely antithetical to the objectives and vision of our country,” Santorum said on Sunday.

Categories
Cartoons

Santorum Feeds Hungry Republicans

Santorum Feeds Hungry Republicans © Daryl Cagle,MSNBC.com,birds, baby birds, Rick Santorum, nest, separation of church and state, vomit, throw up, constitution

Categories
Cartoons

Santorum Feeds Hungry Republicans

Santorum Feeds Hungry Republicans © Daryl Cagle,MSNBC.com,birds,baby birds,Rick Santorum,nest,separation of church and state,vomit,throw up,constitution