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Editors Shun Trump Cartoons, Prefer Milquetoast

In his column today Daryl Cagle notes that newspaper editors are, on the whole, no longer picking cartoons that feature President Trump to run on their opinion pages.

Trump appears in editorial cartoons more than any other president, or anything else, has ever appeared in cartoons before. Just as Trump dominates the news on TV every night, he dominates political cartoons.

Our problem is that newspaper editors don’t like to publishing drawings of Trump.

I’m a cartoonist who runs a newspaper “syndicate” that distributes the work of about 60 of the top cartoonists from around the world to newspaper editorial page editors. Close to half of America’s approximately 1,400 daily, paid-circulation newspapers subscribe to my “package” service at, where editors can pick what they like from a collection of up to 20 different cartoons on a single day.

I post a collection of the Top 10 most reprinted cartoons of the week, every week on my blog at Some 20 percent of our cartoons get 80 percent of the reprints, and the Top 10 cartoons are by far the most reprinted.

The last time a drawing of Trump made our Top 10 list was in March; it was a drawing I did of a tiny Trump who is oblivious to a giant wave of coronavirus that was about to hit him.

Daryl continues:

Most newspapers are small, rural or suburban newspapers in conservative areas; big-city papers tend to be the liberal ones. Most cartoonists are liberal, and the conventional wisdom among cartoonists has been that conservative cartoonists are more widely reprinted because there are few conservative cartoonists and most, small and red state papers want conservative cartoons.

Recent stats show that this is all wrong.

Even though we hear from conservative editors who complain that there aren’t enough conservative cartoons, editors from both liberal and conservative regions tend to select the same cartoons — funny cartoons about newsy topics that express little or no opinion [emphasis added].

Read Daryl’s full column of editorial wants at

Community Comments

#1 Paul Merklein
@ 9:21 pm

I drew editorial and political cartoons for several local newspapers in Milwaukee WI back in the 80s and 90s. I quit when it became obvious and discouraging that newspaper editors and publishers just want bland, cliche, cute cartoons without any real bite. They are very afraid of upsetting readers and subscribers, so content is kept light, fluffy and entertainment-focused. Editors and publishers have effectively killed newspapers, with many going out of business every year. I don’t miss working with them, and I don’t need them. I’m still drawing and putting my cartoons online where anyone can see them.

#2 Daryl Cagle
@ 11:04 am

Thanks for the mention. It would be nice in the future, if you want to call out one of my blog posts, if you could link back to the original post on my blog at rather than linking a client site that is reposting one of my blog posts.

Client sites tend to edit what I write, they often delete all of my links and they write their own titles. Sometimes they do odd things like adding unrelated cartoons or photos.

Thanks for all you do!

#3 D. D. Degg
@ 7:56 pm

Appreciate the heads up, Daryl. I’ve changed the link for any future readers and will try to remember to do likewise in the future.
And thanks for all you do.

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