CSotD: Truth, and other partisan matters

Joel Pett wraps up both the message and the problem of World Press Freedom Day in a single cartoon: We all want truth. We just can’t agree on what it is.


We should expect spin, the presentation of facts from a partisan viewpoint. John Cole offers a chuckle about the FBI search of Rudy Giuliani’s apartment over his attempt to smear Joe Biden with dubious “facts” about his son’s work for a Ukrainian company.

Hunter Biden shouldn’t have taken a position on the board of a foreign enterprise, particularly with his entry greased by his father’s identity. That’s a spinnable issue, but simply decrying nepotism as a campaign tactic leaves you open to discussion of Ivanka’s trade deals in China.

So we go for Hunter’s laptop, a story so conflicted and nonsensical that it didn’t pass the whiff test and thereby gets us from spin to lie.

Which in turn mirrors the way Giuliani went from asking questions to probing in a way that (apparently/allegedly) transitioned from campaigning to lawbreaking.

The latest chuckle being that it turns out that, while a memo was written warning Giuliani that the feds were on his tail, it was never delivered to him, which forced several major news outlets to correct reports that he’d been warned.

“Correction” is fact, “retraction” is spin, because there was no apology issued or required: The warning was generated and that the FBI wrote it and discussed delivering it makes the report less a factual error than a technical one. Granted, a thin line.

Anyway, Rudy’s been good for a laugh since the day he announced his divorce at a news conference before announcing it to his wife. Whatta maroon.

There’s less humor in this

Juxtaposition of the Day

(Clay Jones)


(Mike Lester – Counterpoint)

The choice of Senator Tim Scott to present the Republican response to Biden’s SOTU address, as Clay Jones insists, cannot be dismissed as random: Don’t tell me they put the names of all their Senators, Representatives and Governors in a hat and just happen to draw one of the three African Americans out. (The other two being freshmen Reps Burgess Owens of Utah and Byron Donalds of Florida.)


Steve Stegelin of the Charleston City Paper makes a more pointed accusation, that those who defend the country on the basis of Obama and Harris are “some of my best friending” the issue.

My “example” being your “token.”

He also suggests that this is one maybe the white folks should sit out, though I’d like them to speak up, if only to show their cards.

Lester’s accusation is more challenging, because Scott himself spoke of being called a Tom, in a speech that seemed to spend more time talking about himself and race than in refuting Biden’s main points.

Biden spent a little time on police reform and mentioned the John Lewis Voting Rights Act in closing, but race was more of a major theme in Scott’s speech than that.

Another Black legislator from South Carolina, Democrat Jim Clyburn, was guardedly supportive of Scott’s remarks on race, hitting back, however, on GOP voting restrictions.

Certainly, Lester has some backing for his accusation, though, given the over-the-top response of MSNBC’s Tiffany Cross to Scott’s speech.


Though if I traded you MSNBC’s Cross for Fox’s Carlson in an exchange of partisan spinmeisters, you’d owe me a bucketful of change.

As Mike Luckovich (AMS) puts it, Carlson doesn’t simply spin the facts but indulges in verifiable falsehoods.


Finally, on the topic of the SOTU, Bob Gorrell (Creators) wins the “I do not think it means what you think it means” award for a cartoon that could — as I assume he intended — mean to divide Americans, but might also mean to loosen the restrictive bonds of the past four years, which I’m pretty sure he didn’t.


Elsewhere in the news

John Cole is back again, this time with a cartoon that could be an evergreen but which is particularly timely as we deal with pandemic closures and failures, plus the issue of raising the minimum wage.

There’s also the accusation that people stay on unemployment because it’s better than working.

Well, maybe. The hoops to be jumped through and the benefits to be won vary from state to state, but federal support is down to $300 a week and a tax break that doesn’t put bread on the table today.

Which is to say that employers are no more competing with unemployment benefits than with the Dunkin’ Donuts shop across the street.

I saw another of those ads the other day that echoes the old “Wanted: Three people willing to work to replace three who weren’t.”

Which might as well read “Wanted: Three people desperate enough to work for an overbearing bully.”

Funny story: I was organizing a seminar for 16-year-olds seeking their first jobs and mentioned the speakers I was lining up, including the manager of a franchised steak house.

One of the youngsters in our classified department overheard me and piped up with an incredulous, “Why him??”

Seems the place had changed hands since my son’s friends had worked there, and had been transformed from a model employer to a hell house.

It can be hard to keep up on things at that level of the economy.

Which reminds me:


Back in the days of the megamalls, kids knew who was good to work for and who to avoid from food court gossip, and worked their way up without leaving the building.

Norm Feuti both worked the malls and then produced the wonderful, devastating cartoon “Retail,” which he retired a few years ago but has now put on the web, along with this bonus cartoon, “Dollar Admiral,” which he’s apparently toying with as a possible launch.

I always thought Retail was an obvious magnet for Millennials, but editors seemed more focused on retaining old readers than attracting new ones.


For any digital natives with an interest in history, Vintage Big Ben Bolt Sundays is dipping into the computer world of 1960.

BTW, shrinking strip size has killed this level of detail, but I miss the well-paced, intricate, semi-noir storylines of these old strips.

Shrinkage doesn’t excuse that.

Bring back sax and violence!


One thought on “CSotD: Truth, and other partisan matters

  1. The Tim Scott kerfuffle — every time it comes up — reminds me of one of my parents’ comedy records, “The Rise and Fall of the Great Society.” There’s a lengthy sketch, presented as a live TV news bulletin, about a nuclear bomb which (denied by the Air Force) has fallen out of a B-52 into the lake in Central Park.

    Protesters from one interest group after another block efforts to build a ramp down to the lake, and when it’s the construction union’s turn at the job, civil rights groups rise up in protest that the union isn’t integrated. Interviewed by the reporter on scene, the union president bellows out, “Bill! Where’s our negro? Get him out here!”

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