It doesn’t get much simpler than Ann Telnaes depicts it: Donald J. Trump has been indicted. We don’t, as I’m writing this, know the specific charges, and, of course, as a political cartoonist, Telnaes is free to show Trump dressed as a classic Thirties criminal. It may not be entirely accurate, but she did get the fact correct that his orange make-up ends at his jawline and does not include the area around his eyes.
So we’ll give her credit for expressing an opinion, while being perhaps a bit cruel in replicating the facts.
You’ll note a somewhat more hearty appetite for ridicule from Australia, as seen in David Rowe’s commentary on the grand jury’s decision to indict.
And it is indeed “Coming to a courtroom near you,” which is to say that we can expect televised coverage of whatever happens next, though perhaps not on Fox, which, while the other networks went to extended coverage of the indictment, instead went into extended denial mode.
Jeff Danziger (Counterpoint) had already expressed his opinion of Rupert Murdoch’s journalistic integrity earlier in the day, but it seems in keeping with his network’s flaccid dedication to their “We report; you decide” motto, even though, in this case, Danziger was applying it to the deliberate lies uncovered in the Dominion Voting Systems lawsuit rather than anything pending in the Trump prosecution.
It’s all one piece. Trump took advantage of a friendly Fox venue to explain the whole thing about DA Alvin Bragg and baseball bats and such. (This is not, incidentally, an actual photograph from that Sean Hannity interview.)
Juxtaposition of the Day
Luckovich’s cartoon is, similarly, not a literal depiction of the Hannity interview, but, in combination with Wuerker’s piece, it lays out the two paths we can expect to see in the upcoming commentary.
Wuerker lays out the rational arguments that contradict Trump’s blatant denial, and, from a jury’s point of view, he’s probably right: If Trump asserts his usual denials while under oath, the tactic not only seems likely to fail but to add additional charges to his tab.
He is far more likely to take the Fifth, while hoping his fans have forgotten what he previously said about that tactic: “You see the mob takes the Fifth. If you’re innocent, why are you taking the Fifth Amendment?”
Luckovich reminds us that, in Andersen’s original story, the emperor’s exquisite clothing was invisible to anyone unfit for their job, such that everyone pretended they could see it. Denial, particularly self-flattering denial, is not only comforting but central to the theory of the Big Lie, of which Hitler wrote:
(T)he broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily; and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods.
It’s likely that denial and deflection will keep the MAGA faithful on track while attempts to persuade them of the truth — by commentators or by the legal system — will be condemned and dismissed as part of a plot on the part of the Deep State Enemy they’ve been persuaded is out there.
For example, Chip Bok (Creators) specifically shows Bragg as a dishonest prosecutor who is not only going after Trump for political reasons but who, though he may be indicting Trump, really sees good, conservative Americans as the enemy to be hunted down. (And you’re next!)
Meanwhile, the Trump indictment hadn’t yet come down as Eric Allie (Counterpoint) was making the point that the press is in league with corrupt law enforcement, attacking the GOP over the murder of small children rather than going after non-Christians of non-standard sexual identity, the true enemies of our land.
And Kirk Walters (KFS) resurrects the old IRS budget increase canard to accuse Joe Biden of targeting his political enemies with audits, for which I can find no evidence or even marginally credible accusations.
The notion that the increase was entirely for enforcement was put to rest so many months ago that it barely registers on Google News anymore, and the only “timely” element left is that, if you are having trouble getting help as you complete your taxes, it’s because the IRS does not have sufficient clerical staff to answer phones.
Which is where the bulk of that money is intended to go, but why let facts get in the way of a compelling, paranoid narrative that helps undermine faith in our government?
Even Scott Stantis, whose Prickly City (AMS) seems to have been backing away from hysteria, has Winslow the Coyote encourage people to withdraw their money from their banks, claiming that non-FDIC banks will, nonetheless, get FDIC coverage, which is not the case.
Furthermore, the strip perpetuates the myth that the bail-out of FDIC banks involved taxpayer funds, which it did not.
Not that you can’t make a convoluted claim that any money spent anywhere anyhow will eventually redound upon the taxpayer. I saw a piece the other day that earnestly explained to oligarchs how an increase in the minimum wage will impact their executive compensation.
I think it was that they’ll only get 387% more than their workers, instead of the full 400%, but there was a paywall and I don’t have enough money to find out how my getting more would cause them to get less.
By now, we’ve wandered pretty far from Trump’s indictment for whatever it is that Trump is being indicted for, the point being not that he was indicted but that the walls are being drawn up to protect him.
Even his foremost rival for the 2024 presidential nomination, Ron DeSantis, is vowing to refuse to extradict him to New York to face charges, which brings up two important questions:
One, who asked you?
And two, have you read that Constitution you swore to uphold and defend?
And so it goes.
We can expect, in the months to come, to see a lot of solidarity, distraction, denial and outright falsification from the folks who once stood for “law and order” but have since adopted Q-Anon beliefs and situational morality.
Meanwhile, don’t forget that America’s last elections will take place in November, unless you show up with a few friends.
The calendar is, indeed, lying, when it reads the present time.
7 thoughts on “CSotD: Coverage and Cover-ups”
Gotta love Bok’s slippery use of “almost half”. As if he’s trying to convince himself and his fans that no, their guy didn’t actually lose the popular vote (pretty handily TWICE).
Sheesh, even my mum who actually voted for the guy admitted at one point that Trump was “incredibly unpopular” and his behavior in an out of office didn’t do him any favors. I can’t figure out where Bok and his ilk get the idea that, no, there was actually this “silent majority” that really really wanted Trump to win but were thwarted by Jedi mind tricks or something.
It’s possible Ann was alluding to Al Capone finally being undone by, of all things, financial crimes.
She has a history of portraying Trump as Rocky from the Warner Bros cartoons.
Ann Telnaes’ drawing of Trump reminds me of the short gangster that would show up in various Looney Tunes cartoons.
I’m keeping an eye out for someone to do a drawing of Trump in an orange prison outfit–with his hair and skin tone I would love to see if he looks more like an orange traffic cone or a piece of Halloween candy corn…
Here you go, courtesy of Clay Jones: https://claytoonz.com/2023/03/31/the-indicted-presidents-club/
Ann’s portrayal of Trump is great. My only concern is that hat, an essential element I suppose, obscures Trump’s short height.
Y’all need to watch more cartoons.
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