At first glance, you wouldn’t think that this simple, truthful newspaper cartoon would be controversial enough for a long-time cartoonist to lose his career, but we live in a brave new world, where corporate censorship supersedes even government censorship, and when a giant like Monsanto is insulted, heads will roll.
Cartoonist Rick Friday had worked for the Iowan publication, Farm News, for some two decades, creating some “1,090 published cartoons to over 24,000 households per week in 33 counties of Iowa,” reports KCCI, until he recently created this simple statement about profits in modern farming.
“The cartoon features two farmers talking about farming profits.
The first says, “I wish there was more profit in farming.”
The second farm answers, “There is. In year 2015 the CEOs of Monsanto, DuPont Pioneer and John Deere combined made more money than 2,129 Iowa farmers.
Friday received an email from his editor at Farm New cutting off their relationship a day after the cartoon was published.
Friday’s editor said a seed dealer pulled their advertisements with Farm News as a result of the cartoon, and others working at the paper disagreed with the jokes made about the agriculture corporations.” [Source]
Take a look for yourself:
Shortly after publication of this cartoon, Friday was released from his job and left questioning the morals of a publication who would end someone’s career after an honest and factual statement such as this was made.
Friday commented on his release from Farm News in a Facebook post concerning the incident:
“Again, I fall hard in the best interest of large corporations. I am no longer the Editorial Cartoonist for Farm News due to the attached cartoon which was published yesterday. Apparently a large company affiliated with one of the corporations mentioned in the cartoon was insulted and cancelled their advertisement with the paper, thus, resulting in the reprimand of my editor and cancellation of its Friday cartoons after 21 years of service and over 1,090 published cartoons to over 24,000 households per week in 33 counties of Iowa.
“I did my research and only submitted the facts in my cartoon.” [Source]
We know that only six corporations control some 90% of the world’s media, giving unprecedented control of the content you consume to a mere handful of executive boards. As these corporations exist to generate profit regardless of humanitarian or ethical considerations, we know that insulting or interfering with their sponsors is intolerable in the modern corporatocracy which has emerged in the last century.
As a new type of propaganda war on free speech emerges in the political landscape of America and Europe, it is critical to note that viewpoints which oppose the profitability of major companies who invest in advertising will not be tolerated. This leaves us with the need to create evermore avenues of journalistic expression where genuine truth can be published and access by a body politic clearly hungry for truth.
Friday’s remarks on this incident serve as a warning to future generations of Americans:
“That’s okay, hopefully my children and my grandchildren will see that this last cartoon published by Farm News out of Fort Dodge, Iowa, will shine light on how fragile our rights to free speech and free press really are in the county.” [Source]