Herald-Leader’s Pett defends his cartoons

After 35 years of penning opinions, I’m the last person to try and silence yours. But I hope you’ll allow a response to your Nov. 1 editorial, “Pett’s cartoons on conservatives are racially offensive.”

Yes, I drew a cartoon suggesting that Donald Trump’s history of racism and divisiveness is being abetted by opportunistic political sycophants, including Daniel Cameron. I find it sad, despicable and incomprehensible and I tried to express that. (Though not with the derisive term “Uncle Tom” which you chose to use.)

I did, as editorial cartoons must, employ imagery. Maybe your editors know some better imagery than the Klan robes and burning crosses to suggest racism, but I don’t.

Your literal interpretation that I was suggesting Trump is an actual member of the Klan (“ ... without any proof … ”) was laughable. I trust it was a mere argumentative convenience and not an indication that you can’t process satire. (News flash: Alec Baldwin isn’t really our commander in chief!)

The second cartoon you mentioned, drawn nearly four years ago, was a response to Gov. Matt Bevin’s support of Trump’s “Muslim ban.” The governor’s adopted African children were referenced to show sympathy and compassion for refugees. They were not denigrated, merely used as extras in a political message, as they have been in Bevin campaign commercials. For that, Bevin was quick to label both me and the Lexington Herald-Leader “racist,” and right-wing radio unleashed a two-day e-barrage on nearly everyone associated with the paper that has had lasting consequences.

You’d be closer to doing your journalistic duty to actually publish hard-hitting cartoons and allow readers to make up their own minds about the messages. Sure, you’d get some angry callers and trolls, but you might be surprised at how the give-and-take of strong opinions, especially on hot-button topics, can make your paper’s editorial pages relevant, and a public conduit for bridging the cultural and political divides which you rightly lament.

I’m alarmed by the wildfire of these divides, too. But I’m pretty confident that the flames are being fanned, and the propellants poured on, by a steady stream of racially-charged policies and tweets from the president of the United States and his allies, not by what remains of the long and rich history of free, albeit often provocative, expression in newspaper editorial cartoons.

(Oh, and FYI, “wildfire” is only a metaphor. No need to send the hook-and-ladder trucks.)

– Pett is a cartoonist for the Lexington Herald-Leader.


(4) comments

Enough Already

There is a fine line between a cartoon meant to illustrate a differing political opinion or an inconsistency in behavior or policies. Mr Pett's cartoons are neither, but intended to stoke racial divides and are in fact slander on behalf of an increasingly dishonest Democrat party. This and the baseless Democrat impeachment clown show in Washington are the kind of thing today's Democrats have become known for. They can't win with credible arguments because they have none so they they lie, slander, and sue their opponents while attempting to draw on your sympathies for non-grievances conjured up in their fertile imagination. These actions are right out of the Saul Alinsky play book "Rules for Radicals" and are in agreement with a quote attributed to Joseph Goebbels, "If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it".

They ally themselves with extremists financed by by liberal billionaires and their media ignore negative stories that would illuminate the evil deeds of their leaders. (There is more coming on the Jeffrey Epstein scandal) There lack of ethics and moral clarity is at an all time high and getting worse by the day, but God is not fooled. There is a day of reckoning coming...

Enough Already 2


The Prophet, Saint “Enough Already” has again spoken wisdom that helps us all to better understand how deplorably poor the BG Daily News Editorial staff is, and also presents the political philosophy of President Trump and many republicans, when he (on the surface) very negatively assaults the presentation and content of Joel Pett’s recent political Cartoon.

Now one can say whatever they wish about their interpretation of a poignant statement such that Mr. Pett has presented, but the illustration is laden with the truth!

Thus, it is understandable that the real message from Prophet “EA” is somewhat hidden in the words. Like many Biblical messages, it sometimes needs that authentic interpretation, that I humbly present for the consideration of all.

The Prophet is asking us to look carefully at the attributed Goebel’s quote and find the truth in the facts that President Trump is in total agreement that "If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it". Let us all accept this as the Truth according to Trump!

Yes, a day of reckoning is coming! …and may the cynical or sarcastic all say Amen!




I see nothing wrong with your cartoon depiction, nor your editorial Mr. Pett . Both seem to align with known facts. Perhaps therein lies the rub. Those who publicly 'deny' their nature, whilst simultaneously publicly parading their 'true nature', dislike people who call attention to said duplicitous ideologies.

I say, if the shoe fits, and the evidence certainly trends that way, make them wear it. Kudos for doing your part Sir.

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