When the Truth Isn’t Enough


When WC was a pup, he sincerely believed that the truth would always prevail; that if you had truth on your side, you were always gonna win. You might have to fight for the truth for a while, but the truth would prevail.

WC has gotten wiser, if not smarter. And it’s been painful.

Cartoonist Rick Friday got the same painful lesson. Friday was, until very recently, the cartoonist for the Fort Dodge, Iowa Farm News. Here’s the cartoon that got Friday fired.

Friday said in a Facebook post,

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.

We can accuse the multinational corporation involved of being unbelievably thin-skinned. We can accuse the Farm Times publisher of having the spine of a jellyfish. And those things might all be true. We can hope that Farm Times subscribers will raise bloody hell. Enough upset subscribers could make the financial cost of firing Friday higher than the cost of an unhappy advertiser. The truth can only get someone in the increasingly shaky newspaper business so far, too.

But the indisputable fact is that Friday was guilty only of telling the truth, in a fairly gentle way,  and getting fired for it.

Rick Friday (Photo credit: KCCI Des Moines)

Rick Friday (Photo credit: KCCI Des Moines)

We live in a time when the truth is in peril, when “alternative facts” can be said with a striaght face, and when the President of the United States is a pathological liar. The truth itself is at risk.

But that’s not the only risk. Ask cartoonist Rick Friday.

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