Wes Tyrell President of the Association of Canadian Cartoonists posted this statement to facebook, we’re running it here with some refrence links at the bottom for context.
Cartoonist Michael de Adder was let go from his job drawing editorial cartoons for all the major New Brunswick newspapers 24 hours after his Donald Trump cartoon went viral on social media, a job he held for 17 years. Although he has stated there was no reason given for his firing, the timing was no coincidence.
Michael told me once that not only were the J.D. Irving owned New Brunswick newspapers challenging to work for, but there were a series of taboo subjects he could not touch. One of these taboo subjects was Donald Trump. Michael deAdder has drawn many well-documented cartoons on Trump, they have however, systematically never been seen in the NB papers.
The Irvings have considerable corporate interests in the United States, but why would they care about cartoons potentially offending the American president? (As if Trump would be interested in reading news about Moncton, Saint John or even Restigouche.)
Even more puzzling, why would the Irvings care enough about a single Trump cartoon that they fire their award winning cartoonist? A cartoon that didn’t even appear in their newspaper.
It’s simple really, J.D. Irving, Limited is not only a privately owned conglomerate headquartered in New Brunswick, its also an international behemoth with global reach. Trade has been an issue since Trump took office, trade that affects the Irvings directly, not to mention a host of other issues. And the President himself is an unknown quantity who punishes those who appear to oppose him.
Not long ago Rob Rogers lost his job at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette for drawing cartoons about Trump, but he’s an American at an American newspaper. The Telegraph Journal and other newspapers in the chain are based in New Brunswick, and de Adder is a New Brunswicker. Why is this happening in Canada?
de Adder’s Trump cartoons didn’t appear in the newspaper but they were viewed all across social media, something that probably went unnoticed most days by Irving. But his cartoon of June 26 couldn’t be ignored. The trope of political figures golfing and showing disdain for issues has been seen before, but deAdder’s take hit a nerve. It went viral and social media stars like George Takei even shared it.
For a brief period de Adder was the poster boy for the Anti-Trump movement. A good place to be if you’re a cartoonist, but a bad place to be if you work for a foreign oil company with business ties to the United States.
Whether the powers that be in America would make the connection between de Adder’s cartoon and Brunswick News Inc doesn’t matter. It seems that the Irving’s don’t want to take that chance. So they cut all ties.
A solid reason why an oil company has no business owning newspapers.
President – Association of Canadian Cartoonists
Item: Boing Boing has a post here including noting this and other aspects of the story
Item: Canadalan has run a number of stories on the Irving Family recently, you can find them here, here, here, here…and i like Jesse’s snark personally in this tweet.
Item: They aren’t the only one’s who’ve noticed, if you’re a National Observer subscriber they have this here for you to read.
Item: Michael has posted this short response to all the feedback his story has gotten so far.
Item: The McGill International Review had this on the Irvings newspaper monopoly in March.