Truth doesn’t matter to the propagandist
The locals print another Branco political cartoon
I haven’t done an exact count, but I would venture a guess that the Wheeling papers’ favorite political cartoonists is A.F. Branco. Last year, for example, the two local papers published at least a dozen cartoons attacking Michigan’s Democratic governor, Gretchen Whitmer, and a number of them were from Branco. (The cartoons badly misrepresented her record and often characterized as a dictator. Here, for example.)
Political cartoons ought to be clever, witty, and truthful; Branco’s are none of the above – he’s heavy-handed, mean-spirited, and makes no attempt to present factual material. In December and January, Ogden’s news sections gave scant attention to the various court findings and news report that clearly demonstrated that the election had not been stolen while its editorial pages, through its syndicated columnists and political cartoons (especially Branco), supported Trump’s lie that the election was stolen from him. Showing no concern for the truth about the election results, the papers acted as the propaganda vehicle for the West Virginia Republican Party and Trump.
Here is today’s Branco cartoon in the Wheeling News-Register:
A.F. Branco Cartoon - Sharp Shooter https://t.co/Mz5JNW3Fxy via @afbranco— Diane Lange (@DclareDiane) February 15, 2021
According to the cartoon, Biden’s vaccine program has badly missed its mark. Has it? Here’s the most recent statistics on countries and the doses they’ve administered?
And how do the American people rate how well President Biden has handled the virus? Here is the latest assessment I could find. From Friday's Hill Harris-X Poll:
According to the poll, Biden's highest areas of approval are in the areas of administering the government and handling the coronavirus pandemic.
Biden and his administration have repeatedly stated that their first priority is delivering medical and financial aid to the American people amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Sixty percent of voters support Biden on administering the government and 65 percent support his handling of the virus.
Like his previous cartoons featured in the Ogden papers, this Branco cartoon has no factual basis. For the locals, that’s okay – propaganda doesn’t need to be truthful.
Trump’s coronavirus deaths
A new study in the respected British medical journal, Lancet, has attempted to quantify the effects of President Trump’s coronavirus policies on the number of U.S. deaths. As Politico reported last Friday:
A report in the British medical journal The Lancet blames former President Trump for an error-filled response to the coronavirus pandemic that it says contributed to 40 percent more deaths compared to other wealthy countries.
The report from the Lancet Commission on Public Policy and Health in the Trump Era points to the more than 450,000 deaths in the U.S. from the coronavirus and says about 40 percent of them “could have been averted” if the U.S. death rate matched that from Group of Seven members Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom.
Here is the Lancet study.
Early in the pandemic, Ogden editor Mike Myer promised that the Wheeling papers would not be critical of Donald Trump’s handling of the coronavirus crisis. The paper’s kept Myer’s promise. With a Democrat as president, I’m sure that policy will change; today’s political cartoon was just a preview of what is to come.
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