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Cartoonist fired for criticizing Big Agriculture

Accepted submission by DECbot at 2016-05-05 04:04:14
Digital Liberty

Food Politics reports [] that Rick Friday, a long time cartoonist for Farm News, was dismissed for offending "a large company affiliated with one of the corporations mentioned in a cartoon []." (NOTE: the link forwards to Facebook) The political cartoon is critical of Big Ag CEOs, which earned more than 2,000 Iowa farmers combined.

In a Facebook post [] the cartoonist, Rick Friday, explained:

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 It’s Friday cartoons after 21 years of service and over 1090 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.

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 country.

The Des Moines Register explains further []:

The CEOs at the ag giants earned about $52.9 million last year, based on Morningstar data. Monsanto and DuPont, the parent of Johnston-based Pioneer, are large seed and chemical companies, and Deere is a large farm equipment manufacturer.

Profits for the three companies, all with large operations across Iowa, also have declined as farm income has been squeezed. After peaking in 2013, U.S. farm income this year is projected to fall to $183 billion, its lowest level since 2002.

It seems like in the U.S. you free to say what you like, but if you offend the wrong people you're free to lose your job despite the protections you are provided and encouraged to use.

Original Submission