FORT DODGE, Iowa —Rick Friday has been giving farmers a voice and a laugh every Friday for two decades through his cartoons in Farm News. Comment on this story.
The contest is run by the Iowa Beef Industry Council and the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association.
Now the long-time Iowa farm cartoonist tells KCCI that he has been fired.
Friday announced Sunday that his job was over after 21 years in a Facebook post that has since gone viral.
“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.
“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 county.”
The cartoon features two farmers talking about farming profits.
The first says, “I wish there was more profit in farming.”
The second farm answers, “There is. In year 2015 the CEOs of Monsanto, DuPont Pioneer and John Deere combined made more money than 2,129 Iowa farmers.
Friday received an email from his editor at Farm New cutting off their relationship a day after the cartoon was published.
Friday’s editor said a seed dealer pulled their advertisements with Farm News as a result of the cartoon, and others working at the paper disagreed with the jokes made about the agriculture corporations.
“When it comes to altering someone’s opinion or someone’s voice for the purpose of wealth, I have a problem with that,” said Friday. “It’s our constitutional right to free speech and our constitutional right to free press.”
The editor of Farm News was unavailable for comment.
I had been planning to publish a story about how China censors its media. But the USA beat China for the top spot.
China Presses Economists to Brighten Their Outlooks
Analysts and business reporters with gloomy views are urged to hew to government’s more-upbeat line
By LINGLING WEI
May 3, 2016 12:18 p.m. ET
… “securities regulators, media censors and other government officials have issued verbal warnings to commentators whose public remarks on the economy are out of step with the government’s upbeat statements.”
Now, some people might say this is an unfair comparison. China is actually lying about economic strength, pretending to be strong when it isn’t, but the USA really is economically strong, it’s just that the strength is focused in the 1%.
I don’t believe that’s a fair criticism. The USA has some strength in financial terms, but since the money doesn’t reach the people, they are largely impoverished.