Ben Garrison is a conservative cartoonist who, in the Trump era, has become notorious for frequently drawing cartoons that depict President Trump as large, muscular, and virile. He has also, according to his detractors, dabbled in antisemitism, including multiple cartoons that reference the supposed shadowy power of financier and philanthropist, George Soros.
President Trump on Thursday is hosting a “social media summit” which, a White House spokesman told Politico last week, will address “opportunities and challenges of today’s online environment.” It comes amid the president’s recent ramping up of attacks against Facebook, Twitter, and social media platforms, for what he and some of his reporters claim is anti-conservative bias.
Among those invited to the summit, per Talking Points Memo, are MAGA-world celebrities like Mike Cernovich, Bill Mitchell, James O’Keefe, Ali Alexander, and, per his tweeting of the invitation, Ben Garrison.
The inclusion of Garrison led to an outcry over what detractors called antisemitic cartoons.
“It is completely unacceptable that the Trump Administration would invite someone to the White House who has been known to write anti-Semitic cartoons,” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told JNS News Tuesday.
Now, per a tweet by Politico writer Jake Sherman, the White House has declared that Garrison “will no longer be attending” the summit. Sherman also said that White House aides, as recently as yesterday, were “privately defending” the invitation.
Garrison, on his Twitter account, had not yet responded to the dis-invitation, as of Wednesday morning.
Man who drew a cartoon the @ADL calls “blatantly anti-Semitic” says he was invited to the White House for a social media summit https://t.co/Fzckv4rJbD https://t.co/nmH1zyCV7C pic.twitter.com/hvz4BpLNVt
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) July 6, 2019
This is not the first controversy involving cartoonists in the Trump era.
Per The Inquisitr, the Canadian cartoonist Michael de Adder was dropped from several newspapers last month for a cartoon that depicted President Trump asking to step over a pair of dead migrants, one of whom was a child, while playing golf.
Back in 2018, Rob Rogers, a political cartoonist for The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, told The Huffington Post that he had been dropped by the newspaper, after his pro-Trump bosses objected to a series of anti-Trump cartoons that he had drawn. Rogers had also drawn a cartoon, rejected by the paper, which depicted a “Caution” sign with a silhouette of Trump grabbing a child,.
In April, The New York Times ran a syndicated cartoon that depicted Trump walking Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was stylized as a dog wearing a Star of David necklace. Per The Times of Israel, Vice President Mike Pence was among those who condemned the cartoon. The Times responded by declaring that they will no longer publish political cartoons.