Just last month this column noted that the New York Times International fired a cartoonist for his takedown of Donald Trump. Now, less than a month later, another newspaper cartoonist has been fired for also parodying the president. And eerily, both dismissals came with the same indignation from the newspapers' management: the expulsions had nothing to do with the anti-Trump sentiment.

A question that goes unasked and unanswered

So, the question that raises its apprehensive head is, has Trump begun controlling the free press?

His opinion of journalists invites the question. As the ACLU has noted the president calling reporters "disgusting," "slime and scum." He has also blacklisted reporters and quoted him saying, "I would never kill them, but I do hate them." It's reasonable to assume he would like to put a stop to work like that of political cartoonist Michael de Adder who, after 17 years at a Brunswick News company in Canada, lost his job for ridiculing the president.

The game must go on

The drawing at issue pictures Trump in golf clothes standing by his golf cart, staring down at the drowned bodies of immigrant Oscar Alberto Martinez and his 23-month-old daughter Valeria who washed up on a dry riverbed of the Rio Grande, saying to them, "Do you mind if I play through?" Brunswick News insists that Adder's firing was not related to the incriminating cartoon.

There's no such thing as coincidence

But Wes Terrell, president of the Association of Canadian Cartoonists, disagrees. He told The Washington Post that Trump has been off limits at the Brunswick company. "Michael told me once that not only were the J.D. Irving-owned New Brunswick newspapers challenging to work for, but there was also a series of taboo subjects he could not touch. One of the taboo subjects was Donald Trump." Tyrell also stated on Facebook that while De Adder has drawn many cartoons about Trump, none were ever seen in the New Brunswick papers.

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Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?

Brunswick News issued a statement about the De Adder firing that sounds like the New York Times excuse for getting rid of all of its cartoons - that it had nothing to do with caricaturing Trump. But, according to Tyrell, De Adder's firing "was no coincidence." New Brunswick papers owner is a Canadian billionaire who didn't want to risk his "considerable corporate interests in the United States (since) Trump punishes those who appear to oppose him."

Loss of a low-paying job is no loss at all

But wait, here comes the latest news on the apparent censorship at Brunswick News.

The cartoonist who was to take De Adder's placer, Greg Perry, turned down the job owing to the difficulties that De Adder had. CNN quotes Perry saying, "All this over a job that pays the same per month as a job at a grocery chain. I wouldn't wish this on anyone."

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