Friday, June 10, 2016

An Open Letter to Jeffrey Goldberg

UPDATE: Goldberg has since amended his column to mention that it's a cartoon altered by trolls, but the libelous cartoon remains and he suggests Trump will initiate a new holocaust if elected. That's completely silly.

I was recently libeled in 'The Atlantic.' The reporter, Jeffrey Goldberg, published a cartoon that had been defaced by trolls without any explanation--my name was on it and he apparently considered it to be my real work. It wasn't. Here is my letter to him:

You are an award-winning journalist with a legitimate beef. I get that. I know what it’s like to get hate mail day after day—I’ve received it for years.

But when you posted that vandalized, trolled-cartoon with my name on it, you committed libel. Before you attack a Trump supporter as a some kind of Nazi anti-Semitic nut job, perhaps a modicum of research is in order, no? Isn’t that basic, ethical journalism? I know that cartoon aligned with the narrative you were trying to convey, but did you even search my name to find out that I’m the most trolled cartoonist in the world?

Here is my real cartoon. I drew it for Halloween, and the corrupt establishment for both parties is represented by Dracula:

Anonymous trolls stole the cartoon and changed it into anti-Semitism. They pasted the anti-Semitic meme face onto it. That was originally drawn by Nick Bougas, who went under the pen name of ‘A Wyatt Mann.' I never grant permission to anyone to deface my cartoons. What they did constituted copyright infringement and libel. You compounded their libel by giving it a larger arena in the The Atlantic.

Yes, I support Trump. No, I’m not a Nazi and in fact I’ve spoken out against anti-Semitic hatred many, many times. I published a book disavowing the racism and anti-Semitism the trolls tried to assign to me. The trolls weren’t only from the far right, either. Some are social justice warriors from the far left who are determined to ruin my reputation and make sure I don’t get work.

You need to publish a retraction.

Ben Garrison


Last year, a kid with a similar name, Joshua Goldberg, was arrested by the FBI for sending out bomb instructions to what he thought was an ISIS terrorist. That Goldberg created created libelous hate screed boxes (using my name and face) that called for the murder of Jews. He would then spread the libel around the Internet using the handle "European88." That was bad enough and it caused me a lot of grief, but now the trolling has moved 'mainstream.' Anti-Trump reporters are libeling me as a "Nazi" simply because I drew some pro-Trump cartoons. Shame on them.

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