What does “Destruction” look like when you’re in the Main Stream Media, or one of their helpers in social media, like Facebook?
It probably looks like the face of President Trump at the White House at the Social Media Summit of July 11, 2019 when he said that he and the 150 social media commentators gathered in the room have more than half a billion (500 Million) followers. The purpose of the summit was to discuss “the attempted silencing of conservative voices on social media.”
Probably none of the social media superstars had as strange a journey to Washington D.C. as political cartoonist Ben Garrison.
He was invited to the summit, then dis-invited on baseless charges of being an anti-Semite (seriously, after all the attacks, hasn’t everybody learned the left’s playbook?), then decided to go anyway.
He might not be able to go to the summit, but there was the after-party at the Trump International Hotel where he’d already booked his hotel room. Who was going to stop him? It’s a little like being forbidden to go to the wedding, but then crashing the reception. Don’t you REALLY WANT TO TALK TO THAT PERSON???
I interviewed Ben on the Saturday morning after the summit, on a wide range of subjects…
Here are some highlights:
Kent: Let’s start with that call from the White House saying, “Hey, Ben, we don’t want you to come.”
Ben: We were invited and we kept quiet for it for about a week. But we could hardly contain ourselves because we were so excited. But we felt like we needed to announce it to our supporters. Because I’d never be able to go to Washington D.C. and stay at the Trump International Hotel if we didn’t have help from our supporters. If I didn’t have that support I wouldn’t be able to afford to buy a new suit, new shoes, a stay at the Trump International Hotel, and the cheapest airline tickets I could find [non-refundable].
But I felt like I had to do it because when the President asks, are you going to say, “No?” This was a great lifetime opportunity to see him in person. And in fact, I was going to present him with a copy of my new coffee table book of my cartoons from the past ten years that I think turned out great. That book comes out in August and I had an advance copy. I was looking forward to it and bursting with excitement.
Then on the day before I was going to go there was a call from the White House. It was some young woman and she said. “We are concerned with all this controversy, maybe you’ll be a distraction to the summit.” And I was like, “Don’t worry about that. It’s all a tempest in a teapot. I’m still coming. We can ignore that.”
There was a long pause on the other end of the line and when the White House aide spoke she said, “Well, we’re still concerned.”
And that’s when I got the cue that they wanted me to decide not to go. Otherwise they’d have to say the President rescinded the invitation to Ben Garrison and that would make him look like the bad guy. I said, “Wow, okay, if I’m going to be a distraction, this summit is so much more important than me, then I won’t go.”
But I made one little proviso with them. I said, “Look, I’m not going to be telling any of them I’m not going, then. I won’t tell our supporters anything. I don’t want you guys to tell anybody, either. We’ll just let the mainstream media squirm. Let them implode. That was the agreement.
I woke up the next day and saw the news and said, “Who released this?” I thought the White House must have done it anyway. I was furious, but I got over it. Then the White House contacted my wife Tina and said they didn’t release any news. Okay, well how did all these channels suddenly decide to make up a story about me and put it out? It didn’t make any sense to me.
During the course of the interview, Ben spent a good deal of time addressing the charge of anti-Semitism against him. Since the beginning of his public cartooning career many of his pictures have been vandalized and defaced by trolls with Nazi markings, especially when he criticizes the Federal Reserve or global banking systems.
This is a common tactic of the left, and even mild-mannered cartoonists such as Scott Adams have found doctored pictures of themselves in Nazi uniforms highly ranked on Google images.
Garrison had harsh words for the Anti-Defamation League, which prominently featured one of these vandalized and doctored cartoons on their web-site as evidence of his anti-Semitism. One of his cartoons, actually a commissioned work by superstar attorney, blogger, author and film-maker Mike Cernovich, depicting the influence of George Soros came in for heavy criticism. Of this harassment Ben had a lot to say.
Ben: I went to a lawyer five or six years ago when I was getting attacked by these internet trolls and my reputation was being ruined. I’d already had a private investigator track down some of these guys and I asked the attorney, “Can I sue them?” And he said, “Yeah, but it would cost you a lot of money and these guys probably don’t have a lot of money.” And sure enough, one of these guys was a basement dweller in Florida who lived with his parents. It probably would’ve cost me about a hundred thousand dollars.
The ADL (Anti-Defamation League), though, is different, because they are respected by so many of the media outfits and they quote the ADL as absolute proof of my anti-Semitism. That’s why they have to be sued. Will it work? I don’t know. That’s why I’m in contact with them and some people, so I don’t know if it’s possible or not.
It’s ridiculous when you’ve got an organization like this that holds you up as some kind of monster. I’m a figure of hate, now. It’s like, come on. What is wrong with these people? They need to attract cash for donations. And if they can’t find any monsters out there, they start inventing them. And there I am, their invention.
After the invitation was withdrawn, Ben was left with the fact that he’d purchased a new suit, shoes, and a non-refundable plane ticket. He’d received an invitation from famed meme-maker Carpe Donktum (a real mensch) to go to the after-party at the Trump International Hotel so he decided to go.
While everybody else was meeting at the White House, Ben was touring the National Gallery, looking at the Rembrandts and other works of art he’d long wanted to see. Ben also missed the great dust-up in the Rose Garden between commentator and former Presidential aide, Sebastian Gorka and Playboy/CNN commentator Brian Karem. Karem had heckled the social media influencers, shouting that they were “a group of people that are eager for demonic possession!” No media bias, there, right?
After his quiet stroll through the National Gallery, Ben attended the after-party at the Trump International Hotel where he was staying.
Ben: Carpe was there and I shook his hand and gave him the coffee table book I was going to give the President. I said, “Well, since you didn’t dis-invite me from your party, I’m going to give you this book.” He was delighted.
I met a lot of so-called “influencers” and it’s encouraging to me because there are a lot of young conservative people out there who want to speak against globalism and socialism. It really did my heart good. Some of these people are really attractive with movie star good looks. I was just like, “Wow!” Here I am, cynical me, doubting this millennial generation and we’ve got some rising stars out there. My psyche was zinged by seeing all these great people there.
It really encouraged me to think we have a chance. These young people are budding superstars. I can see that talent and they’ve got it. I was impressed by all of them and what they’re doing, but I also fear for them because we’re all hitting this wall of censorship. A lot of young people who are on our side are fed up with this stuff and that’s encouraging.
They all told me it was a shame I got dis-invited. And how much they loved my cartoons. And they’d say, “Don’t get discouraged, Ben.” And “We’re on your side, Ben.” That kind of camaraderie is really good to hear in person. I get emails from people telling me this, but to hear it from people standing in front of you, that’s a different kind of thing.
The after-party lasted for about two hours and while he was there he did a long interview with Owen Shroyer of Info-Wars and went on something of a tirade about being disinvited from the summit. Ben thinks somebody at the White House must have been listening and sent somebody down to reassure him.
Ben: The weird thing was this guy showed up with about ten minutes left of the party, pushed himself through some people to get to me, anxious to shake my hand. I forgot who he said he was, but mentioned he was connected to the White House and some speech-writer. This guy said, “I want you to know how much I love your cartoons and we all love your cartoons.” I was really tired and I said, “I’m really glad to hear that.”
Then he said, “And I want you to know it was Trump who invited you to the summit. He wanted you there. And he really likes your cartoons.”
And that was really odd, because up until that time I had no idea that Trump had ever seen one of my cartoons. I kind of imagined he had, but didn’t know. He’s retweeted one of Tina’s cartoons, but he’s never retweeted one of mine.
This was pretty much the end of Ben’s Washington experience as he flew out early the next morning.
Ben: I don’t know for sure what’s going on about anything. Who’s right? I don’t know. I’m just going to ball up the whole thing and put it in the closet and forget about it. Move on. That was my experience with politics in Washington D.C. and it didn’t go my way. But I’m a political novice when it comes to actual reality. I’ll concentrate on politics through cartoons from now on. I think what they were trying to do was make me mad at Trump. They thought when I got disinvited I’d started drawing anti-Trump cartoons, but that’s not going to happen.
One thing I’ve learned, though, is that if I ever get asked again to the White House I’m not saying anything until after I’ve had the meeting. Tina really wants to go. We’ll release the picture after the meeting. Then they can complain.
As I finished up my interview with Ben I had a few thoughts. Trump’s social media summit was an attempt to create a team mentality among a group of people who for the most part consider themselves lone voices in the wilderness. I think that’s why when I initially connected with Ben and discussed my concerns with health freedom, he immediately understood the underlying issues.
When power attempts to silence the voices of dissent, it always looks the same.
I’d like to encourage those social media personalities who were at the summit to support Ben Garrison even more, as well as to look at the issue of health freedom. All of us can learn from each other, as I feel I am getting more of an education to understand the workings of the global financial system and the Federal Reserve.
Together, our five hundred million combined voices can create the type of free press which holds the mighty and powerful accountable.
The book is co-authored with Judy Mikovits PhD. It is an indictment of the “Fake Science” we find so prevalent in the US.