On Sunday’s episode of CNN’s “State of the Union” with Jake Tapper, Tapper aired a questionable depiction of Stephen Bannon, a top adviser in the White House.
In the cartoon, which Tapper illustrated himself, Bannon is depicted with numerous pockmarks on his face and deep red marks over his nose and around his eyes. Bannon’s shirt is also covered in what looks like coffee, food or mud.
The cartoon pokes fun at a recent incident involving Bannon, in which Bannon posed for a picture in his office with Shmuley Boteach, a rabbi. In the background of the photo is a large whiteboard showing some of Bannon’s goals, along with checkmarks next to tasks, presumably indicating an accomplishment. However, some of the tasks that are coupled with a checkmark have not actually been accomplished.
For instance, one of the goals listed was “5,000 more border patrol agents.” Although the money has been officially requested to hire the new agents, the funds have yet to be obtained and spent.
In Tapper’s cartoon, a grossly overweight Bannon shows off the “other side” of his office whiteboard, displaying secret goals, such as “Come up with good spin on being fired from [the National Security Council],” “Get Paul Ryan fired” and “Don’t get fired!”
Tapper is a former cartoonist. His “Capitol Hell” cartoon ran for nearly 10 years at Roll Call, according to a 2014 report by Politico.
Tapper’s Bannon cartoon, which aired as part of Tapper’s regular “State of the Cartoon-ion” segment, unquestionably paints Bannon in a negative light, especially his appearance. Political cartoons often depict political figures negatively, but Tapper claims to be an unbiased news authority, not a satirist.
Numerous viewers complained to Tapper over social media over his depiction of Bannon.
“@jaketapper Usually like this part of your show, but why the gratuitous food stains on Bannon. Didn't see that in photo. It's a cartoon, but really?” wrote John Coqtosen.
@jaketapper Usually like this part of your show, but why the gratuitous food stains on Bannon. Didn't see that in photo. It's a cartoon, but really?
— John Coqtosen (@johncoqtosen) May 7, 2017
“@jaketapper Simply horrible television,” wrote Kevin Groenhagen.
@jaketapper Simply horrible television.
— Groen Zone (@KevinGroenhagen) May 7, 2017
“#CNNSOTU #thisweek #AMJoy how's your rating? Fox new [sic] wins night after night and post solid growth,” wrote user CindyForTrump.
@jaketapper#CNNSOTU#thisweek#AMJoy how's your rating? Fox new wins night after night and post solid growth Thursday, May 4 https://t.co/htl7NQ4FV6pic.twitter.com/c6JB1NdWBb
— CindyForTrump (@immigrant_legal) May 7, 2017
“@jaketapper breaking news bannon out at whitehouse [sic] .. this was your day to day coverage 3 weeks ago lol ... #fakenews,” wrote another user.
@jaketapper@jaketapper breaking news bannon out at whitehouse .. this was your day to day coverage 3 weeks ago lol ... #fakenews
— Tj (@TLJ12345) May 7, 2017