In an appearance on Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges’ RT show “On Contact,” Dwayne Booth, the editorial cartoonist who draws and writes at Truthdig and elsewhere under the name “Mr. Fish,” warns against depicting the president as a “figure of fun.”

“How my work, I hope, is different from a lot of cartoonists [and “Saturday Night Live”] is that I never want to depict him as a figure of fun, as a buffoon, as a clown. OK? Because it brings all the attention onto him and lessens the focus on the apparatus … that got him in there and that continues to support him. Because he’s not alone. We didn’t elect a king. Right? So it’s important to keep the conversation smart enough and deep enough to recognize the machinery—not just this person that you can turn into a cartoon character and just throw darts at this thing.”

“The great gift of what an artist does,” he continues, “is create an image that reflects bogus ideas, so that you can say: ‘Wow, this is what this looks like? … Maybe I should sort of rethink certain things.’ Right? How do you turn that into a commodity that a corporation is happy with?”

View Booth’s work online at his website.

Also, RT correspondent Anya Parampil explores how U.S. society has treated dissident artists throughout history.

—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly