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Newspaper drops cartoonist over vulgar Trump message

Image: President Donald Trump walks on the South Lawn of the White House on
President Donald Trump walks on the South Lawn of the White House on Feb. 8, 2019. Copyright Evan Vucci AP
Copyright Evan Vucci AP
By David K. Li with NBC News Politics
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"I own it. I did it," Said cartoonist Wiley Miller. "It's what I felt at the time."


A Pennsylvania newspaper dropped the cartoonist who wrote a vulgar message against President Donald Trump in his work that was printed on Sunday.

The Butler Eagle announced it'll no longer carry the work of cartoonist Wiley Miller after he scrawled, "We fondly say, go f--- yourself, Trump" in the lower right corner of a cartoon that ran on Sunday.

"A reader brought to our attention that one of the syndicated comic strips which appears in the Sunday Butler Eagle may contain a hidden message which was apparently placed there by someone in the creative department of the creator of the comic strip or the syndication which controls it," saidRon Vodenichar, Eagle publisher and general manager.

"Neither the Butler Eagle nor any other newspaper that includes this strip had an opportunity to remove it even if they had discovered it before distribution."

The three-panel cartoon in question featured Miller's "Bearaissance" character named "Leonardo Bear Vinci."

In an interview with NBC News on Monday, Miller admitted to writing those words and apologized — to his editors for putting them in a bad spot, not for the sentiment behind his cartoonish f-bomb.

"I own it. I did it," Miller said. "It's what I felt at the time."

The cartoonist said the president angered him one day, two months ago when he drew the cartoon, and vented on paper.

"It was a mistake. If you've seen it, it's just scribbled and it wasn't meant to read, wasn't meant to be legible," Miller said. "I had intended to white it out before scanning and uploading it. I had completely forgotten about it."

Miller said he's syndicated in 700 newspapers and the Butler Eagle was the first and — as of midday Monday — only paper to take action against him.

The offending cartoon was done about two months ago, and Miller said he's not sure what Trump might have done that day to draw his anger. He guessed it might have been about the government shutdown.

"It's a daily outrage and there was something that happened that just ticked me off more than usual that day," he said.

Miller promised that'll be his last vulgar attack on Trump in his cartoon.

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