Perennial Wonkette star Jon McNaughton, the great Utah-based arteest whose work combines the technical brilliance of the late Thomas Kinkade with the sly political wit of cartoonist Ben Garrison, proudly announced a brand-new work of Fine Art today. And unlike some of his recent lazy efforts, this one's a throwback to his early masterpieces, which were crowded with all sorts of symbolism.

We'll confess that art can be open to interpretation, which is what makes it art, but we're fairly sure we see what The Master is getting at here. It might best be summarized as, Looks like those clowns in the media did it again! What a bunch of clowns!

We just want to know one thing: How does he keep up with the news like that?

Unlike some of his early crowd scenes, like "Jesus Hands George Washington the Constitution," McNaughton doesn't provide an answer key. And McNaughton hasn't bothered to do any obvious caricatures, either, with the exception of what we think is supposed to be CNN's Jim Acosta, in a pouting blue, next to an unidentified Kabuki performer — and Kabuki is not even clowning, if you want to get technical about it.

And look, there is a literal chimpanzee, a loving tribute to the late J. Fred Muggs.

We feel like the green, blue, and red-haired clowns, plus the mime, may be attempted caricatures, but damned if we can identify 'em.

McNaughton apparently decided halfway through that instead of mocking other identifiable reporters, he'd simply insert other popular clown faces like Pennywise and Ronald McDonald. Maybe he just really hates Acosta. Or perhaps he wanted to underline the idea that reporters and clowns are interchangeable. Possibly he thinks Heath Ledger was a reporter. He might even genuinely think Emmett Kelly was a dead ringer for Rachel Maddow, and is sneering at us right now for not seeing the resemblance. Could be — and we're leaning toward this — he just got really fucking lazy after a single caricature.

Who can really know?

Just in case you have any questions about the operative metaphor here, McNaughton explains on his website that he is calling the media a bunch of clowns, because they are silly and comical! Instead of the usual paragraph or two of prose, however, he has composed an epic, 300-plus word poem. We've assessed Mr. McNaughton's previous literary effort (a now sadly out-of print novel for teens about banishing the devil, winning every argument against your leftwing high school teachers, and keeping your sternum up), so we figure this should be brilliant. To say the least, Mr. McNaughton's literary gifts are every bit the equal of his artistic achievements.

Come look at this commotion, and see what I see,
The White House Press Corp treated marginally,
They cramp and they jockey for a place at the chain,
In the hope of asking President Trump a little something.

Something big, something small,
Anything scandalous, or nothing at all.
A chance to make their mark on the news,
With a moment of glory to bolster their views.

As far as satirical takes on mass media go, we suppose Network and "Dirty Laundry" are in no danger of being displaced. Who rhymes "chain" with "thing"?

McNaughton really does keep up with the news, however — he's positively giddy that Trump has done away with daily press briefings, because why would he even waste time with self-aggrandizing liars who aren't looking back at him from the mirror?

They can no longer gather in the briefing room,
For White House correspondents were lowered the boom.
Grandstanding muckrakers, as they were called,
Chose to be rude, interruptive, and appalled.

Booted to the South Lawn to stand in the sun,
Like clowns in a circus, without a mike for each one.
Now they cramp and they jockey for a place at the chain,
In the hope of asking President Trump a little something.

Oh, it's a refrain! He's really proud of it. Also, were lowered the boom is exactly the sort of brilliant neologism we'd expect from a Sarah Palin fan. Don't forget, Shakespeare made up words and phrases, too, and you can't refudiate that.

The poem ends on a triumphant note, as Donald Trump simultaneously refuses to answer the clownish journos and also chooses to only answer the ones he has deemed worthy of his attention:

He stops on the asphalt and looks over the fray,
The Marine One is waiting to take him away,
They shout and jockey to make him respond,
But President Trump only answers those he's called on.

He looks at the correspondents and gives them a stare,
I would answer your question and always be fare,
But you're clowns, pantomimes, and innocuous gloats,
Pompous, grandstanding, obnoxious showboats.

Now they cramp and they jockey for a place at the chain,
In the hope of asking President Trump a little something.
But he glares at them, stares at them, and will politely refuse,
"I will not speak to you because YOU ARE FAKE NEWS!"

That final stanza is a triumph! You may not have noticed, but McNaughton here gets the refrain in one more time, and even ends with the piece's title. Truly a master of form, he is! And we suppose "fare" isn't necessarily a misspelling, since Trump is clearly refusing to let the Lügenpresse serve him up for dinner. You see, this is so much more than just a pune or play on words. The other spelling, "fair," is left out altogether, which can only signify that since the press won't be fair to Trump, then he won't be fair to them. Fair literally doesn't enter into it. Trust me. I have a doctorate in rhetoric.

[Jon McNaughton on Twitter / McNaughton Fine Art]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.


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