Assange cartoon doctored to insult Sharif government

Cartoon originally published by Mint linked to defunct American magazine

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Claim: The New York Herald published a cartoon hinting at the United States’ alleged intervention in support of the no-confidence motion through which Imran Khan was removed from power. The cartoon shows Uncle Sam patting a Pakistani judge on the head.

Fact: The cartoon has been doctored. The original image was created by Brazilian artist Carlos Latuff in connection with Julian Assange’s extradition. Further, the New York Herald has been defunct since 1924.

On 30 April 2022, Facebook user ‘Sabir Ali’ shared a cartoon showing the lower half of an Uncle Sam figure patting a judge on the head and saying, “Good boy!” The judge — who appears to be sitting like a dog and whose food bowl has Pakistan’s flag painted over it — is seen wearing the traditional curly horsehair wig and holding in his mouth a paper featuring the text, “NO CONFIDENCE APPROVED!”

The caption accompanying the post is reproduced as follows:

New York Herald Cartoon 

what a shame for Pakistan, Judicial clowns & neutrals all together, with each passing day what happen is coming out with its intensity, truth can’t remain hidden for long and good for truth you doesn’t need to remember anything, this is time for nation of Pakistan to decide either acceptance of forever slavery or independence from Mafiya’s of this country who are proven working on foreign agendas, are we going to shelter under same Judicial system & Neutrals or standing for our future generations ???

Patwariyo, Bhikariyo khoon nai kholta kia tumhara ??

Still if you have any doubt left why there was regime change thing happen & why Imran Khan is removed below image is enough to shake & awake !!!

God Bless Pakistan

A Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader and Pakistan’s former minister of human rights, Shireen Mazari, also shared the cartoon on her Twitter account but deleted it an hour later, according to Politwoops, which archives politicians’ deleted tweets. She had captioned her post as follows:

“Imagine! What an insult to Pakistan brought upon by US regime change conspiracy! Surely dark shadows getting a greater crimson blush!”

The image was also shared by Sahibzada Jahangir, the UK-based founding member of the PTI and former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s adviser on the party’s overseas chapter.

Fact or fiction?

Soch Fact Check used Google Lens and TinEye Reverse Image Search to investigate the source of the image.

Google Lens led us to the website of MintPress News (MPN) and the TinEye search to a tweet by the same media outlet carrying what appeared to be the original cartoon. It was created by Brazilian artist Carlos Latuff, who tweeted his work on 21 April date with the following caption:

“The UK has long served as a watchdog for White House interests. The UK’s court approval of Julian #Assange extradition to the US is clear evidence of this British ass-kissing.”

Assange, an Australian editor and activist, is the founder of WikiLeaks.

Analysing the image, we found two crucial differences between the original cartoon and the doctored version as exhibited below:

In the viral image being circulated now, the text on the paper the judge is holding in his mouth reads, “NO CONFIDENCE APPROVED!,” whereas in the original one, the text reads, “ASSANGE EXTRADITION APPROVED!”

In the viral cartoon, the judge’s food bowl has Pakistan’s flag painted over it, whereas in the original one, it is the United Kingdom’s flag — the Union Jack.

Further, the text in the Facebook post’s caption claims that the cartoon was published in the New York Herald. However, according to Encyclopædia Britannica, New York Herald was an “American daily newspaper [that was] published from 1835 to 1924 in New York City”, meaning that it is now defunct.

Soch Fact Check, therefore, concludes that the cartoon has been doctored.

Virality

Soch Fact Check conducted a CrowdTangle analysis for the past three-day period since 28 April using the following search terms:

  • “New York Herald Cartoon”
  • “What an insult to Pakistan brought upon by US regime change conspiracy”

The search terms turned up 127 and 26 Facebook posts, which received 4,960 interactions and 2,357 interactions, respectively. One of the most popular posts was by Facebook page ‘Super Power Pakistan’, which received over 750 reactions and was shared more than 900 times.

An Instagram post by @fatima_khanpk received over 500 ‘likes’, while this Twitter post was retweeted over 330 times.

Conclusion: The cartoon in question has been doctored. The original image was created by Brazilian artist Carlos Latuff in connection with Julian Assange’s extradition and has nothing to do with Imran Khan or the PTI government. Further, the New York Herald has been defunct since 1924.

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