Dan Proft: Dan Proft coming to you with another edition of Against The Current, from the Skyline Club on top of Old Republic Building, in downtown Chicago; my guest on this edition is the Chicago Tribune’s renowned political cartoonist, he is Scott Stantis. Scott, thanks for joining us!
Scott Stantis: Thanks for having me!
Dan Proft: Appreciate it!
Scott Stantis: Renowned?
Dan Proft: Wow, renowned. Renown, not renowned, that is past tense. You’re current - you’re still – you’re a current political cartoonist for the Chicago Tribune.
Scott Stantis: Yeah, what have you heard?
Dan Proft: Exactly. So you came to us straight out of Birmingham, you’ve been in Chicago for six years, after spending more than a decade in Birmingham; couldn’t cut it in Birmingham, that’s why you came to Chicago?
Scott Stantis: Couldn’t make it, it’s just too big city.
Dan Proft: So what brought you to Chicago and give us your perspective as someone who’s only been here half a dozen years. Not exactly half a dozen of our salad years; what your perspective is on Chicago coming from Birmingham?
Scott Stantis: It’s been amazing, people ask where I come from, and then I say – as you said it – I came to work over a dozen years in Birmingham, Alabama, and they look at me like ‘Oh’. I say ‘You don’t understand. Alabama actually kicks Illinois’ ass in so many different areas: job creation, transparency’. You can walk into a state legislator’s office in Montgomery and say I want your records from the cell phone that the state issues you, and the secretary will literally go and hand you the records. This state, in some places, you still have to get a [foyle? 00:02:07] to get a police report, which is public record; I mean, that thing was shocking when I came here.
Dan Proft: Not to mention the mayor’s cell phone records, messages, yes.
Scott Stantis: Which we’re still not allowed to see; nor the videos from his property, nor anywhere a crime occurs, or anything.
Dan Proft: So what did get you to Chicago? Should you clean up this town as you did Birmingham, or?
Scott Stantis: Yes, everything’s just perfect there. Chicago’s the big leagues, it really is. Still, Chicago has been – historically – the job that cartoonists have wanted. It started with John C. McCutcheon at the turn of the 20th century, won the first Pulitzer for the Chicago Tribune; three more Pulitzer Prize winners came through here, not to mention Jeff MacNelly, who was the one I replaced nine years after his death; Dick Locker, and many, many others.
Dan Proft: And where’s your Pulitzer?
Scott Stantis: It’s coming.
Dan Proft: I know Mary Schmich has that coveted title over…
Scott Stantis: She does.
Dan Proft: Look, I can’t read enough columns about cats, just like the next guy. In terms of political cartoons, first of all, I guess, just a little bit of background; it’s a rarefied space, it’s like being a governor, there’s only like 50 of you in the country, right?
Scott Stantis: Oh, there’s fewer than that, there’s fewer than 40 now. Editors have…
Dan Proft: Is this a function of newspapers going away or something else?
Scott Stantis: I think it’s both. Editors have always had a hard time with cartoonists, for a myriad of reasons: temperamental, hard to deal with, expensive, and that’s part of it; and the other part is they still view the written word as sacrosanct; that is far more important than any silly cartoon you could possibly draw. They look at what they do and do not want, and the thing that causes them the most trouble. I was at a conference of feature editors in New Orleans a few years back, and I was with the guy that does ‘Pearls Before Swine’, Stephan Pastis, and also Berk Breathed, who does ‘Bloom County’, and we said to them, ‘Isn’t it great when you get a reaction? When people blow up, and either one cartoon, or either a political pliant or some other things that gets them to all the newspaper’, these editors looked as if we have just insulted their entire family. The point being was that our take was that it’s great when people get involved and have a sense of ownership in your product, that you produce. Their take was the readers are a pain in the ass, and I just want to produce what I produce and go home.
Dan Proft: Rich! ‘These damn customers!’ It’s an interesting perspective, because if the readers are a pain in the ass, so you treat them that way, then sometimes they go away and isn’t that sort of what’s happening to a lot of major daily newspapers around the country? I mean, I don’t think newspapers are ever going to go away, but they’re not going to be – some of them may, some of them have – but they’re not going to be presented in the same format they’ve been presented for the last 50 years, at least the ones that survived and thrived.
Scott Stantis: If you had to guess what’s working now for newspapers, the breaking news on the internet; we’ve had this discussion a lot about what comes next in media, and cell phones, your smartphone, that’s really where it begins and ends with anyone under 35. So where does the newspaper fit into that? When they visit our page, the Chicago Tribune page, through their mobile devices, they’re on it for like 3 minutes, maybe; they want the headlines, they want a paragraph or so, they don’t want in-depth stuff. You counter that with probably a premium product on the week-ends, on Sunday, and that may be what we’re going to see down the line, but to say that newspapers won’t go away, I’m not entirely convinced to that.
Dan Proft: On the cartoons, what’s the reader’s response, what are the number of eyeballs on your cartoons every time you publish one as compared to say, Eric Zorn’s mustery column?
Scott Stantis: I don’t know what… they don’t share those numbers with us. I’m not kidding.
Dan Proft: What kind of feedback do you get?
Scott Stantis: I get great feedback, and in fact I’ve had a number of cartoons that have been shared tens of millions of times, literally. The cartoon, to be fair, the more sappy ones, oh Gosh, what’s his name? The great movie reviewer for…
Dan Proft: Roger Ebert.
Scott Stantis: Thank you, when he passed away, and that cartoon was shared.
Dan Proft: Pro life leader Roger Ebert. He’s very much pro life.
Scott Stantis: Is that true? It’s a good thing to be.
Dan Proft: Because catholic faith reformed his position. That’s what I like, I like to skewer the liberals in town, reminding them that Roger Ebert was a big pro lifer. It gets hard for them to reconcile.
Scott Stantis: What do they say when you say that?
Dan Proft: Nothing.
Scott Stantis: They just look at you and then…
Dan Proft: They then go away, which is kind of – I’m used to that reaction. That’s mostly what I get, because frankly most of the people in your profession, particularly in this town, you may have noticed, they’re not so zealous about facts.
Scott Stantis: No? You don’t think so?
Dan Proft: Yeah, they’re kind of tied to their orthodoxy and that’s all they care about, which is an interesting segue to some of what you do, because some of your cartoons lampooned - haven’t – some of the sacred cows - and I mean that as a double entendre - in the city of Chicago, in the state of Illinois; the political Pangaea drums that they like to get along with. Lisa Madigan, the way you caricatured Lisa Madigan over the years, for example, as daddy’s little girl, with a balloon and a lollypop, that’s received some pushback, hasn’t it?
Scott Stantis: It’s received, yeah. In fact, a feminist group I’ve never heard of, from Washington DC, started to take me on and write letters, and start some form of a campaign; clearly was paid for by somebody; her daddy. But somebody paid for it.
Dan Proft: Way to double down.
Scott Stantis: Yeah, you know?
Dan Proft: So didn’t like your minimizing all of Lisa Madigan’s legal accomplishments.
Scott Stantis: Dan, think about this for just a moment. Since Lisa Madigan’s become the attorney general of the great state of Illinois there’s been no corruption prosecuted in this state, at the state level. You have to hand that to her. So come on, just clean it all out!
Dan Proft: Yeah, she’s outsourced it to FEDs, I guess.
Scott Stantis: In fact, if you remember one of the cartoons I brought here with me was one of the first cartoons I ever drew of her as that little girl with the heart dot in her eye and her name, and she literally said – do you remember this? – ‘That’s above my pay grade’… to investigate corruption in the state, when another Madigan thing boiled up.
Dan Proft: Yes, see, that’s what’s fun about political cartoonists; maybe different than some of the op-ed writers in town, with the exception of your colleague John Kass – he’s one exception: the institutional memory. So to go back, for example, and recall Lisa Madigan when she first ran for attorney general after she had had her law degree for five minutes, and that she had said she was running because where were the republicans when it came to prosecuting corruption under governor George Ryan? That was not going to happen; if the prosecuting public corruption in the state of Illinois was going to be her raise on debt as attorney general, and as you suggest, people were so afraid of her prosecutorial proactiveness that they have not committed any illegal acts in the intervening 14 years.
Scott Stantis: You don’t want the wrath of Lisa to come down you, unless of course you’re a crib maker, which she has protected us from.
Dan Proft: Yeah, the crib makers.
Scott Stantis: Yes, so the crooked crib makers. Yeah, that works.
Dan Proft: Right. To don’t remove the tag from the mattress in that crib or she’s going to come after you.
Scott Stantis: It says explicitly.
Dan Proft: So with Lisa now, you’re not just dealing with the wrath of Lisa, you’re dealing with the wrath of the most powerful politician in the state with whom you’ve become intimately familiar over your six year, House Speaker Mike Madigan, has he responded? Because he’s very protective of – as you draw her – daddy’s little girl.
Scott Stantis: I think there was a connection, because this feminist group came out of nowhere, and it’s since disappeared. At least it’s acts on me. Clearly that was one response from that machine to my tax on him. Just to show you that cartoons do have a profound effect on politics, my first cartoon on Mike Madigan was within the first couple of weeks when I worked here; and I had drawn him, and he had actually slid his hair back – you may not remember this – and after that cartoon.
Dan Proft: He was doing an ensemble performance of Greece, I think, in Springfield.
Scott Stantis: Was that it?
Dan Proft: Yeah, I think he played Frenchie, if I’m not mistaken.
Scott Stantis: Well, that may have explained it. I’m sorry, missed that. I am.
Dan Proft: So he slid his hair back…
Scott Stantis: He slid his hair back, I drew him with this – because his hair line is further back than mine, it’s preposterous, he continues to part it.
Dan Proft: Well, he is 120.
Scott Stantis: Maybe… we don’t know how old he is, so we have to wait for the Carbon dating.
Dan Proft: Right.
Scott Stantis: But he will never die, so… I noticed that a week later his hair was puffier, fluffier, and a different color.
Dan Proft: Maybe he hadn’t seen the stylist.
Scott Stantis: He saw the cartoon, I think. Again, coming back, cartoons have a definite tangible impact on policy in this great state.
Dan Proft: I mean, political cartoons are part of the Americana since the founding.
Scott Stantis: Sure, yes. Benjamin Franklin, ‘Join Or Die’, the snake that’s cut into the various segments; Ben Franklin drew that.
Dan Proft: And it’s a way to kind of capture the essence of an idea, of a personality, of a policy, of a policy debate, right, in a way that unless you’re H.L. Mencken quality six or seven hundred words doesn't.
Scott Stantis: Right, and for me the great joy, especially coming to a place like Illinois – there’re so many players, it’s just impossible to keep them all straight – but if you can draw Madigan the way I draw him now, which is pretty much as the crypt keeper… if you look at him and put his picture next to my cartoon, that doesn’t really look like him anymore, but every person who reads the Chicago Tribune knows exactly who that is, to the point that I don’t have to label him anymore.
Dan Proft: And I also like that you stay current too. You got Mike Madigan on the iron throne from Game of Thrones too.
Scott Stantis: Game of Throne!
Dan Proft: Game of Thrones singular.
Scott Stantis: Notice, look at the detail of that cartoon! He’s sitting on a phonebook. I imagine that probably has to take him off a little bit.
Dan Proft: Because he’s a Shetland person, he’s one of the Chicago democrats – there’s something in the water here; I make this point over and over and I can’t figure out – maybe you know, because you’re very precise when it comes to sizing up these characters that you draw. Why do we have these little licentious leprechauns like Madigan and Cullerton, and Rahm (he’s an honorary Irishman), Richie Daley – they’re all could fit in your breast-pocket.
Scott Stantis: It’s bizarre. What’s important about cartooning too is obviously I have the option of showing them as being roughly this tall, which is exactly what I do…
Dan Proft: Drawn the scale!
Scott Stantis: Pretty much! Rahm now is about 3.5 feet tall in the cartoons, but his eyes make him about 4.5 feet tall. All I have to do now is just draw those massive bug eyes he’s got, and everyone gets it.
Dan Proft: So Rahm, Madigan, the governor, the previous governor, which politician is the most thinned skin, in other words, the caricature that you have offered of a particular politician – where have you gotten direct feedback or surrogate feedback that says – you know – Mr. Madigan or Mrs. Whoever doesn’t appreciate that?
Scott Stantis: I did a draw Rahm when he first swore in – it was a step by step, exactly what it sounds like, how to caricature around Emanuel; the only thing I ever heard from him – or from anyone in his office was – he walked in the next day, shows us this stuff and he’s ‘Is that okay?’, and he said ‘Yeah, it kind of looks like you’, he said ‘Okay’. That’s all I ever heard. He does have one of my cartoons in his office; it was when the courts ruled that he was a resident – apparently if you keep your bride’s, your bridals.
Dan Proft: Yeah, the blue dress, of sorts.
Scott Stantis: Or was it gold and white? And he’s going ‘Exploitive Yeah’, that’s the one he liked, that’s the one he likes.
Dan Proft: The only thing with Rahm, I love the caricature, the only thing is I want – have you ever seen him in his ballerina outfit from back in the day? With the big fro where he looks like Tim Curry from ‘Rocky Horror Picture Show’?
Scott Stantis: Yes.
Dan Proft: Well, why didn’t you go in that direction?
Scott Stantis: I have. If you look at the drawings, here’s a little insight to you and your viewers: every time I draw him full body he’s always in some kind of a dancer’s posture. Look at his feet, it’s poulet, or pallet, some French thing, and his hand is always like – there’s always a pinky up – he’s always very dancerly whenever I draw him.
Dan Proft: The prancing around in a bar class, something like that.
Scott Stantis: Yes, and I have one of him in a tutu.
Dan Proft: Tiny dancer, I like it. So you’ve got feedback from him, what about…
Scott Stantis: That’s it… nothing from Madigan, nothing from Cullerton. Governor Rauner when he was running stop by when I was with your radio show actually, and he stopped by and said he liked the cartoons, even when he was the victim, which at that point he never had been, but that was nice of him; recently this kind of freaked me out, and scares me a little bit, I don’t mind telling you – Cook County commissioner president Toni Preckwinkle…
Dan Proft: Toni Preckwinkle, right, she is not one of the Shetland people.
Scott Stantis: She is not.
Dan Proft: She is quite striking.
Scott Stantis: And it’s interesting, she’s actually been very cold every time I’ve – a few times I’ve – met her, but she called the other day, and I drawn her as a Don Corleone, and she said ‘Tell Alvarez it’s politics, it’s not personal’. She loved that one. Apparently, that’s what she likes to project, and she was effusive and friendly and very nice on the phone.
Dan Proft: So she likes to be portrayed as a mobster, but in the sensible shoes.
Scott Stantis: Yes, but there were no shoes.
Scott Stantis: And Fox, of all people, jumped in apparently in one meeting and said, ‘You know that cat is me!’ Corleone in the scene is petting the cat.
Dan Proft: Kim Foxx.
Scott Stantis: Kim Foxx, yes.
Dan Proft: Who’s running for state’s attorney and her former chief of staff.
Scott Stantis: Against Sal Rust. ‘You know, that’s me in there too’. I’m like ‘No, it’s really not’
Dan Proft: Everybody wants to be in the Stantis cartoon, even if they’re being lampooned, they’re a parry daedal.
Scott Stantis: I’ve never heard of – you keep slamming away at these guys, and you hope you hear something, but no, not yet.
Dan Proft: On the other side of the spectrum, you mentioned the schmaltzy cartoons – I’m being pejorative, but I don’t mean it that way – the more pointy inter-sentimental cartoons. The cartoon I remember, because we spoke about this, that you got the most reactions to – or perhaps the most reactions, but you got a lot of reactions, national and maybe international reaction – was a cartoon and a story about your childhood. Tell us about that.
Scott Stantis: Yes, well, it was when the NFL and all the players were coming, all the stories were breaking that… one player knocks his wife out in an elevator, another one beat his child with a switch until...
Dan Proft: Right, right, Adrian Peterson.
Scott Stantis: Four year old child. All of this other bubbling excuses that – this is cultural, this is how we do it, this is our culture, I go ‘No, and if that’s your culture, then it has to be destroyed, because it’s wrong’. I’m game mad now. It got me mad, so because I came from an abusive background – my father was a abusive alcoholic, he got found by Sobrieties, and we became great friends years later – that is a story I’d never told anybody; in fact, a lot of friends, in fact, there are some details in there that my wife didn’t even know; but I thought it was important, and if I had to tell the story, it had to be the story. You couldn’t tap dance around it, you couldn’t make it fiction to make it have the impact it had. Actually, we ran on Medium.com recently and had like 5 million shares, so yeah; what’s been interesting about it too is I did a presentation at LID Fest about it, and that was hard; that’ll be the last time I’ll talk details in public about this thing, because it was too hard, but afterwards, for the Q&A, there were no Q’s; they were all men – mostly men, standing up, and the most moving part of the whole thing was, this guy stood up, a south side Irishman, quintessential, stereotypical, he must have been six something and massive, and by the time he was done, that room was in tears, as was he, talking about the stories of overcoming this stuff, and so, for me, there’s a couple of things about coming from an abusive upbringing, and one is that you’re told never to talk about the family outside the family. That’s a rule, right, for obvious reasons.
Dan Proft: Right.
Scott Stantis: Hindsight, but at the time it just gets engrained in you; and the second thing is you think you’re alone. You think this only happened to you, or it’s very rare, and it turned out that it’s not. I had literally tenths of thousands of e-mails from that thing. And that’s good.
Dan Proft: I understand that what was going on in the NFL was the backdrop for this, but as a general, do you feel like it’s better to keep your professional distance from your readers and your subjects, or when appropriate kind of open yourself up and share personal story that connects you more deeply to this – because you know, about the people in the public eye, and op-ed writers, and politicians, they go both directions. Some people get more closed off, and some people feel like sharing experience that other people have endured as well is a way to better connect and build a relationship.
Scott Stantis: I think I have a relationship with the readers, and for me it’s a postcard, it’s a little note to the readers every day. The internet has allowed for more engagement, which is phenomenal. 9 times out of 10 people call, even if a write now or a comment, and even if it’s really nasty if you respond – oftentimes a person will respond back saying ‘Hey, listen, I’m sorry, that was a little bit over the top’.
Dan Proft: Only if you respond even more nastily than they responded. That’s the approach that I take.
Scott Stantis: You’re trying to be a nice guy. So, for me, I’m out there, these are my opinions. I’m lucky enough that the Chicago Tribune views my cartoon as an individual opinion, and so there are times when they don’t like the cartoon and it gets pulled, which is always frustrating, but for the most part, they view it as my comments to the world, and so I take it very personally, I mean you can tell, I’m not a closed off person. I don’t think.
Dan Proft: Please, keep your professional distance here, I am a closed off person. I don’t want us making out by the end of this, so just relax. So that’s an interesting point, right? Your cartoons are treated the same way as an op-ed writer’s appends, which is to say, if I don’t like this piece, if it’s rambling, if it doesn’t make sense, if it’s incendiary in some way, then we burn an obligation to run it, that’s I guess the same with the cartoons, so is that just an individual case by case judgment call, or there’s some kind of rules of the game that are set so you know more or less where the boundaries are?
Scott Stantis: More or less, I mean, the field moves somewhat, but yeah, it’s basically I know what can and cannot be talked about. It’s odd too, and I don’t know how to combat this. I don’t know sure if it should be. Maybe it shouldn’t be, but the view of the newspaper is so correct and almost puritanical, and it’s a view of language, particularly. So I do a comic strip that’s called Prickly City, and I can still – to this day, this is the 21st century – can’t say ‘that sucks’ in the comic strip. And so, the notion that for some reason, you know, Dwight Eisenhower is still president, is still a head scratcher.
Dan Proft: If only, if only Dwight was still…
Scott Stantis: I don’t want to drop the f-bomb. Yeah, no kidding.
Dan Proft: It’s interesting, on radio we have George Carlin’s nine words, and you have more words than those nine.
Scott Stantis: Yeah, it’s strange, and it’s viewed – I did a caption contest as well, and this week’s is Rahm Emanuel at the end of a cigarette, and the ash is about to fall off; I’m about to fall in my ash stuff, a lot of jokes like that, which could not run as finalists for to vote on. It was kind of strange.
Dan Proft: I’m about to fall on my ash.
Scott Stantis: Yes. Or, I’ll make an ash of myself. Obviously, because people might actually think that the word ass was involved in that somehow, and people would be shocked.
Dan Proft: You apparently weren’t listening to president Obama’s speech to the General Assembly, where he called for more civil discourse in our political dialogue, and you are coloring outside the lines, as a pretense to that.
Scott Stantis: Yes, I’m trying to coarsen the culture, I’m sorry.
Dan Proft: And so… right, yeah.
Scott Stantis: Too late.
Dan Proft: How does that play out to the extent that you can give us a peek into the editorial board, to the editorial decision making process? They say this goes too far and you say it doesn’t, and you have a pillow fight, how does that go?
Scott Stantis: Yeah, well, I do it rough. It’s a very quick sketch of my idea, and then I send it to Bristol, who’s my editorial page editor under John McCormac, who is a deputy editorial page editor, and they come back with suggestions, or not; it’s better when it’s not. Sometimes they have comments and say ‘Change this, change that’, but sometimes I’ll say ‘Why?’ and they’ll have a reason that I think is either good or bad, and if it’s bad, then I’ll say ‘I think that’s a bad idea’, and then they’ll tell me do it our way. It’s pretty simple.
Dan Proft: So it’s not quite The Agony and the Ecstasy, where Michelangelo is an ass to when is the Sixteen Chapel going to be done, and he says ‘When I’m finished’. It’s not quite that way. You don’t have that kind of platitude.
Scott Stantis: No, although I do, there is a papple element where he does wrap you with a stick once in a while.
Dan Proft: So let’s just go city and state level. Who is your favorite character to the extent that all these politicos are characters to draw? Who provides the most fodder for your fertile mind?
Scott Stantis: Well, Rahm, clearly, because he’s the guy in charge, and he came in – the arch of that story is so interesting. He came in because he was the SOB; he was charmless.
Dan Proft: The sheriff. Tough guy.
Scott Stantis: Yeah, he was charmless, he was just a nasty piece of work, but he could get things done, and then after the first term he realized, he really can’t, and yet he got reelected – sadly. You and I had that discussion – I have to give you your props – you suggested that Chuy, regardless, would be a better choice, and you were right. So, on video in front of here.
Dan Proft: Finally, I get my due. Now I want a cartoon that memorializes that for all eternity.
Scott Stantis: Sure, ok.
Dan Proft: Shared on Medium and all the other outlets so that I’m shared million two times like your work product. As it pertains to Rahm, though, one of the topics that I see you cartoon most on is violence in Chicago. How is that received – not just by the political ruling elites in the city – but also your leaders, the residents that actually live in some of these shooting galleries on the west side, or the south side, or people who live where we live, and are frankly – at least to this point – insulated from a lot of that.
Scott Stantis: The most surprising response to a cartoon I’ve had since I’ve worked here was Tyshawn – last name, help me, the kid who was executed, the nine year old boy.
Dan Proft: Oh, yeah.
Scott Stantis: And it goes, Monday he was executed, and drawing this beautiful kid, and then the next scene is just an empty Chicago street, and said ‘Still waiting for the outrage’. The idea being that black lives matter, obviously massive protests all over the country on that, on that subject, which I thought was legitimate as well; but this is legitimate too. It had hurt nothing, and I got calls after calls after calls, and the Twitter verse – whatever the hell it’s called – got castigated for the cartoon because, ‘How dare someone like me’ – and I guess that means white and male – ‘would say that there’s no outrage. Of course there’s outrage!’ And I’m like, ‘Well, you have protests, and they’re led by preachers, led by mothers, but you don’t see the kids who are actually – the 18 and 25 year olds who are directly responsible for this. What?
Dan Proft: I concede your point; do you have protests, or is the ark of those stories, ‘Oh, it’s terrible, we’re outraged for a day, we do a midnight vigil, we put the child victim’s image on a t-shirts, we call for an end to street violence, there’s a couple of walks around the neighborhood, and four days later we’re onto the next child victim.
Scott Stantis: Yeah, and you know, you would hope for a bigger response than that from that community, and you don’t; and that was my point, and of course I got raked over the coals for that by my liberal friends as well. I just don’t understand.
Dan Proft: What is it that you don’t understand from their perspective?
Scott Stantis: That they are outraged. They just don’t voice it.
Dan Proft: They outrage in silence and they continue to perpetuate the status quo that produces these outrages. I see. Perfect, makes perfect sense.
Scott Stantis: Yes. Sure.
Dan Proft: What about the police? Sticking on this topic of violence and caricaturing former police chief Garry McCarthy, these incidents that maybe it’s tough – it’s tough to draw ha-ha a cartoon about, like Lequon McDonald, or Quintonio Legrier and Betty Jones on Christmas Day; how do you treat subjects where a punch line not appropriate.
Scott Stantis: One thing I come back to - my cartoons are postcards to the readers, and to me I’m not angry every day. Sometimes something just needs levity, but there are also times where there’s sadness – I have a drawing style that allows me that latitude, because it’s not very broad, it’s not very cartoony, and so when there is a serious issue at play here; all this violence just keeps piling up and piling up, we’re losing kid after kid; I mean, kids, children; and so it’s just a teddy bear with a t-shirt on that says ‘I Gunshot Chicago’ , and it’s very stark and it’s very telling, and it’s very dark, and for me, that was one way to express myself; I’m lucky I have that, but I really did develop an artistic drawing style that allows me to do that.
Dan Proft: So are you trying to channel the emotion that you feel about the subject or the emotion that you think that the city feels, by a larger populace?
Scott Stantis: No, both, I would suspect that we’re all flummoxed by the violence on the south side; we’re all incredibly frustrated by this dead, we’re incredibly aghast by the school system that puts what? Seven hundred and thirty million dollar bonds out there at eight and a half percent interest? I mean, yeah, there’s rage, there’s anger, there’s sadness, all of that.
Dan Proft: Did you ever feel like you need to produce cartoon different than the tone that is - the majority tone, the majority response to something, so that there’s a little bit of leavenings – leavening not necessarily in terms of parody and comedy, but just leavening in terms of ‘How about looking at it from this perspective rather than just these conventional wisdom perspective?’
Scott Stantis: Right. I was speaking to a group, mostly – I was at the library of congress, and mostly are obviously very liberal – my take on the police shootings, was that the police were shooting themselves in many ways, and of course, the panel didn’t think that was the right way to go; you have to blame them, but there’s two victims here; law enforcement is incredibly difficult, but you bring up a great point: I also happen to be a conservative in Chicago, Illinois; that creates its own dynamic where yes, I’m going to approach issues differently than I think most commentators in this city would.
Dan Proft: It’s interesting, because we’ve talked to other guests about this on the show all the time, the virulent strain of Stockholm syndrome that afflicts Chicago. In part, you’re describing – what we talked about – the lack of outrage; you don’t have the city up for grabs, not that I’m suggesting it should be, but you don’t have the kind of response in Chicago to Laquan McDonald that for example, you saw in Baltimore with Freddie Gray; you just don’t.
Scott Stantis: Precisely.
Dan Proft: You have some protests, and then they subside, you some recall move on Rahm, and then it subsides, and people get on with their business, and people want to talk about people disrupting shopping in Michigan Ave, and kind of ancillary issues. I wonder if you see those responses and you say ‘People aren’t getting it and the conventional wisdom is insufficient to describe what’s happening; I need to come at this from another angle, such that’, and you do so, and you actually have people that disagree with your worldview, philosophically, that come and say, even including in your news room or your editorial board ‘Oh well, I never thought about it that way; do you see any possibility?’, because this is one of the fatalistic aspects of Chicago, everybody believes certain things that’s never going to change that it’s liberal and all this. Do you see movement on different issues among people that don’t otherwise agree with you but agree with the take you had on an issue that they hadn’t considered before?
Scott Stantis: I think we’re seeing – in the city and in the state - we’re seeing the problems finally reaching critical mass; we have a Daley who spent us into oblivion. I think they’re finally recognizing that, and the solutions that are being offered by the same old guys are the same old things. We’re going to borrow more; you have a mayor who’s borrowing more; another 2 billion dollars just to pay his bills? I think people finally are seeing that, and they’re seeing their taxes go up and up; we have the largest property tax increase in the city’s history, not to mention sales tax that are through the roof. At what point do people stop coming here? And the violence is another example. The young woman who was – they still don’t know how it happened – my wife and I took our son and his wife down to the Pilson the other day, and we saw the posters saying ‘Any information, $1000’ for this woman that was show in your car while she was talking to her dad on her cell phone.
Dan Proft: Right, straight bullet, right?
Scott Stantis: Right. That’s what we think, we don’t know. We’re seeing that kind of thing happening more and more. At what point do people stop coming to Chicago? At what point do people stop coming to Illinois? We’re hemorrhaging jobs, I don’t care what anyone else says. I asked an unnamed liberal radio personality here in Chicago, when I was on his show, ‘Would you start a business in Chicago?’, and there was a long pause, and to his credit, he said no. I said, ‘well?’ You have to imagine, eventually, either it catches up, or we become Benton Harbor.
Dan Proft: How are you treated in Chicago, as compared to how you’re treated in Birmingham or other stops along the route?
Scott Stantis: Well. I think people get what I do. There’re a lot of people, especially in the news room, who’ve never talked to me, who hate me, because they see the work, and ‘He’s just a knuckle dragging’, and so on. Talk to me, ask me, confront me, and then a couple who made that invitation, a couple of them have, and that’s great. I like to have that discussion, but for the most part it’s been terrific, it really has been, and let’s face it; once you get to city or state issues, less so here, but still that liberal conservative thing melts away a little bit, and there’s just right and wrong and what works and what doesn’t, and we’re doing the doesn’t a lot.
Dan Proft: Yeah, but do you get the sense particularly from your editorial board that what doesn’t work, based on the evidence, is something they recognize as not working? Because it doesn’t work, and the Chicago Tribune endorses president Obama for reelections, it doesn’t work and the Chicago Tribune endorses Rahm for…
Scott Stantis: Not just that. If you remember, we gave him a report card his first year. We gave him an A-. That wasn’t my idea.
Dan Proft: A little room to grow.
Scott Stantis: I proposed this, and it’s not just the Chicago Tribune. It’s every editorial page I worked on, virtually; particularly when you’re becoming ensconced to the community. In this next election cycle let’s just say, up front, we’re not going to endorse a single incumbent. Period!. And you make that face, that’s the face they make, but the fact is.
Dan Proft: Well, because there are some people that are first and second termers that are actually fighting the fight, that are trying to change the paradigm, so why would you throw the baby out with the bath water.
Scott Stantis: Because I’m not sure that it is. I think that, yes, we’re going to throw a handful of decent public servants, but you’re also going to have gobs of public servants who were god awful. I have this discussion off every two or four years.
Dan Proft: Right, and we have some primaries again. I’m just thinking for the March 15th primary upcoming, you have some primaries where the primary challenger represents a continuation of the same, where the incumbent represents something at least somewhat different. It’s a culture problem, fundamentally, in my view, but it’s also a personnel problem, as to the extension of that, so why would you want to dump the people that are working as punishment.
Scott Stantis: They’re probably not, because I would argue that the results argue differently. It’s an extreme view, and no one has taken it up – you know, 3-5 year career – and no one’s taken me up on it, so.
Dan Proft: So let’s level up to the national level, because obviously, your purview is national, internationally even; you’ve drawn cartoons related to the war on terror, and combatting ISIS.
Scott Stantis: I’m very popular in [Inaudible 00:36:38]. That’s where my clients…
Dan Proft: Yes, and the presidential campaign as well. The cartoons, the national perspective that you try and provide for the Chicago Tribune, is it something that you’re just trying to provide an unique take on what’s happening on the national scene, or are you trying to translate it down to relevance, to your Chicago readers?
Scott Stantis: Sure, I mean, why would I care that North Korea launches a missile? Well, because it can hit the West Coast of the United States, you might have relatives there. There has to be some kind of relevancy to your life that hopefully I can bring, but I’m also a different voice on that paper. I’m prolife, the paper is prochoice; things like that. And again, to their credit, let me run those cartoons. I am not a great fan of this administration. I did not think we should have endorsed it for reelection. I lost that discussion.
Dan Proft: I actually think that’s been established by the record. The figure favored presidential candidate to draw in the current field.
Scott Stantis: I’ve drawn Hillary for 20+ years, so she’s easy, that’s like I can do that in my sleep.
Dan Proft: And how do you caricature her?
Scott Stantis: Dower, she has very heavy eyes, and she’s very jowly, and she’s had some work done, but from here down it’s just McKane-ish – many, many things going on.
Dan Proft: How do you draw mannerisms like her cackle?
Scott Stantis: Here’re some inside baseball: I have been berated by – we have some older women on our editorial board who don’t like the way I draw, that she is… she has a very – this is maybe the strangest conversation you’ve had on this program – she laughs like this, and her eyes, she just looks demonic. So you draw that, it’s not hard. On the republican side, and plus, Barry. Barry - why do I keep saying Barry Sanders? - great running back; Barry Sanders, he looks like Albert Einstein’s love child; his hair is pleah, and that’s easy to draw; republican side, clearly it’s Trump; that hair.
Dan Proft: It draws itself.
Scott Stantis: To this day, I cannot understand the architecture of it.
Dan Proft: It’s a physical impossibility.
Scott Stantis: Yeah, just should not happen in nature, and yet there it is. It’s also a color. His victory speech in New Hampshire – can he get more orange? – because that was weird.
Dan Proft: He could get more orange. He got more orange in the South Carolina debate, because that red back dropped. He actually did get more orange. That’s surprising, but true.
Scott Stantis: Cruz looks like Joe McCarthy. There are similar facial features.
Dan Proft: Or Tom Rickets.
Scott Stantis: Yeah, actually. Rubio is now – have you noticed – he’s trying to do the strategic hair combing now?
Dan Proft: Yeah, because he said it’s going away.
Scott Stantis: Oh, it’s going away, so he’s doing the forward and over. See, we have editorial board meetings, and it’s very important people come in and when they leave they go like ‘What did you think of his view of monetary policy in China?’, and I go ‘Did you see his shoes?’
Dan Proft: That’s the detail that makes it fun, I guess the point is – this is my take – I never think we should treat politicians with reference. Even the politicians I like, I think they should all be lampooned; I think they all should be made fun of so that we remember that they’re not our betters; they’re just some guy who happens to be a congressman or a senator, or even the president of the United States for right now.
Scott Stantis: And he works for us.
Dan Proft: Right, and to keep a sense of proportionality that we’re not looking at them as our exalted rulers, right, but as you suggest, people who work for us. Is that your take, do you pick a favorite, like in the republican primary, or the democrat primary, and say I’m going to go after the ones I don’t like more and try to protect the ones I like a little bit more?
Scott Stantis: That’s a great question. I actually tend to – it’s odd going through my body at work – that I tend to go after republicans harder, and the reason for that is I expect them to be better. I expect them to be the grownups in the room, I expect them to be honest, I expect them to do the right thing, and when they don’t, I really get mad, I tend to just go crazy.
Dan Proft: If there are any republicans in Illinois, you could probably draw those, it’d be hard on them.
Scott Stantis: Are there any? Because… we have some that’s sort of a governor.
Dan Proft: Technically, yeah, technically we have a governor, and then there’s the governor, and then there’s the governor.
Scott Stantis: But the lieutenant governor. I guess we have one, right?
Dan Proft: It’s like a tail, it’s a vestigial organ. Yeah. Not so sure. Not sure that’s going to captivate your readers. Really sticking it to Evelyn Singuenetty – finally.
Scott Stantis: Yes. And you and I, this was from our first conversation that we ever had was me trying to understand the republicans in the state of Illinois, and how there aren’t any, how even though they’re in a super minority now in the House.
Dan Proft: And Senate.
Scott Stantis: Is there a super minority in the Senate?
Dan Proft: Oh yeah.
Scott Stantis: So why aren’t they more… what do they have to lose? Can you be – I guess you can be more minority, but it just seems, this whole cadre of that political class hoping for… they’re like the runt hyenas. That’d be funny.
Dan Proft: I feel a cartoon coming out.
Scott Stantis: We’re in the back of the pack, we’re just hoping against hope that some piece of bone or something gets flung back there, and they are so grateful. If I hear one more thing about ‘We have to work together’… Why? The democrats in the state don’t want to. They don’t want to do the right thing, they don’t want to do what obviously has to be done, and that’s what’s incredibly frustrating, is someone like me coming to this state; especially coming from Alabama, which was predominantly a democratic state when I got there, shortly after I left it’s now a republican state. It’s a good thing to see, and you mentioned it earlier in this discussion – I can’t get my hands around the politics of this place. Why do these people keep getting reelected? Why is Madigan scoring – his district, I’m told, he is very where liked; even though they can look around him and see the squalor and the destruction; the burning buildings.
Dan Proft: Here’s a cartoon idea for you. I’ll invoice you later.
Scott Stantis: I’ll take it.
Dan Proft: Banana republic – it’s a cleptocracy, and so it’s cut me in or cut it out, and Madigan cuts in his constituents, so they’re the have’s, they’re the more’s versus the less than’s, and the more’s reelect the guy who’s giving them more to the exclusion of others for certain, but that’s the whole play, and what is rent seeking behavior in gender? Not outrage, more rent seeking. Oh. I see how it works! You have to have clout, you have to know the right people, and you have to get in line so you can get your cut.
Scott Stantis: Is that number so big in this state that it allows that class to stay in the position of power for this long?
Dan Proft: Well, think about the city of Chicago? Who are the top employers in the city of Chicago?
Scott Stantis: Well, it’s got to be the city county, cops and firefighters, right?
Dan Proft: The city, close. Institutions, the city of Chicago, CPS, Cook County, the state of Illinois. Those are four of your top 6 employers. So you tell me, is there enough spoils of war to pass out? At least to pass out until the lights go out? And that’s essentially been the spoils of war model that both parties have abided since I’ve been involved in Illinois politics, since I graduated from college 20 years ago. That’s been the model, and both parties have essentially adopted the model, and so you adopt the spoils of war model, and to your point about the little hyena cubs in the back, just hoping for scraps, that’s the posture that the republicans have taken, because they adopted the underlined philosophy, that it’s about distributing the spoils of war. And someday, if we ever get the majority again, and we narrow the super-minority into minority, or even a closer minority, then we’ll get a few more scraps.
Scott Stantis: Well, that’s a sad commentary on the future of this state. It really is, and so guys like you, guys like the Illinois policy institute, others who are fighting the good fight, and are trying to do the right thing. I get the sense that we’re placed to actually move in that direction; that that argument is finally getting to action with people.
Dan Proft: Based on?
Scott Stantis: Hope.
Dan Proft: Right. Unbounded hope.
Scott Stantis: What I’m seeing, and Lou from the hockey game, the other night; I was test marketing him; we were sitting next to this guy, and you’re hearing it more and more, so people are recognizing that Madigan is not good for this state.
Dan Proft: Yeah, it’s a problem, and what was Lou's solution? Bernie Sanders.
Scott Stantis: Well, there’s that.
Dan Proft: They didn’t it was a perfect conversation, but the status quo is terrible. You know what the problem is? It’s not big enough!
Scott Stantis: It’s not status enough! Ah, Lou, Lou.
Dan Proft: Let me ask you another question about another institution that doesn’t get enough coverage in my estimation – and this might be a little bit too close to home – because it is your home, it’s the question that used to say kind of ‘What will take it, why are things the way they are?’ There’s another institution, The Fourth Estate.
Scott Stantis: Yes.
Dan Proft: Well, who watches the watchmen? Who watches the media, who lampoons the media? Who takes journalists to task when they’re complicit, when they have their own sacred cows that they protect to the exclusion of their job.
Scott Stantis: I agree!
Dan Proft: I mean, where is the – I could name names, and I’m happy to do so – but what about that, what about those internal conversations about some of the ‘news coverage’ – forget the op-ed page for a second – the ‘news coverage‘ that’s provided by the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Sun Times, the network affiliates, the Chicago media. How complicit is the Chicago media in this complex that we have here, like how complicit is the Washington Press Core in this complex that we have in DC.
Scott Stantis: Well, look at how the Washington Press Core covers this White House. It’s preposterous. It doesn’t.
Dan Proft: It’s fawning.
Scott Stantis: Well, it is fawning, and if you’re ever spending time with them, it is, it’s a strange alchemy, it’s hard to imagine. I think what you have to do is move people in and out, and unfortunately newspapers and television don’t have that person that would do that with them.
Dan Proft: We’re talking accountability mechanisms, so other than forcing people out, which is difficult – you want to talk about term limits, or you want to talk about longevity – take a look around at the political reporters in this town.
Scott Stantis: Exactly.
Dan Proft: Not exactly a bunch of cubs running around, maybe at Fox Chicago, but by large, that’s not the case, so what about those individuals and institutions as a target for your wicked pen?
Scott Stantis: It’s tough. And you did mention it; it’s a good question; and there are times that I do talk about the media, but it’s hard for me to do when they’re right down the hallway. We do keep a separation there.
Dan Proft: Is there any prohibition on a reporter who’s in the tank – maybe this is even a bit of inside industry knowledge – and taking that reporter to task, pictorially?
Scott Stantis: I don’t know, I’ve never done it, so I’m not sure that I couldn’t. I could guess that I couldn’t, to be honest.
Dan Proft: There’s only one way to find out. Do you want me to give you a list of names?
Scott Stantis: Alright. After Rahm.
Dan Proft: And it’s not just the Tribune. We’ve known this for about – look, the idea that reporters are any less transactional than politicians is folly. I know too many reporters for the last 20 years in this town to know better, so what about that? I think that this is really kind of an under-disgust topic. These are the guardians, these are the gate keepers.
Scott Stantis: I think it is, and a lot of them are very good. And a lot of them try very, very hard, but…
Dan Proft: So do a lot of politicians, so what?
Scott Stantis: Right, but you and I have our filters, they have theirs, so that’s what you’re going to get. You have it, but here and states across the country, something – which I think is wonderful that’s happening; things like Illinois News Network, is one example where people have a free option to go to someplace that doesn’t have that bias, of that perceived bias, even, if that’s what you want to do; and places like Alabama, California, there are new sites now that are cropping up all over this country, that are calling these guys on their coverage, and that can only be healthy.
Dan Proft: What’s the culture like in the Tribune, and your sense of the culture Chicago Media, more generally: is it very much like academia, where you have a certain kind of orthodoxy, and there’s so much inertia behind that orthodoxy? And even though people are tenured, so to speak, in Chicago media, like there, in Academia, there is still this group think, so for example, in Washington Press Corp, this has been tracked since 1960, anywhere between 84 and 92% of the Washington Press Corp votes for the Democrat candidate for president. So do you think coverage would be different if 84 to 92% of the Washington Press Corp. were voting for the republican nominee’s president?
Scott Stantis: Of course.
Dan Proft: So, it’s the same thing in Chicago.
Scott Stantis: Yes. And so, do you think it would be different if the majority of contributions at Harvard weren’t going to Hillary Clinton – 91%, but were going to Ted Cruz – would Harvard be different? If the majority of people in Washington Press Corp and the editorial board in this city, and the network affiliates in this city – and state – we’re voting for Bruce Rauner instead of Pat Quinn, or republican candidates for legislative office, instead of democratic candidate, would the coverage be different?
Scott Stantis: I don’t think that you could argue that it wouldn’t.
Dan Proft: Right, but this is the under-reported story, and these are the opinion shakers that drive this political culture that we all de-cry, but are we really serious about trying to expose it, be transparent about it, like you were talking in Birmingham, so that your readers and the body politic can make and form decisions and understand what’s going on, and also have some accountability mechanisms for these folks?
Scott Stantis: What accountability would you have, other than…
Dan Proft: It’s not that you’re wrong, it’s ‘Do you think you should be reporting on the story when your wife has a job in that office?’ Conflicts of interest; clear and manifest conflicts of interest, for example, do you think you should be reporting on the story when you have some other kind of business relationship or personal relationship with the subject, or the subject’s principle – this happens all the time.
Scott Stantis: Even more so now, as journalism gets more and more eroded…
Dan Proft: Oh, the relationships.
Scott Stantis: You see more and more reporters going to work for – they don’t go to work for republicans, generally.
Dan Proft: Correct, and that’s another good example, right? Any time you have a member of the Chicago media leave to go work in politics, where do they wound up? With the democrats.
Scott Stantis: Right. Again, and I’m not going to be a sycophant for these guys, but I’m going to say that a lot of them really do do a great job, and they really work hard at doing a great job.
Dan Proft: What about for the ones that don’t though? I mean if you don’t make examples of people, then the bad people – whatever percentage they represent, people that are in the tank, they get away with it- they can operate with impunity.
Scott Stantis: I think that comes to the for – and it’s becoming more and more obvious – as I said, news organizations and news providers, and just people who are generally interested in one subject or another, will bring that to the attention of the public, and so ‘Is there a mechanism that we could put in place that would take care of it?’ I don’t think so, I don’t want one. But I think people like you people – again, the Illinois News Network is one area where you can go and say ‘Here is another take on that same news story, oh, I didn’t know that’. There’s a reason why Fox is number one news network on cable television; because they are covering things differently than the traditional – certainly MSNBC, but CNN as well.
Dan Proft: No, I mean, a different angle is refreshing, and it expands the parameters of debate, but you still have this who watches the watchmen, and it’s not just those watchmen in Springfield, or Washington DC, it’s those watchmen with the pens and who buy in the old time sense of it, buy ink by the barrel.
Scott Stantis: That’s so charming.
Dan Proft: Thank you very much, yeah, over with the harkening back. So kind of last bit of business on this: with respect to the cartoons that you draw, I forget politicians or individual characters. What about on cultural issues? Death penalty, abortion, the redefinition of marriage, policy matters and cultural matter, how do you try and tackle those to take something that’s abstract and turn it into something concrete that’s meaningful for the readers.
Scott Stantis: That’s the hard part of the job, and it’s the part I love, and those are the issues I love, because those are the ones that people actually care about. Politicians, they come and go, but those issues will always be there, and how do you frame it? What do you use to frame it? Part of my job is to look at these things and say, ‘ok, this isn’t Nazi Germany’. But this also isn’t like a tea party; this is someplace - ‘a tea party’, not ‘that’ tea party.
Dan Proft: Right.
Scott Stantis: But someplace in-between, so where on that scale is it, and how do I demonstrate this, so people who see that will immediately get that this is what I’m talking about and this is my position on it. Meanwhile, on abortion, I’m prolife across I’m against euthanasia, I’m against the death penalty. But abortion, and especially the planned parenthood thing, one cartoon that got a huge reaction, was – it’s a butcher shop, and you got a fetus with parts, like rump and shoulder and all that stuff, and it says ‘so, how many parts you want?’, and it’s planning parenthood person with a…
Dan Proft: I bet that got a reaction.
Scott Stantis: That got a reaction. It got a big one, and I thought it was an important point to make. I love the blowback from that whole story, because they don’t get charged with anything, and no one said they were doing anything illegal, which in my mind makes the story that much more heinous. But that they’re charging the guy who did it because he showed a fake driver’s license or something, right? Yeah. That’s one of those issues that I tend to go off on, and I also had – what was the breast cancer Grogan who gave a lot of money to plan parenthood, and I showed the little ribbon kicking a baby into a trashcan – that got a reaction.
Dan Proft: And now, when it comes to taking on those hot button issues, is there content oversight, or is it just kind of tone and language oversight, from your editorial point, from your uptance.
Scott Stantis: Right, it’s tough, but for the most part, that’s the one area where my editor, Bruce Dold, gives me a very free hand. He seems to be actually very grateful that they have that other voice on the editorial board, on the editorial page.
Dan Proft: So it’s time – place – manner restrictions to borrow a first amendment construct. You don’t feel like you’re ever censored in terms of ‘You can’t tackle this topic area’?
Scott Stantis: No, which is great.
Dan Proft: What’s next for the Chicago Tribune, and what’s the next iteration as you’re in this very small collegial universe of cartoonists, and it may be a shrinking universe of newspapers, how do you see this playing out in five years both for cartoonists and newspapers? Or ten years?
Scott Stantis: Boy, if I knew that I don’t know what I’d be.
Dan Proft: What’s the dialogue internally in the Tribune about where we need to be versus where we are to continue to be viable.
Scott Stantis: Well, we’re going digital first, that’s the edict, and I think that’s wise to a point, although the newspaper still makes 70% or more income currently from their print edition, so getting rid of the print edition is insanity, but looking to the future, I feel… do you want a really practical thing done?
Dan Proft: Yeah.
Scott Stantis: It’s the cartoons, if you look at my cartoons today, versus, to say, five years ago, they’re much simpler, because I know that people are going to see them in 72 dpi, on their smartphones, so something as simple and practical as that
Dan Proft: Adapting to the technology, and how people consume the cartoons that you draw.
Scott Stantis: And this is one of the frustrations of dealing with newspapers. I approach my syndicate about this recently. I do a comic strip, which is usually multiple panels; why don’t we change this out a little bit, when they look on it on their phones it can run horizontally instead of vertically? Vertically instead of horizontally, the comics are traditionally like this. I’ve done it on my blog, and you can actually scroll up and read the comic like that, and it’s really very intuitive and it works really well. And they just look at me like, you know when you blow in a dog’s face? They have that same look, like ‘Okay, never mind’. Trying to move this thing in the 21st century, it’s hard.
Dan Proft: But you don’t see political cartoons and comic strips going away, I mean it’s like letters to the editor, the most well read section of the newspaper; it’s the most visited section of the newspaper. People want a little levity; they want something that crystallizes their thought, or an issue, or a personality in a picture, or in a strip.
Scott Stantis: I don’t think we go away, I think that we take different forms, and it’s a question that everyone’s asking, so I’m talking monetize that’s going forward. Is it worth having a cartoonist on staff? Should you get syndicated work? Well, almost 70% of my work is Chicago, Cook County, Illinois. They can’t get anywhere else. Part of my Scott Job protection program is doing that. Where else are they going to go for a Rahm cartoon? Where else are they going to go for a Madigan cartoon? There’s no place else for them to go. So that’s part of my plan going forward.
Dan Proft: Alright. He’s Scott Stantis, we hope that his job is protected for years to come. Chicago Tribune, political cartoonist, Scott Stantis, thanks so much for joining us.
Scott Stantis: Thanks for having me.