Jerm: neither left-wing nor right-wing but the middle-finger

by Herman Manson (@marklives) When the cup is half full, its hard being a satirist, as Jeremy Nell, who works under the name Jerm, found out.

Nell, until recently the cartoonist for The New Age, had his contract terminated by editor Moegsien Williams because, says Nell, his political cartoons were, according to Williams at least, not “aligned with the paper’s vision and mission.”

The New Age, funded by the politically connected Gupta family, launched “to focus on the positive side of news,” according to its own website, and this has been construed by critics as being pro-government. Williams is the paper’s fourth editor in two years.

Nell says initially news of his effective firing from The New Age didn’t generate much attention from mainstream media (there was quite a bit of outrage in social media circles) until Zapiro took up his cause in a cartoon that takes the mickey out of the New Age editors.

Justin Bieber in a penis suit just another day in the office for ZANews

by Herman Manson (@marklives) I’m trying to figure out what the two, ahem, balls attached to the front of the fluffy pink bunny suit could possibly indicate.

“Oh – that was for our Halloween edition. It’s a penis and we put Justin Bieber in it,” says a voice from somewhere to my right.

I’m in the costume room of the only in show in SA that would feature a giant penis sporting the Bieber’s face on air – or as the ZANews website puts it ” the only news show more ghastly than the SABC.” It’s ZANews producer Thierry Cassuto and his teams’ literal take on the boy-man as an over-exposed sex symbol.

ZANews is the satirical puppet show produced online and for TopTV by Cassuto and his team. Jonathan Shapiro (Zapiro) is a business partner in the venture. The day before this interview ZANews won the ‘Best Editorial Team’ category, amongst others, at the digital industry award show the Bookmarks Awards.

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