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Pittsburgh Post-Gazette fires anti-Trump cartoonist, and mayor says it sends 'wrong message about press freedoms'

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Considered one of Rob Rogers’s completed cartoons that have been lately killed through his Pittsburgh Submit-Gazette editors. (Rob Rogers / Andrews McMeel 2018)

IN RECENT WEEKS, the Pittsburgh Submit-Gazette spiked a large number of cartoons through Rob Rogers that have been vital of President Trump, as The Washington Post reported last week.

On Thursday, Post-Gazette management resolved the matter by firing Rogers, who had been the paper’s political cartoonist for a quarter-century.

Rogers tweeted word of his dismissal Thursday afternoon.

Neither the Submit-Gazette writer, John Robinson Block, nor Rogers’s supervising editor, Keith Burris, in an instant responded to Washington Submit requests Thursday for remark.

The paper’s editorial web page had an increasing number of proven give a boost to for Trump, consistent with Rogers and the Newspaper Guild of Pittsburgh, amongst others.

Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto reacted to the sacking of Rogers with a pointy commentary Thursday, pronouncing: “The transfer nowadays through the management of the Pittsburgh Submit-Gazette to fireplace Rob Rogers after he drew a sequence of cartoons vital of President Trump is disappointing, and sends the flawed message about press freedoms in a time when they’re below siege.”

The Nationwide Cartoonists Society, which represents masses of member cartoonists and different comics-industry pros, stated Thursday in a commentary that it “is saddened through the inside track that our good friend and fellow member, Rob Rogers, was once fired from his longstanding process on the Pittsburgh Submit-Gazette. The NCS helps Rob in his efforts to take care of his integrity in expressing his concepts and perspective, and stands towards any type of censorship or suppression of loose speech.”

All through his 34 years as a political cartoonist in Pittsburgh — together with a occupation on the Submit-Gazette spanning 4 supervising editors — Rogers had two to 3 cartoons a yr, on moderate, killed through his editors.

However Rogers informed Comedian Riffs closing week that he had 19 cartoons or caricature concepts spiked this yr, below new manager Burris. And between Might 25 and June four, now not a unmarried one among his cartoons was once deemed worthy of publishing within the paper. The Submit-Gazette as an alternative printed cartoons through Kirk Walters of the sister paper Toledo Blade and syndicated cartoons.

Rogers’s cartoons endured to be allotted through Andrews McMeel Syndication.

Closing week, The Submit requested Rogers whether or not he may well be disregarded. “I will’t actually speak about that side,” stated Rogers, who at that time was once taking non-public days off and looking ahead to a answer with control.

In the meantime, John Robinson Block, the Submit-Gazette’s writer and editor in leader, informed The Submit closing week in a commentary: “That is an inner, workforce topic we’re running exhausting to unravel. It has little to do with politics, ideology or Donald Trump. It has most commonly to do with running in combination and the modifying procedure.”

The Pittsburgh mayor spoke to the bigger political backdrop of Rogers’s firing: “That is exactly the time when the constitutionally safe loose press — together with critics like Rob Rogers — must be celebrated and supported, and now not fired for doing their jobs. This resolution, simply sooner or later after the President of the US stated the inside track media is ‘Our Nation’s greatest enemy,’ units a low usual within the 232-year historical past of the newspaper.

“I’ve identified Rob a very long time,” Peduto’s commentary endured. “That hasn’t ever stopped him from publishing cartoons which are vital of me, of my coverage positions, or of my movements (or inactions) in place of work. He’s even made amusing of my weight. However he is likely one of the highest on the planet at his time-honored craft, and I do know other folks of all political persuasions stand with me in give a boost to of him, although the Pittsburgh Submit-Gazette regrettably does now not.”

The Newspaper Guild of The usa of Pittsburgh stated that “Rob Rogers is a real skill we have been venerated to understand as a colleague and good friend. He deserved a lot better remedy.”

The guild stated in its statement that the one obvious transgression through Rogers — a previous Pulitzer Prize finalist — was once “doing his process.” The union additionally pointed to “the brand new order of the Submit-Gazette editorial pages” reflecting the “pro-Trump, pro-conservative orthodoxy” of the writer and editorial director.

The NCS stated that Rogers is “an excessively gifted cartoonist and we’re assured that he’ll discover a new house for his artwork at a e-newsletter that can recognize his distinctive items.”

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