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

IN RECENT WEEKS, the Pittsburgh Put up-Gazette spiked a lot of cartoons by means of Rob Rogers that had been important 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 Put up-Gazette writer, John Robinson Block, nor Rogers’s supervising editor, Keith Burris, right away spoke back to Washington Put up requests Thursday for remark.

The paper’s editorial web page had more and more proven improve for Trump, in step with Rogers and the Newspaper Guild of Pittsburgh, amongst others.

Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto reacted to the sacking of Rogers with a pointy observation Thursday, pronouncing: “The transfer lately by means of the management of the Pittsburgh Put up-Gazette to fireside Rob Rogers after he drew a chain of cartoons important 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 loads of member cartoonists and different comics-industry pros, mentioned Thursday in a observation that it “is saddened by means of the inside track that our buddy and fellow member, Rob Rogers, used to be fired from his longstanding process on the Pittsburgh Put up-Gazette. The NCS helps Rob in his efforts to handle his integrity in expressing his concepts and point of view, and stands towards any type of censorship or suppression of loose speech.”

All the way through his 34 years as a political cartoonist in Pittsburgh — together with a profession on the Put up-Gazette spanning 4 supervising editors — Rogers had two to a few cartoons a yr, on moderate, killed by means of his editors.

However Rogers informed Comedian Riffs closing week that he had 19 cartoons or cool animated film concepts spiked this yr, below new manager Burris. And between Would possibly 25 and June four, now not a unmarried one in every of his cartoons used to be deemed worthy of publishing within the paper. The Put up-Gazette as an alternative printed cartoons by means of Kirk Walters of the sister paper Toledo Blade and syndicated cartoons.

Rogers’s cartoons persevered to be dispensed by means of Andrews McMeel Syndication.

Ultimate week, The Put up requested Rogers whether or not he could be disregarded. “I will’t in point of fact discuss that facet,” mentioned Rogers, who at that time used to be taking private days off and anticipating a answer with control.

In the meantime, John Robinson Block, the Put up-Gazette’s writer and editor in leader, informed The Put up closing week in a observation: “That is an inside, body of workers topic we’re operating laborious to unravel. It has little to do with politics, ideology or Donald Trump. It has most commonly to do with operating in combination and the enhancing procedure.”

The Pittsburgh mayor spoke to the bigger political backdrop of Rogers’s firing: “That is exactly the time when the constitutionally secure loose press — together with critics like Rob Rogers — will have to be celebrated and supported, and now not fired for doing their jobs. This choice, simply someday after the President of america mentioned 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 observation persevered. “That hasn’t ever stopped him from publishing cartoons which are important of me, of my coverage positions, or of my movements (or inactions) in place of job. He’s even made a laugh of my weight. However he is likely one of the absolute best on the earth at his time-honored craft, and I do know other people of all political persuasions stand with me in improve of him, although the Pittsburgh Put up-Gazette regrettably does now not.”

The Newspaper Guild of The usa of Pittsburgh mentioned that “Rob Rogers is a real ability we had been venerated to grasp as a colleague and buddy. He deserved a lot better remedy.”

The guild mentioned in its statement that the one obvious transgression by means of Rogers — a previous Pulitzer Prize finalist — used to be “doing his process.” The union additionally pointed to “the brand new order of the Put up-Gazette editorial pages” reflecting the “pro-Trump, pro-conservative orthodoxy” of the writer and editorial director.

The NCS mentioned 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 may recognize his distinctive presents.”

Learn extra:

Pittsburgh Put up-Gazette cartoonist is seeing many anti-Trump cartoons spiked

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