Friday, June 15, 2018

Editorial Cartoonist Rob Rogers Fired; Please Fire the Post Gazette Back

A day after President Trump tweeted that the news media is "our country's biggest enemy," Pittsburgh Post Gazette editorial director Keith Burris fired editorial cartoonist Rob Rogers.

Anne Telnaes via Twitter:

An American editorial cartoonist was first muzzled, and now fired for his cartoons criticizing President Trump.

Steve Brodner from his Facebook page:

Rob Rogers was fired today. Time to stay loud. This is the march of the fascists, taking one more beach. Give them Hell.

Email, Editor Burris:, call the paper, ask to speak to the editorial page editor, 412 263 1100.

The Toonseum, despite its building being shuttered, is still “at large.” Here’s their very, very calm response. It’s a mistake. It should have been very angry. Rob was a board member and former president of the cartoon museum.

Cartooning and journalism share a history of intermittent publishing restrictions meant to limit their reach and power; they also share a spirit of resilience and perseverance that sustains the American tenets of free speech and the right to speak truth to power and keep the public well-informed.

The ToonSeum supports its former president Rob Rogers and his artwork, which has always managed to engage audiences with humor throughout difficult conversations, respected the humanity of subjects during tumultuous circumstances, and called for those in power to wield it with dignity and fairness.

Rob’s work contributes to our intellectual and cultural landscape and should continue to be published. It’s our most sincere wish that his work finds a new and deserving home in Pittsburgh that fully respects his talent and opinions.

~ The Board and Staff of The ToonSeum

 I wrote this is response:

This is all too kind and calm. The Toonseum is in a leadership position here. Why not advocate? Why not shout that this is wrong? Why not remind people that they have a voice and they can use it? Dammit, Rob was a guiding light, a past president and board member. Stand up. Fight. What do you have to lose? Email, Editor Keith Burris:, and/or call the paper, ask to speak to the editorial page editor, 412 263-1100.

EDIT: The ToonSeum responded to me on their Facebook page:

The ToonSeum is an advocate and resource for all cartoonists and comics creators in the Pittsburgh region and beyond. As an organization, we exist to run counter to this narrative that's unfolded. Rob's job at the Post-Gazette (much like Charlie Dietch's was at The Pittsburgh City Paper) - was ultimately to speak plainly and truthfully (and cleverly!) about the issues of the day, and not to win popularity contests. His influence serves to guide us even now, which shows how effective he remains.

The ToonSeum is likewise committed to remaining calm and kind in its advocacy of all well as resolute. Advocacy also takes many forms. We're not here to win popularity contests; we're here to make the world better.

There's a time and place to shout, but your voice lasts longer when you engage in conversations.

More coverage:

Huffington Post
American Association of Editorial Cartoonists

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