Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Why the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Won't Run Its Editorial Cartoonist's Cartoons

You can do something about this.

Award winning editorial cartoonist and friend Rob Rogers is being told what to do OR ELSE by the corporate-friendly right wing powers-that-be at his paper, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The paper has  not printed seventeen of his cartoons since Memorial Day. 

Here's his friend Steve Brodner with more information, some caricatures of the publisher and his editor/VP, four of the recent Rob Rogers cartoons that they won't run, and a call to action. Take it away, Steve:

This is a story of the slow bleeding to near death of one of the great editorial cartoon careers in the country and also, more broadly, the loss of decency in positions of power as the Trump Effect gives people everywhere license to exhibit long-held authoritarian, nationalist and racist tendencies.

Rob Rogers, editorial cartoonist for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, is one of the best in the world. His gifts are very special. I have called him the Venus fly trap because his toons are immediately entertaining and then, on further inspection, reveal insight and power. He has won just about all the awards the field has to offer. And, as it happens, is as decent and honest a person as you will find in this or any field.

For the last ten years his publisher JR Block, a conservative man from a publishing family, which owns the Toledo Blade, has had a respectful hands-off approach to Rob’s work. Since the election of Trump that all has changed. Block has changed. With the currents of anti-immigration, attacks on the constitution, media, courts and apologies for racism, people everywhere, Mr. Block in particular have become emboldened, like the Republican Party to walk and talk like Trump.

Not long ago Block hired editor Keith Burris, whose achievements include a widely derided editorial defending Trump’s “shithole” defamation of Haiti and other needy and developing countries. This would be the man now overseeing the work of Rob Rogers. You can pretty much write the rest.  
I don't know what Rogers’ options are at this point. One would doubt the capacity of these trends to turn themselves around. But it is, to me, the job of the graphic arts, media community and the nation at large to raise its voice as one in protest. Freedom of speech is established for cartoonists and columnists as a given. They are not subject to fashion. The right of artists and writers to remain free, especially in times of constitutional crisis must be inviolate. The absolute worse thing now would be silence surrounding the silencing of Rob Rogers.

I urge everyone who cares abut the first amendment, especially now under this siege, to email Keith Burris and the Gazette editorial letters page 412-263-1100 and speak out. While we still can.

Godspeed Rob Rogers.

My portraits of Burris and Block (above) are followed by Rogers' recent censored cartoons that need to be seen. Please share. And give 'em Hell.…/pittsburgh-post-gazette-editorial-page-not……/donald-trump-political-cartoons-pit……/rob-rogers-pittsburgh-pos…/index.html

1 comment:

Anon A. Mus said...

Like this is the first time this has not happened. Yes, Trump is an ass. But the censorship extended to all the presidential ass before him. Obama certainly didn't get a free card.