For all the talk of “freedom of speech” that conservatives like to do — with their claims of being “silenced” on Twitter or “filtered” on Facebook, despite all evidence to the contrary — they sure don’t seem to like it a whole lot. Matter of fact, dear readers, if you were privy to the hate mail that we get on the Facebook page for this website, you would see a collection of the biggest snowflakes this side of a Maine blizzard, insisting that we stop putting our content on “their” Facebook timeline.
Now imagine what an actual newspaper must endure in the way of angry correspondence from irate conservatives who insist that rather than change the channel or turn the page, content they deem offensive must simply stop existing. Especially when a newspaper is the first run for the editorial cartoons and op-ed articles that often find their way onto social media in the form of viral tirades and memes.
In Trump’s America, the solution is simple: Take away press credentials. Declare “fake news.” Get people fired.
In the case of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the solution was even easier — for conservatives to simply buy the 232-year-old newspaper and turn it into something akin to Breitbart or Fox News or the editorial pages of the Wall Street Journal.
So when Block Communications, the owner of the nearby Ohio paper the Toledo Blade, took over the PG, as it’s known, they merged the editorial pages of the two papers — an undertaking none had tried before. The new overseer of the political revolution in Pittsburgh’s largest daily newspaper, Keith Burris, shortly after penned an editorial published in the PG called “Reason As Racism” — a stunningly racist opinion piece that was nearly universally reviled by other newspapers of record — and had the unmitigated gall to attribute it to the “Editorial Board” of the Post-Gazette.
And through it all, the writers warred with the management, but it seemed that the owners were willing to suffer differing opinions.
All except for one cartoonist, Rob Rogers. Rogers has drawn so many cartoons that you would recognize as having seen in other papers and around the web, with a style so remarkably unique, that it will shock you to find out this is — or was — his home newspaper.
Today, Rob announced on Twitter that after 25 years with the paper, after months of back and forth with the storied publication — the paper refusing to run six of his cartoons in a row, four critical of the president — he’s been fired for drawing one too many anti-Trump cartoons.
Sad to report this update: Today, after 25 years as the editorial cartoonist for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, I was fired.
— Rob Rogers (@Rob_Rogers) June 14, 2018
Just the same as the stories you’ve heard of regular folks getting fired over Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders bumper stickers, same as you hear of NFL players being told they’ll be punished for protesting the victimization of black children killed by zealous cops, same as you watch Donald Trump or Sarah Sanders or Ronna Romney McDaniel tell the world that to disagree with this administration is tantamount to treason.
Rob, we hope you find post Post success. We’ll keep reading.
Featured image via New Century Times Gallery