The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette fired longtime editorial cartoonist Rob Rogers. The newspaper had killed several of his cartoons, “most” of which were critical of Pres. Donald Trump.
Rogers announced the firing on Twitter, writing, “after 25 years as the editorial cartoonist for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, I was fired.” Last week, he tweeted that he was taking “some vacation days until issues with the Post-Gazette are resolved.”
Rogers told the Washington Post that the newspaper had killed ten cartoons and nine ideas in the past few months. “While most of the killed cartoons or ideas were [directly] critical of President Trump, there were also some dealing with the NFL kneeling policy, issues of racism and the FBI,” he told the Post.
The newspaper’s publisher and editor-in-chief John Robinson Block, however, claimed it was an “internal, personnel matter,” not political. “It has little to do with politics, ideology or Donald Trump. It has mostly to do with working together and the editing process,” Block told the Post.
iMediaEthics has written to both Rogers and the Post-Gazette to ask why Rogers was fired and for more information.
The Post-Gazette‘s own news story on Rogers’ firing quoted from Post-Gazette chief human resources officer Stephen Spolar who said:
“The Post-Gazette does not provide details about employment matters, but in light of Mr. Rogers’ public comments today, we do want to acknowledge his long service to the newspaper and our community. Any further discussions will be conducted with Mr. Rogers as a private matter.”
The paper also cited Rogers’ statement which read in part that the newspaper “changed dramatically and abruptly in recent months.”
“I fear that today’s unjustified firing of a dissenting voice on the editorial pages will only serve to diminish an opinion section that was once one of America’s best,” he said in part. “I love what I do and will continue to find ways do it and get it out there. The world needs satire now more than ever.”
I can't get into specifics here, but I felt that it was best under the circumstances to take some vacation days until issues with the Post-Gazette are resolved.
I can't thank you enough for your support.
— Rob Rogers (@Rob_Rogers) June 6, 2018
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