Anti-Trump cartoons gets an editorial cartoonist fired

Is this editorial cartoon over the top?

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette must think so. It’s fired the editorial cartoonist who drew it after a prolonged dispute over Rob Rogers’ anti-Trump editorial cartoons it refused to publish.

His bosses spiked six cartoons in May and June, according to TribLive.com. The Columbia Journalism Review says 19 Rogers cartoons were killed since early spring.

His colleagues are not happy.

CNN’s Jake Tapper suggests the fix was in.

“This is precisely the time when the constitutionally-protected free press — including critics like Rob Rogers — should be celebrated and supported,” the mayor of Pittsburgh said in a statement. “This decision, just one day after the President of the United States said the news media is ‘Our Country’s biggest enemy.’ sets a low standard in the 232-year history of the newspaper.”

“There was never a problem before but with the new order of the Post-Gazette editorial pages, it seems that those who do not follow the pro-Trump, pro-conservative orthodoxy of the publisher and editorial director are of no use,” the Newspaper Guild of Pittsburgh said.

  • >>Is this editorial cartoon over the top?<<

    No, of course not. It's not even close to "the top" let alone "over" it.

    I guess there must be no showing The Great Leader in an unfavorable light…

  • MikeB

    The oligarchy and the autocrats are ruling now. We ain’t what we used to be

  • Bridget L.

    I knew it as soon as I heard about it yesterday that those running the show had some connection to Trump. I hope he continues doing what he does.

  • Gary F

    What is so different about these compared to the ones published in the last year and a half? They just seem par for the course.

    And newspapers are wondering why circulation is down.

    • They’re down because why, again? Trump’s popularity rating has gone down nationwide so in a market that voted for him, it’s unlikely it’s a backlash. More likely? The boss.

      • Jerry

        Judging by people I know, I’d say they are down because the Promotions Department, the Billing Department, and the Delivary Department are not good at communicating with each other.

    • Rob

      Gadzooks, Gary! You put your finger exactly on the problem – editorial cartoonists telling it like it is regarding this administration’s incompetence and cruelty are to blame for the drop in newspaper circulation. (Eye roll)

    • RBHolb

      The official word from the editor was that he wanted him to be more balanced, and funnier.

      A person expressing their own opinion must be prepared to express opinions with which they don’t agree, it seems.

      • merry_rose

        In other words, quit picking on the obvious target (even though he desperately needs it). “Why aren’t you making fun of the people who keep opposing the president when he acts like the dictator he wants to be? Oops, I didn’t say dictator. I said leader.”

  • ec99

    Political cartoonists have always been a stone in the shoe; that’s their job, going back before Nast. I remember when the GF Herald put Doonesbury on the op/ed page. My only question would be, was he equally irreverent with previous administrations?

    • I guess the question is whether the scandals of the Obama administration were equal to the ones in the Trump administration.

      But it’s worth noting that to balance Sack, the Strib calls on other editorial cartoonists. You wouldn’t ask George Will to write more liberal columns, you’d simply fill the space with a liberal columnist for balance.

      • ec99

        I’d say Will is pretty free with his criticism of many, regardless of party or ideology.

      • Jerry

        Ugh, nobody wants to read Mallard Fillmore

        • LOL, man, that “comic” was brutal…

          • Jerry

            I mean, it’s not like Doonsbury has been particularly funny since maybe the early ’90s, but it was at least good at one time.

          • Rob

            I humbly beg to differ. I still get a good chuckle from the Sunday strip.

          • Jerry

            I liked it better when it focused more on the characters like Mike and B.D. and less on politics. Needs less Roland Headley.

          • Rob

            Most every Doonesbury strip has political content; sometimes it’s just more pointed. But I wouldn’t miss Roland Headley either.

          • Then follow https://twitter.com/RealRBHJr – No, wait…

          • Jack

            This past Sunday’s was especially excellent

      • Black Star Ranch

        LOL….George Will couldn’t possibly write any MORE liberal columns than he does. “On crime, Will is opposed to the death penalty. He thinks that higher incarceration rates make the populace safer.” (wiki) Doesn’t death to the criminal also make the peops safer?

        • The right wingers of yesterday are the liberals of today without changing a bit.

        • lindblomeagles

          With all due respect Black Star, George Will isn’t about to call himself a liberal. He’s what you would call a “Compassionate Conservative,” which, ironically, is what Ronald Reagan was alleged to have been. Maybe Will hasn’t changed since the Days of Reagan. Maybe it’s you that has changed. Maybe you are more far right than Reagan was. And I mean this with all due respect BSR. It’s quite possible George Will hasn’t changed at all, but that the definition of what you believe is conservative isn’t what it used to be.

      • lindblomeagles

        Folks, Bob’s right. As a matter of fact, if any of you are interested, the Washington Post’s web page features 3 conservative view points and, right across from those, 3 liberal ones, for, as Bob accurately described it, balance. Striking the cartoon for political reasons is what dictators demand, dictators like (wait for it), Xi in China, Kim in Korea, and Putin in Russia. And no, I’m not being sarcastic or joking either.

  • The Resistance

    This is outrageous and yet completely predictable. But we can do something about it.

    Contact your congressperson to let them know your feelings about the president calling the free press the enemy. Let them know how it will affect your participation in the midterm elections.

    Subscribe. If you complain about the press but aren’t paying anything for it you are part of the problem. If you are an MPR junkie or commenting on Newscut, be a sustaining member. If you don’t want to subscribe, support reporters. You can do that at rsf.org or cpj.org.

    Vary your new sources. If you’re only consuming advocacy journalism, check out mainstream media. If you are a liberal, take a look at The Weekly Standard. If you only read US news, check out Der Spiegel International, or the English version of any foreign news site. Know what news others are consuming, especially those that don’t share your values.

    Institutions that are key to sustaining democracy get co-opted by undemocratic forces unless they are defended. They don’t protect themselves. Complaining about them but not defending them is one of the ways we passively drift toward authoritarianism.

    And it can happen so much faster than any of us imagines it can.

  • Black Star Ranch

    Just another case of “biting the hand that feeds you”. In this case the paper did the biting and the bitee is no longer being fed.

    • lindblomeagles

      That’s not exactly what is happening here BSR. As Bob illustrated, the cartoonist poked fun at Obama AND Hillary Clinton, which the Post Gazette enjoyed. What they found offensive is poking fun at Trump. Remember, IT’S THE PRESS’S JOB TO ALLOW COMMENTS IT DOESN’T NECESSARILY AGREE WITH. As a matter of fact, that’s what conservatives found offensive about journalism in the past, that the press wasn’t allowing conservative voices to be heard. Here, this is clearly a conservative voice drowning out a liberal leaning one (and we really can’t say the cartoonist was liberal given he went after Obama and Clinton). So this isn’t about biting the hand that feeds you. This is about the same kind of thing Saddam Hussein used to do in Iraq, which is kill people that literally did not support him. I know you very well BSR. You couldn’t stand Saddam Hussein and wanted him eliminated. So, if the Post Gazette is sending the message you won’t be heard if you criticize Trump, and you’re okay with that, then . . . . . . . .

  • lindblomeagles

    In all honesty, the cartoonist’s two drawings here capture (wait for it) a somewhat realistic viewpoint. Kim has a long list of people he’s killed (one was presumably a relative in Malaysia), and North Korea’s Human Rights’ Record is one of the worst ones in the developed world. The second cartoon is even more realistic than the first. Trump, himself, was quoted as saying “taking children from illegal border crossing aliens gave him more leverage in the fight against immigration.” I don’t know how anybody can argue against the cartoonist’s drawings here.

  • AmiSchwab

    making fun if great leader , fill in dictator of choice, not allowed. trump has succeeded