Pittsburgh paper spikes work of longtime editorial cartoonist

Readers of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette have been denied one of its regular features, with the work of veteran editori...

Posted: Jun 5, 2018 11:52 AM
Updated: Jun 5, 2018 11:52 AM

Readers of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette have been denied one of its regular features, with the work of veteran editorial cartoonist Rob Rogers relegated from the newspaper's pages to his own social media feeds.

Rogers' cartoons haven't been published in the Post-Gazette since May 24, when he sketched a critique on the inaction of the Republican-controlled Congress. Since then, the paper has run the work of syndicated artists. Rogers, meanwhile, has continued to draw, posting his last several cartoons on Facebook, Twitter and his personal website.

No explanation has been given for Rogers' absence from the paper. Post-Gazette executive editor David Shribman and editorial director Keith Burris did not respond to a request for comment.

Rogers, who has been with the Post-Gazette since 1993 and has drawn in Pittsburgh for more than 30 years, told CNN in an email that he could not comment on the situation, but he did confirm that he is still employed by the paper.

"I am drawing for tomorrow but I am not sure what will become of that one yet," he said.

Rogers has offered some clues on social media about his absence. On Thursday, he used his pen to ridicule Roseanne Barr's explanation for her racist Twitter tirade. The cartoon depicted a Klansman asking a doctor, "Could it be the Ambien?"

"Another killed cartoon," wrote Rogers. "4th in a row."

The number climbed to six on Sunday, with Rogers' latest cartoon that took aim at President Trump's recent comments on pardons.

Rogers' work veers left, which has prompted speculation in the local press that he has been sidelined over ideological differences with the paper's leadership. In January, the Post-Gazette ran a non-bylined editorial that took on critics who have called Trump a racist.

"Calling someone a racist is the new McCarthyism," the editorial read. "The charge is pernicious. The accuser doesn't need to prove it. It simply hangs over the accused like a great human stain.

"If Donald Trump is called a racist for saying some nations are 'shit**** countries,' does that help pass a 'Dreamers' bill to keep gifted young people in this nation - people who have something to give the United States and are undocumented only because they were brought here by their parents illegally?" it added.

The piece drew a backlash, including from Post-Gazette staff members.

Burris told the Yale student newspaper that he and John Robinson Block, the publisher of both the Post-Gazette and the Toldeo Blade, has several discussions about the use of the word "racist" prior to publishing the editorial.

"It is our mission to make people think, and sometimes you have to risk offending people to make people think. The whole point of opinion journalism is to provoke thought," he said.

In 2016, Block was photographed with Trump, and the Toledo Blade reported that year that he and Burris spent time with Trump on the president's plane following a campaign rally in Toledo.

In April, a month after he was promoted to an executive position at both papers, Burris wrote what he called a "primer on opinion writing."

"I admit that in many newspapers today, the detachment and coolness of traditional, straightforward news reporting has been compromised. In my mind that is a pernicious thing," he wrote. "News reporters should not opine or analyze. Even off duty. And especially not on TV."
He added: "I do not tell news editors what to write and news editors do not tell me or the opinion writers who work with me what to write."

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 663511

Reported Deaths: 12633
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion908511647
Lake48510882
Allen35951638
Hamilton32138398
St. Joseph30096513
Elkhart25423417
Vanderburgh21283379
Tippecanoe20096203
Johnson16380360
Porter16009272
Hendricks15855300
Clark11999181
Madison11764319
Vigo11636230
Monroe10363163
Delaware9854179
LaPorte9790197
Howard9075198
Kosciusko8574111
Bartholomew7479147
Warrick7430151
Hancock7418132
Floyd7226170
Wayne6645192
Grant6437157
Boone610389
Morgan6103125
Dubois5923111
Dearborn549068
Cass545899
Marshall5432105
Henry542593
Noble510178
Jackson465167
Shelby461490
Lawrence4189113
Gibson401781
Harrison401064
Clinton396553
Montgomery388483
DeKalb386478
Miami357663
Knox357585
Whitley349837
Huntington346277
Steuben339255
Wabash332376
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Ripley327762
Adams323949
Jasper317043
White297452
Jefferson295474
Daviess285596
Fayette271956
Decatur271088
Greene261680
Posey261431
Wells258575
Scott251250
Clay241544
LaGrange241270
Randolph225576
Spencer218030
Jennings215744
Washington212127
Sullivan203639
Fountain201842
Starke188451
Owen182853
Fulton179337
Jay178328
Carroll176519
Perry173435
Orange171150
Rush165322
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Franklin159535
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Parke139416
Pike127833
Blackford120727
Pulaski106744
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Brown95139
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Martin80214
Warren75814
Switzerland7558
Union67310
Ohio53911
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Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 972605

Reported Deaths: 16750
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1123671214
Cuyahoga961861832
Hamilton735721034
Montgomery47359903
Summit40384802
Butler35577505
Lucas35489685
Stark29456803
Warren22464271
Lorain22068414
Mahoning19509537
Lake18445318
Clermont18425201
Delaware16499116
Licking15022189
Fairfield14563180
Trumbull14369413
Greene13595218
Medina13423226
Clark12288248
Wood11575163
Portage11050164
Allen10793216
Richland10316183
Miami10035189
Muskingum8195112
Columbiana8151200
Pickaway8067107
Tuscarawas8054227
Marion7996125
Wayne7886193
Erie6914140
Ross6152128
Geauga6083136
Hancock6006116
Ashtabula5978152
Scioto596280
Lawrence527118
Union513537
Darke5036114
Belmont496659
Huron4825107
Jefferson4806107
Sandusky4780108
Seneca4702107
Washington465791
Athens465047
Mercer458780
Auglaize456180
Shelby441679
Knox4037101
Putnam399390
Madison393553
Fulton380658
Ashland380581
Defiance372583
Brown369844
Crawford358396
Logan355772
Preble353678
Clinton340852
Highland328349
Ottawa324369
Williams302662
Jackson290545
Champaign288149
Guernsey287844
Perry269847
Fayette269141
Morrow260334
Henry246658
Hardin245858
Holmes243293
Coshocton237454
Van Wert229854
Gallia222631
Adams217036
Pike215626
Wyandot210447
Hocking194554
Carroll181341
Paulding160530
Meigs135730
Noble129233
Monroe117027
Morgan101119
Harrison100624
Vinton76613
Unassigned00
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