PITTSBURGH — A longtime newspaper cartoonist who says his work has been banished from the editorial page lately because of “political differences” with his editors says he’s been fired. Rob Rogers tweeted Thursday he’s been fired after 25 years as the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s editorial cartoonist.
The paper has declined to run many of his cartoons in recent months.
Rogers told CBS Pittsburgh political editor Jon Delano last week that 19 of his ideas and cartoons have been rejected since March.
Rogers said he was willing to cooperate with the publisher “to a degree,” but he wouldn’t draw cartoons he disagreed with, the station reported.
The Association of American Editorial Cartoonists recently issued a statement linking Rogers’ situation to “the recent arrival of a Trump-supporting editorial page editor.”
Keith Burris became the paper’s editorial director in March. Burris did not immediately return a call and email seeking comment. A message left with publisher John Block wasn’t immediately returned.
Block told The Washington Post last week the matter “had little to do with politics” or Mr. Trump but primarily involved the editing process.
Mayor Bill Peduto released the following statement in response to Rogers’ firing:
“The move today by the leadership of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette to fire Rob Rogers after he drew a series of cartoons critical of President Trump is disappointing, and sends the wrong message about press freedoms in a time when they are under siege.
This is precisely the time when the constitutionally-protected free press – including critics like Rob Rogers – should be celebrated and supported, and not fired for doing their jobs. 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.
I’ve known Rob a long time. That has never stopped him from publishing cartoons that are critical of me, of my policy positions, or of my actions (or inactions) in office. He’s even made fun of my weight. But he is one of the best in the world at his time-honored craft, and I know people of all political persuasions stand with me in support of him, even if the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette regrettably does not.”