Pittsburgh Post Gazette

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In June 2018, the Post Gazette fired its long-time editorial cartoonist, Rob Rogers, a previous Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning finalist who had worked at the paper for 25 years, having joined the paper in 1993 and worked under four supervising editors. The firing came in the context of increasing support for President Donald Trump and political conservatism on the Post-Gazette editorial page. Pittsburgh mayor William Peduto (who was both a friend of Rogers' and had been lampooned in his cartoons) called the paper's firing of Rogers "disappointing" and said it sent "the wrong message about press freedoms. " The firing was strongly criticized by the Newspaper Guild of Pittsburgh and the National Cartoonists Society. The Association of American Editorial Cartoonists said in a statement: "It's as simple as this: Rogers was fired for refusing to do cartoons extolling Trump. Let that sink in. " The paper said that Rogers' dismissal "has little to do with politics, ideology or Donald Trump" but did not provide details. Rogers wrote in the New York Times that the paper's new management had decided, in the lead-up to his firing, that his cartoons satirizing Trump "were 'too angry. '" Rogers said that while editors had previously rejected (or "spiked") an average of two to three of his cartoons each year, under a new supervisor he had 19 cartoons or cartoon ideas killed in the first six months of 2018. Four months later after Rogers was fired, the Post-Gazette hired conservative editorial cartoonist Steve Kelley as Roger's replacement. After being fired, Rogers' comics continued to be published through Andrews McMeel Syndication. As a freelancer, Rogers was named as a finalist for the 2019 Pulitzer Prize in editorial cartooning, with the committee citing his "provocative illustrations that channeled cultural and historical references with expert artistry and an eye for hypocrisy and injustice. "

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