As if things couldn’t get weirder in the world of news and politics, the largest daily newspaper in Pittsburgh fired their editorial cartoonist… for cartooning editorials.
Ironically, Rob Rogers has been drawing political satire in Pittsburgh since 1984.
After graduating from CMU with a master’s degree in fine arts, Mr. Rogers (not the Mr. Rogers!) penned editorial cartoons for the Pittsburgh Press until 1993, then at the Post-Gazette for the past 25 years.
For obvious reasons, much of Rob’s recent work has been related to the current presidential administration. He is a political satirist after all.
After having six Trump-related cartoons rejected by the newspaper’s editorial director, a series of tweets lead up to today:
“I want to thank all my friends, family, colleagues, fans and readers from Pittsburgh and beyond. Your outpouring of support and well-wishes have buoyed my spirits immensely.”
On June 12th, this was posted from his account:
“I just wanted to let all my readers know that I am still taking personal days off until my employment status at the paper is resolved. Thank you for your continued support.”
Two days later he posted:
“Sad to report this update: Today, after 25 years as the editorial cartoonist for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, I was fired.”
Did the Post-Gazette fire Rob Rogers for doing the job he was hired to do?
Despite backlash from readers, other journalists, and even the mayor, the Post-Gazette is getting more attention than they’ve had in a long time. They have learned well from the subject of the cartoons they sought to squash: any press is good covfefe.
“Good publicity is preferable to bad, but from a bottom-line perspective, bad publicity is sometimes better than no publicity at all. Controversy, in short, sells.” -Donald Trump,
The morons at the PG did Rob Rogers an incredible favor by firing him from the increasingly irrelevant publication. His work will be known and appreciated by more people after today. This is a yuge opportunity for him to expand beyond the Burgh and reach a worldwide audience. He’s going to make a lot of money. Millions and billions. Believe us.
We can’t wait to find out if he draws a cartoon about being fired.
PA “At-Will” Employment
Pennsylvania has something called at-will employment that gives employers the right to fire workers for almost any reason. The Post-Gazette knows all about this after printing: Workers can be fired for any reason or no reason — not an illegal reason. The labor law expert they interviewed made it very clear:
“An employer can fire, suspend or fail to promote an employee for any reason or no reason at all, so long as it’s not an illegal reason.”
Maybe they don’t want you around because of your race, sexual orientation, religion or political leaning, but it’s illegal to terminate someone for those reasons. So they create an environment that’s impossible to function in. They reject your ideas and work. They make life a living hell until you quit – and when you endure it and refuse to quit, they fire you.
The magic sentence that lets them get away with it: “Unwilling to collaborate.”
This is subjective and almost impossible to prove. What does “collaborate” even mean? How is it measured? It’s not meant to be measured, it’s a loophole. Even with labor laws in their favor, companies look for ways to protect themselves from backfire or wrongful termination claims.
This is exactly what Rob Rogers’ ex-boss said was the reason for letting him go.
Fire and Fury!
Check out the official Rob Rogers site here and follow him on Twitter here. Spread the word by sharing this post on your social media accounts, blogs, and vlogs. The Post-Gazette barely provides any instructions on how to cancel a subscription, but you can start by contacting them here.
Here is the Post-Gazette’s own fake news article about the firing.
Things with my paper are still unresolved but I decided to draw this one for syndication only. Enjoy. Summit cartoon: https://t.co/gGOKCq5thp #TrumpKimSummit #KimJongUn #Trump #TrumpKim #nukes #HumanRights #NorthKorea pic.twitter.com/9eA1gnnfzO
— Rob Rogers (@Rob_Rogers) June 13, 2018