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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Pittsburgh Post-Gazette editorial cartoonist Rob Rogers would much rather be drawing his cartoons.
“I usually start with the top of his hair,” Rogers told KDKA political editor Jon Delano, drawing a cartoon of President Trump. “I think Pittsburghers will appreciate the fact that Donald Trump is the first president who’s had a mullet.”
For 30 years, Rogers has made fun of politicians.
Remember Luke Ravenstahl as a six-year old or the inimitable Sophie Masloff?
Now Rogers is in a dispute with his employer, saying the Post-Gazette publisher wants more conservative, pro-Trump cartoons.
“The whole job description is one of being provocative and being edgy and going after those in power and hopefully speaking truth to power. So when I am drawing cartoons about the president or the mayor or anyone else, that’s my job,” says Rogers. “That’s what I do, and so do be reined in from that is very difficult.”
Rogers says when publisher John Robinson Block brought Keith Burris to town to oversee editorial content, his cartoons got rejected.
Rogers: “If you count the ideas rejected and the cartoons since March, it’s been nineteen.”
Rogers: “Nineeteen, and six of those were in a row last week.”
Rogers acknowledges that he dislikes Trump.
“With Trump, he’s a rich, white, entitled guy who’s a bully, who’s in my mind is a racist and misogynist,” he said.
But he admits the publisher has the right to content of his choosing.
Delano: “Are you willing to cooperate with them?”
Rogers: “I have been, but to a degree.”
But not to draw cartoons he disagrees with, says the artist.
Still, all journalists have their work signed off by editors.
Delano: “Isn’t that all this editorial page editor is asking, that he wants to work with you on the finished product, or is it different?”
Rogers: “It’s different. It’s very different.”
The Post-Gazette had no comment, saying this is a personnel issue.