Rob Rogers’ cartoons started disappearing from the pages of The Pittsburgh Post Gazette earlier this year. Then last month, after 25 years and a Pulitzer nomination, the cartoonist was fired.
His publisher said in a statement that Rogers "hadn't been funny in a long time" and that he was “too angry” and “obsessed with Trump.” VICE News met the jilted artist at his home studio and learned how he sees this as more than just a sketchy firing.
"I think there's a bigger story in terms of the administration's attacks on the media and how certain media outlets, including Fox News and Sinclair media, how they've sort of gotten in line," Rogers told VICE News. "You know that's what was happening at the Post Gazette too."
The artist has since moved on to work for his syndicate and is currently publishing his work online. But he's worried his firing indicates dark times ahead for the newspaper.
"I do think that by getting rid of me they're getting rid of some of that variety, and that's unfortunate for the readers. It's unfortunate for the city of Pittsburgh, who now has, you know, a major newspaper that doesn't appreciate a variety of opinions," Rogers said. "And it's sad for the country to see the media being attacked and the free press being attacked in the way it has been."
This segment originally aired July 10, 2018 on VICE News Tonight on HBO.