Today my employer, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, fired its longtime editorial cartoonist, Rob Rogers. Over the past two years the publisher has become a fan of President Donald Trump and Rogers had drawn many anti-Trump cartoons, apparently including about 20 or so that had been spiked.
But before those of you who are Trump supporters and fellow Christians cheer about this, you need to know one thing: Rob was one of us.
Indeed, I knew him during my college years as the worship leader of the campus fellowship I attended. That being said, however, I knew that his political views even then weren’t right-wing, as became clear during a discussion we had at a Wendy’s just off campus. Rob gave incisive, fact-based rebuttals to a number of conservative positions.
Go get ‘em, Rob, I thought.
The bigger issue is that many of these conservative views often don’t stand up to scrutiny. I’ve been hearing for nearly 40 years that the mainstream media are in the pocket of liberal élites, a charge which has no basis in fact — their supporters never say specifically what in such stories or broadcasts are “biased.” I’m thus forced to conclude that they simply want the views they don’t subscribe to squashed.
That might explain President Trump’s denunciation of what he might consider unfavorable coverage as “fake news.” We as believers should be thus suspect of anyone who wants to run roughshod over opponents, but too often we actually cooperate with such bullying.
My now-former colleague has been in syndication for a while, so he won’t lack for funds or an occupation. But there’s been a concern for a while about how my colleagues would cover the news should the president be involved, and that’s not good for either us in particular or the business of journalism in general. And once a free press is compromised or quashed — what’s next? Freedom of religion?