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June 17, 2018

Go, Read: Politico Article Unpacking The Reasons For Rob Rogers Firing


Here. I found this article to be quite scary because of its open shift to defending the political reasons for firing the editorial cartoonist Rob Rogers. It is a distance to travel from calling something a "personnel problem" and making the assertions published here. That distance is crossed in the blink of an eye, almost tumbling into view, which just goes to show you how firmly the underlying values are held.

Saying that someone is angry or simply not funny or dwells too much on a single subject is bad enough. These are well-known Internet blanket-trashing techniques that dragged into the real world flop on the sidewalk and smoke in the sun when they are not buoyed by statistical and qualitative analysis. Still effective, though, even if it's just for dummies. Yet let's not dance around it. When a measure for single-issue dominance or humor or anger is a personal "to suit me" style call, that's a political judgment.

We can sort of fast-forward through that, though, because the idea is floated without obfuscation that Rogers' job is to augment the positions of the paper. Well, fuck you. That is a disgusting and open break with a century of American journalism's best practices. I think of the papers I worked for, and the opinion creators including cartoonists they treated with respect by running their opinions whether the majority of us on staff or the owner in Arizona believed in their views or not, and it's easy to become discouraged. This leeway was given to conservative cartoonists like MacNelly and Werner as well. Letting the people you hire do their job was done in service to the community, out of respect for readers to discern their own feelings and not just have them reinforced, and because of the basic professional courtesy afforded our journalists. These statements are vomitous.

And you know what? One of the premises is not even close to true. Rogers brings the virtues of clarity and directness to his cartoons, but he is hardly angry. Look at these cartoons that were banned. This is pretty tame stuff. This is a two on the open Internet, a three in conservative alternative media, a three-point-five in editorial cartooning overall, on the old anger scale. We could go on to say that some of the best cartoons ever were done by those angered, but the argument as presented doesn't meet the criteria for that kind of measured response. The whole argument is shit-stupid. All of this is clearly ugly, partisan politics without apology, underscored by the notion that might makes right even when it comes to shaping the front lines of cultural narrative. I wish I had a magic subscription so that I could cancel it one million times.

Rogers cartoon among the rejected; I guess dad jokes are incendiary hate-bombs now
posted 5:35 pm PST | Permalink

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