Pittsburgh Post-Gazette editor offended by ‘libtard’ but silent as paper’s cartoonist spreads hate unfettered

July 23, 2014

This cartoon from 2005 comparing America using the Atom Bomb to end WWII with terrorists today is but just one of example of where America in general and conservatives specifically are hated against on a regular basis.

Each week this column starts out pretty much the same. Weekend coffee, the news of the day and a topics list. Some obvious, (last week’s 45th anniversary of Apollo 11) other weeks, not so much.

This was one of those weeks.

While the topics were many, (the collapse of our southern border, the shoot down of Malaysian Flight 17 by Putin’s lap dogs, yet another Israeli attempt to stop Palestinian terrorists or how our President is putting it all secondary to fund-raising and his golf game) they were also the crowd topics of the week.

And so it was, this Monday morning. Topics for sure, column not so much. That is until I opened my Globe and there was the topic AND the column. Conveniently provided by yet another liberal bemoaning the treatment of his ilk by those mean old nasty conservatives.

It was the usual fare.

Open by setting yourself up as the arbiter of what is acceptable: “Have you ever wondered what makes other people hold the ridiculous political opinions they do?” (Key word: ridiculous) Pull out two of the farthest of the far right, Michael Savage and Ann Coulter as examples of your point, dutifully lament the phrase “liberalism is a mental disorder” and term “libtard” as so offensive that the collapse of western civilization must be imminent, throw in a couple straw man arguments, (conservatives don’t want people to have health insurance and only the un-enlightened oppose Sharia Law) and then wrap it all up with a conclusion that America would be just fine and dandy if it weren’t for those nasty, name calling conservatives and you’ve got perfect liberal prose.

Yet not until author Reg Henry’s bio did I realize this wasn’t typical boilerplate liberal lament.

This was a column fully immersed in the irony of ironies.

For as the deputy editor of the editorial page for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, he is part of the team that via the paper’s editorial cartoonist, Rob Rogers, promotes the very stereotyping and incivility he opines in his column as so destructive.

From calling Republicans “idiots”, to broad brushing that they don’t respect women or minorities, to a recent one implying that if only the House had passed Obama’s immigration reform the border crisis would be no more, Rogers is the epitome of the raging liberal let loose to attack as he wishes with little regard for any facts to back it up.

As a staunch defender of the First Amendment, I say go for it. If that’s how Rogers feels and that’s how the paper wants to present itself to the world, they both most certainly have that right.

But for crying out loud, don’t insult my intelligence by complaining about a couple of “uncivil” phrases floating around the internet as the cause behind our turmoil.

From John Adams being called an hermaphrodite and a young America being warned that electing Thomas Jefferson President would result in “pure evil” to a Lyndon Johnson campaign joke book putting Barry Goldwater in Ku Klux Klan robes and George Bush being compared to Hitler the political discourse in America has always been an inch below the gutter.

The problems facing this nation today are not the cause of a couple of catch phrases floating around the internet but rather the very real result of one political party having two years of unfettered power and using that power to shove through an agenda far outside the mainstream of the American political psyche.

And that’s the column for this week and yes, considering the topic, it’s as “civil” as I could make it.

Publisher’s note:  A version of this column first appeared in the July 23, 2014 print edition of the Joplin Globe.

Online addition:

Below is the link to the letters to the editor from that 2005 pathetic cartoon:

Pushback to Rogers’ Hiroshima cartoon

These two sentences sum it up pretty clearly:

In the name of all that is holy, people, crack open a damn book once in a while. I shudder to think of the number of people whose opinions are influenced by the inanity of a cartoon like this.

I will continue to enjoy and appreciate Mr. Rogers’ talent and sense of humor, but I wonder if the myopic and naive nature of yesterday’s cartoon is not more an embarrassing indictment of the intelligence of the editorial staff at the PG.

Obviously the paper either didn’t bother to read the letter or more likely, just doesn’t care.

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