Almost exactly a year ago, the P-G editorial board published on Martin Luther King day a reprehensible and racist editorial describing how charges of racism are, in fact, the new racism. The public outcry was swift and strong.
P-G readers were angry, letters to the editor were written and at least one wasn't published by the P-G - this one, from the Newspaper Guild of Pittsburgh.
Well, my friends, history rhymed this week with another unpublished letter to the P-G about another bit of reprehensible from the P-G editorial page.
And for the rest of the story, I give the floor over to Michael A. Fuoco, President of the guild, Jonathan D. Silver, Unit Chairman and members of The Newspaper Guild Executive Committee.
This is their letter:
To the Editor:Here are the letters to the editor regarding the first two cartoons:
We write you on the one-year anniversary of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette publishing what was widely considered in our community to be a racist editorial. In response, the Newspaper Guild of Pittsburgh broke with more than eight decades of not weighing in on editorial positions and wrote a letter to the editor, which the PG refused to publish. We did so because the editorial was so repugnant and outrageous that we would be remiss as human beings and as employees of this newspaper not to speak out.
Sadly, one year later, we find ourselves in the same position. This time, the publication of three misogynistic editorial cartoons within a week has disgraced the reputation of the newspaper we and the community love. The cartoons display a contempt for women and an obvious deep-seated prejudice against them. The cartoons are not witty, insightful or funny. They are a puerile recycling of ridiculous, outdated and hurtful tropes about women that have rightfully brought scorn upon this newspaper.
Did you not read the letters to the editor that were highly critical of the first two cartoons? Why would there be a third one on Sunday? Do you even care that, as they did following the racist editorial, subscribers and advertisers are cutting ties with us?
Our editorial page should reflect our community. It should treat everyone with dignity, respect and human kindness. It should engender thoughtful discussion about issues we face. These cartoons do none of that. They are misogynistic, pure and simple. This cannot stand. It is wrong, it is hateful, it is a disgrace.
The 150 talented, dedicated, committed newsroom employees represented by the Newspaper Guild respectfully request this childish, unseemly, intellectually dishonest behavior cease immediately. Only then can we attempt to re-establish the respect for this newspaper that your actions may have irreparably harmed.