Editor’s note: On Jan. 15, an editorial under the headline "Reason as Racism" appeared in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, having first been published by its sister paper the Toledo Blade. In response, the Newspaper Guild of Pittsburgh, the newsroom union, submitted a letter to the editor from 150 newsroom employees. It was not accepted for publication in the paper but appeared on the Guild’s website. The Star Tribune is reprinting both items. To read the original editorial, click here.
To the Editor:
The Newspaper Guild of Pittsburgh, the union representing 150 reporters, photographers, copy editors, artists and other editorial employees at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, is collectively appalled and crestfallen by the repugnant editorial “Reason as Racism.” As a matter of course, the Guild does not weigh in on editorial positions, but this piece is so extraordinary in its mindless, sycophantic embrace of racist values and outright bigotry espoused by this country’s President that we would be morally, journalistically, and humanly remiss not to speak out against it.
This editorial is a blight on the 231 years of service the Post-Gazette has provided its readers. Over its long life, it has railed against racism and supported civil rights and justice for all. Given this history, the shameful and unconscionable editorial that ran on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, of all days, is an abomination that cannot go without condemnation from journalists committed to fairness, accuracy and decency. To be clear, no member of the Newspaper Guild had anything to do with that editorial and we stand together in solidarity against the bigotry, hatred and divisiveness it engenders.
Our hope is that, like us, readers of the Post-Gazette will decry this lapse in promoting common decency, equal opportunity and justice across our great land and the world. This editorial and its sentiments solely represent the opinions of the Block family, owners of the Post-Gazette, and not their loyal employees who use our talents to fight against what this editorial stands for.
The Executive Committee of the Newspaper Guild of Pittsburgh
The letter was signed by Michael A. Fuoco, Jonathan D. Silver, Ed Blazina, Joe Smydo, Melissa Tkach, Patti Sabatini, Dan Gigler, Zack Tanner, Alyssa Brown, Courtney Linder and Erin Hebert.