George Pyle: Three newspaper publishers I’m glad I don’t work for

Immigrant Children cartoon by Rob Rogers. This is one of the six cartoons the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette refused to publish. MUST CREDIT: Rob Rogers

In about four decades in the newspaper dodge, I’ve worked for editors (in charge of the news-gathering operation) and publishers (who run the whole shooting match) who were old, young, male, female, conservative, liberal, loud, quiet, tall and dark, short and fair, anchored to their communities, just passing through, who ran their newspapers from a typewriter or from an adding machine.

Only one of them fired me. So far.

I was lucky I never had to report to — or about — anybody like this:

An Alabama newspaper editor wants to bring back lynchingAntonia Noori Farzan | The Washington Post

"Two decades ago, the editor of the tiny Democrat-Reporter newspaper in Linden, Alabama, was being talked about as a potential contender for the Pulitzer Prize. ... Glowing profiles in The New York Times, People magazine and the American Journalism Review highlighted his tenacious reporting and down-home Southern charm.

"Now, Goodloe Sutton is back in the news again — this time because he recently called for mass lynchings and suggested that the Ku Klux Klan should return to ‘clean out’ Washington. ...

“When the Advertiser’s Melissa Brown asked him whether it was appropriate for a newspaper publisher to suggest that Americans should be lynched, Sutton replied, ‘It’s not calling for the lynchings of Americans. These are socialist-communists we’re talking about. Do you know what socialism and communism is?’ ...”

Alabama newspaper editor calls for Klan return to ‘clean out D.C.’ — Melissa Brown | The Montgomery [Ala.] Advertiser

“The editor of a small-town Alabama newspaper published an editorial calling for “the Ku Klux Klan to night ride again” against ‘Democrats in the Republican Party and Democrats (who) are plotting to raise taxes in Alabama.’

"Goodloe Sutton, who is the publisher of the Democrat-Reporter newspaper in Linden, confirmed to the Montgomery Advertiser on Monday that he authored the Feb. 14 editorial calling for the return of a white supremacist hate group. ...

Post-Gazette Appoints Writer of ‘Reason as Racism’ Editorial as Its Newsroom Leader — Kim Lyons | The New York Times

"PITTSBURGH — Last year, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette chose Martin Luther King’s Birthday as the publication date for an editorial headlined “Reason as Racism.” On Monday, a little more than a year after that piece drew national criticism, The Post-Gazette named its editorial page director, Keith C. Burris, as its newsroom leader.

Mr. Burris was appointed executive editor at a stormy time at the Pittsburgh daily.

Relations between its workers’ union, the Newspaper Guild of Pittsburgh, and the paper’s owner, Block Communications, have been tense. Things came to a head on the night of Feb. 9, when John R. Block, the publisher, subjected staff members to a tirade in the newsroom. According to several journalists who were present, Mr. Block threatened employees’ jobs as his young daughter, whom he had brought with him, sobbed and begged him to stop. Block Communications has disputed the journalists’ version of events. ...

" ... Mr. Burris also had a hand in the firing of a longtime editorial cartoonist, Rob Rogers, in June, after Mr. Rogers complained that his cartoons critical of President Trump had been censored. ..."

I actually interviewed to be the editorial page editor of the other newspaper the Block family owns, The Toledo Blade, when both newspapers were run by other, rather more reasonable, members of the same family. That’s one job interview that I am glad didn’t go anywhere.

Arizona newspaper publisher uses his publication to accuse wife of poisoning attempt — Associated Press via NBC

"PRESCOTT, Ariz. — An award-winning Arizona newspaper publisher and his wife are locked in a bizarre divorce case that has morphed into something more: a journalism ethics saga.

"Joseph Soldwedel has accused his wife, Felice Soldwedel, in a lawsuit of trying to kill him by poisoning him, and detailed the allegations in one of the small-town newspapers he owns, the 13,000-circulation Prescott Daily Courier.

"None of the three news stories in the paper named his wife. But the Courier ran an ad accusing her by name, with a photo of her, bordered with images of skulls and rats. The ad said she had an unnamed accomplice, and it offered a $10,000 reward for tips.

“Soldwedel’s wife of eight years calls the poisoning claims ludicrous and says he is retaliating against her for seeking a divorce. ...”

Hoo, boy!

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Tribune staff. George Pyle.