For 20 years Chuck Legge drew editorial cartoons for the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman, a liberal voice in a conservative Alaskan climate. Then, in the name of better local content the paper’s new publisher got rid of the cartoonist providing local commentary.
Below the headline, an editorial added that “Legge was never shy about his political leanings. According to his own biography, he admits to having a ‘liberal’ bias — something that didn’t always go over well here in a part of the state well known for its conservative views.”
…we have now lost our sole remaining editorial cartoonist officially associated with a state newspaper. At the start of May, Chuck Legge was let go from the Frontiersman, who recently hired a new publisher (imported from Colorado), even as they are themselves are, ironically enough, owned by Wick Communications, which is… wait for it… based in Arizona. All of which adds an Orwellian dimension to the doublespeak they offered in their defense:
“While this is sometimes interesting, it does not fit with the Frontiersman’s philosophy of delivering the best hyper-local content for our readers.”
Take a minute to let that staggeringly myopic statement settle in. The pure hypocrisy of it is simply baffling…
Time marches on. Chuck is adopted by The Frontiersman’s more liberal alt-weekly sister The Anchorage Press (also a Wick paper) until that paper shut down last year. He also freelances through the Artizans syndicate commenting on U.S and Canadian politics and the Alsakan landscape. The Alaska Beacon seems to be a regular outlet.
Then earlier this year The Frontiersman gets a new publisher who, going against the current conventional wisdom, wants to improve the paper’s opinion page. Publisher McChesney contacts local cartoonist Legge and, long story short, Chuck’s cartoons should start appearing twice a week in The Frontiersman beginning November 2023, plus an occasional column.
Good news among the usual sad state of editooning affairs.