One-on-one with columnist Rex Huppke

War breaks out during his 1st week at USA Today


The Chicago Tribune states proudly, "Rex Huppke is considered (by himself) to be America's most-beloved columnist, though there is no empirical evidence of that.” And recently, after almost 20 years at the “Trib,” this famous satirical humorist announced that he would be “jumping ship” to pen his thoughts for a larger international audience at USA TODAY. 

Rex’s first column for Gannett did not disappoint, as he took a comedic swipe at the far-right anti-COVID-mandate truckers by suggesting that he was working with them to help “overturn” the results of the New York Times “totally rigged” Wordle. The exact words he wrote in the debut piece included, "My Wordle victory was stolen from me, and the American people will not stand idly by and let this crime of the century go unnoticed. To paraphrase former President Donald Trump on the day he definitely didn’t incite a crowd of angry supporters to violently disrupt the peaceful transfer of power, ‘If you don't fight like hell, you're not going to have a Wordle anymore.'"

But the very next day, during his first week on the job, history stepped in as Russia invaded Ukraine. So, Rex's next pieces start to take an even more serious note, with titles that include (on February 23rd) — "Knock off the ugly partisanship as Ukraine hangs in the balance. We all deserve better.” And on February 26thAmerica's kids are watching Russia's war on Ukraine. We should pay attention." Finally, on February 28th — "Marjorie Taylor Greene at a white nationalist conference? Probably Joe Biden’s fault.

In this 127th episode of “E&P Reports,” USA TODAY Opinion Columnist Rex Huppke. discusses how in his youth, he made a change from a career in chemical engineering to journalism and what it is like today to write his style of political humor in such a polarized country. Plus, E&P Publisher Mike Blinder asks Rex how he comes up with his topics and reviews those debut columns for USA TODAY as war breaks out in Europe.


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