RR has long argued and demonstrated that the local Left is terribly out of touch with important happenings here and elsewhere. One of their constant complaints is that The Union is so far biased to the Right in its editorial stance that it should be renamed The Tea Party Gazette. Nothing could be further from the truth as documented by an ongoing audit by the Nevada County Republican Women Federated (NCRWF).
Members of the NCRWF leadership met on 16 November 2015 with Union publisher Jim Hemig and editor Brian Hamilton to present their most recent tranche of data from their audit of the newspaper’s editorial page contents – editorials, syndicated columns, submitted commentaries, political cartoons, and letters to the editor – which were published in the August-September timeframe. The audit revealed that of the 329 pieces published, 140 espoused liberal views, 90 were conservative, and 99 were neutral.
Messrs Hemig and Hamilton have long held that their newspaper seeks to represent a balanced political perspective for our community, and they were reportedly surprised to learn that their actual editorial policy was skewed 61% - 39% in favor of leftwing submissions and ideas.
I must add my own surprise to that of The Union’s management. While having long had a hunch that the paper had a liberal bent to it - that has always been corroborated by the public statements/talks by Hemig and Hamilton - I wrote that off as their being part and parcel of the progressives' preponderance in the news media in general. (None of this, of course, has been noted or admitted by the Left whose position seems to be that if an outlet doesn’t continuously espouse the socialism of Marx, Engels, et al, then it has been co-opted by the corporatist Right.)
But the nagging question remains as to what specific local pressures exist to tilt the newspaper so markedly toward the left. Other indicators of the paper’s disposition on this issue are its lax enforcement of its announced policy of a 30-day interval between publishing letters from any one correspondent. Some frequent writers are definitely favored. (My own infrequent letters are batting about 500 in this league for getting published.) And there is a significant problem with the paper’s policy of letting a considerable time lapse between an issue raised in a column and publishing the responding letters. Again, the Left is favored in this regard.
An illustration of this asymmetric policy is the 19nov15 letter from a Ms Angelica Niblock, an unabashed leftwinger, demonstrably ignorant, and a True Believer in preventable man-made, catastrophic global warming (PGW). She takes the newspaper to task for having published the full page ad piece by Mr Frank Pinney making the case that ‘global warming is a hoax’ (more here). She claims that the ad was disguised as an "authentic part"(sic!) of its editorial content, and that the newspaper should no longer publish pieces that are skeptical of man-made global warming. Her main point is that exposing such ideas to public view is akin to printing statements that Negroes are inferior to white people. And moreover, that permitting such arguments skeptical of PGW in the public forum indicates that The Union does not “take its role in journalism seriously and make wise decisions when asked to print smut.”
Ms Niblock is not the only liberal who has recently demanded that The Union adhere to her higher principles of journalism and thereby institute a policy of proscribing conservative thought and ideas. History records that the push to censor the other side in the media has been a constant and uniquely leftwing goal for decades. Such proposals, exhortations, and admonitions continue at all levels in our country with such regularity that they can be taken as a litmus test for correctly identifying a person as a collectivist.
The First Amendment holds that in our republic all ideas should be exposed to public purview so that they may sway the thinking of its educated and informed citizenry who can then decide which ones will carry the day.
Let me finish by saying again that I appreciate our local newspaper’s role in binding and informing our little foothills community. As a conservetarian I also acknowledge that The Union is a business and a private enterprise which can hold and promote whatever social and political views it sees fit to print. I don’t want anyone to censor its work product, nor in response to the Niblocks of the world do I want it to censor itself as a purveyor of ideas.