It promotes the views of political extremists — right under the masthead, no less. Since the publisher’s name — Dave Schmall — is right above the column, people might mistake it for the newspaper’s own opinion. Is it?
The column running under the masthead is titled “The advent of ‘Obamunism’,” written by “right wingnut” George Rebane, AKA “columnist.” Rebane calls himself an “entrepreneur” at the bottom of his column; in fact, he is a political activist in our community — for the hard right. It’s an open secret.
“To say that President Obama is a unique piece of work in the Oval Office would be an understatement of this young century,” it begins. The column makes broad and misleading statements about the Agenda 21 accord, a workforce that sees government “as an employer of last resort” and “public information through a ‘new media-government cooperative.’”
This perspective is a “piece of work.” No reasonable person would find the points rational, accurate — or reflective of the newspaper’s general readership. And it should be labeled political activism, not masquerading as the views of an “entrepreneur” or “systems scientist.” The Union is being used.
This is the John Birch Society’s view of America, at best. Remember them? They didn’t get much traction in our country, but you can’t fault them for trying. It’s a free country.
THE “REJECT OBAMUNISM” LOGO LINKS TO A HATEFUL WEBSITE
On his blog, Rebane shows his true colors, republishing the column with the logo shown here “Reject Obamunism.” It is disrespectful of a President, at best.
The Union management (including Dave Schmall) should check it out too. On the front page, it shows an image of a man giving the finger to Obama, with the wording “Hey Obama, redistribute this ASSHOLE!”
Come to think of it, has Dave Schmall read the Rebane blog, including his defense of using the term “raghead” and more? Does The Union’s managing editor Brian Hamilton, a longtime sports editor whose name also is listed on the masthead, think much about the consequences of running Rebane’s columns in this spot?
The new publisher does not need to be “co-opted” by political extremists to maintain the newspaper’s reputation for being “The Tea Party Gazette.” Running this article in such a prominent place has just the same impact. It shows a lack of editorial judgment.
In fact, I’m wondering if the newspaper should be called “The John Birch Society” Gazette, not just The Tea Party Gazette.
To be sure, the real issue is that The Union cannot find enough qualified citizens to submit columns, so it runs what’s submitted: in this case, extremist, polarizing views that divide the community.
This plays right into the hands of political activists such as Rebane. Political activists have been manipulating newspapers (and newspaper publishers) for years. It’s an open secret about The Union too. No spine.
To be taken seriously, however, The Union ought to rethink its editorial policy. It’s a lazy policy.
It also ought to look in the proverbial mirror and ask itself why it doesn’t get submissions from the real entrepreneurs in our community, not political activists. When was the last time you read one? It’s because people are turned off by its judgment — and have been for years.
Sure it’s OK to run extreme views, but run them on another page, not under the masthead. This is not a First Amendment issue; it’s a judgment issue. And people trust a newspaper (or not) based on its judgment.
A column by Huey P. Newton (a leftwing extremist) is here. I wonder if The Union would run that perspective under its masthead if it showed up in the “in” box.
Reading The Union for free the past week has reminded me that it’s going to take forever to turn this paper around.
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