A Guest Opinion from the Union of Grass Valley: Walking the Razor’s Edge

Man sitting in living room by fireplace with newspaper smilingHi there. We’d like to speak with you about something that happened at the Union of Grass Valley over the past weekend.

It’s difficult running a newspaper these days. Liberals are so sensitive and so hard to please and conservatives want you to burn all the political correctness down to the ground. So when we decided to run an anti-Obama, pro-Donald Trump PAID ADVERTISEMENT [click to read it] and we hit the proverbial publish button, we thought it might rustle some feathers, but golly not like what it turned into.

Sure, the article talked at great length of about President Obama’s origin of birth and how he might be a Muslim, but that’s all speculation right?  And yes, the author did say he was not born here and he was a Muslim, but for our average reader, s/he knew he was probably just being ironic and satirical, right? These are just “thought games” during an important election designed to stimulate thought and discussion. And that’s what America and the 1st Amendment are all about. It’s what Madison spoke of in the Federalist Papers. Look it up.

Anyhow, we walk a razor’s edge here at the Union. And dear reader, put yourself in our shoes. We have a declining circulation and an aging demographic for starters. And we have to compete with this new-fangled Internet for readership. Often we have to navigate that line between what is news and what is bat-shit crazy entertainment, um, news. Clearly that PAID ADVERTISEMENT was supposed to be satirical or something, although no doubt some people thought it was real. And some in the community have even called it racist, however racist isn’t quite it, but close enough in following the longtime Limbaugh and now Trump lines. And everyone knows those two aren’t racist per se. Well OK, they’re racists, but you get our point, right? That’s our point too.

And now there are people calling for a retraction and an apology, which we have done. Sorta, the apology part. But it’s like everything else dear reader, you don’t understand how hard it is; how hard we have to make quick and difficult decisions everyday. You just don’t get it and if you don’t get it now, you’ll never get it. When we publish a racist, whoops we mean PAID ADVERTISEMENT opinion, we put a great deal of editorial thought into it even if we say we don’t.

We’ve also received a few letters telling us that we do not know how to apologize. Well, this is 2016 and you don’t have to really apologize anymore. You do what we said above. It’s simple formula we see playing out everyday: say you’re sorry, but then add ‘but you don’t understand.” Then attack and blame the people who question your apology. And lastly, and this is really important, after a few days have gone by, deny you ever really said that, or if you did say that, tell everyone you either misspoke or you were taken out of context. The last bit is extremely important and needs to be repeated often until your readers, fans  and even your detractors have it committed to memory.

There have also been widespread reports of people canceling their Union subscriptions. We’ll let you in on a little secret. You’ll be back. You’ll forget about all of this soon enough, which is what we in the media business count on: your short-term memory. Oh we’ll issue an impotent and obtuse apology (see above), using really big words placed in strategic spots to obfuscate our guilt, but you’ll be back. In fact, the paid  advertisement has boosted our subscription rates with these so-called alt-right folks, some even extending their interest 2 years or more. So we’re not worried. In fact, this is exactly how Howard Stern does it, so why not the Union? We’re even looking to add a weekly “Illuminati” Alex Jones feature. Excited yet?

Anyhow, let us close on a personal note. Of course we wouldn’t let our kids read this PAID ADVERTISEMENT screed, which you know would make them want to read it more. Those silly kids! Are we right or what? Also, we know many of you are upset. But that’s how our democracy works. You are not free from being insulted and we can publish anything we want. It’s not libelous. It’s not illegal and it’s up to you decide if you want to read it or not, OK? If you can come up with a PAID ADVERTISEMENT, send it to us and if it’s racist enough, we might run it because the Supreme Court has said that money is speech. So the more of it you got, the more free speech you have. Simple enough, right?

So although many of you think this PAID ADVERTISEMENT is a conspiracy-filled, racist rant we simply don’t. It’s freedom. And look for more freedom in the future from the Union.