The Union went too far |

The Union went too far

Peter Van Zant

As an elected county supervisor, I agree with The Union’s policy that public officials and public leaders are fair game for critique and scrutiny in media outlets. Holding leaders accountable is a safeguard of our democracy.

Most of the discussion about specific coverage is in the gray areas of reporting on private activities and what community leaders actually qualify as “public leaders.”

However, I think The Union went too far by publishing the cartoon that included a slam on all county employees. Only a few county employees qualify as public leaders. The cartoonist applied an unproven and mean-spirited stereotype to a whole class of people. If the cartoonist attempted to characterize all the employees of one of our private companies, the cartoon would not have been published.

I appreciate the follow-up editorial by The Union, but the damage was done. I don’t think The Union’s policy requires publishing this type of mass condemnation of neighbors and fellow citizens who happen to be employed by local government.

Peter Van Zant

District 1 Nevada County supervisor

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