Did This Southern Minnesota Newspaper Editor Go Off The Rails?
When one picks up a small town newspaper you expect to see some local prep sports news, probably some classifieds, maybe some state news mixed in there. What about the editor propositioning women to have sex with him? If you happened to have picked up the Lafayette-Nicollet Ledger on March 7th that is what you saw in the editorial section. The editor, Lee Zion, wrote an editorial about the potential for a declining US population, and in turn, the workforce. When offering solutions to the problem one that raised a lot of eyebrows was that he openly solicited the legal of age women in the newspaper coverage area to sleep with him.
As you could imagine, that got a few people upset in the communities to our west. One look at the newspaper's Facebook page shows readers reaction.
The editorial taken one way would be satirical as the majority of the editorial is about being open to welcoming immigrants into communities like Lafayette and Nicollet as a way of growing the local population and in turn the United States' population to help combat declining contributions into Social Security.
Another person could read the editorial, as is, and think where does the editor get off soliciting sex with women? That was the path of least resistance online. Zion was also labeled indirectly as a racist by this article. I'll be honest I read that article and thought, there is no way an editor at any newspaper would write that and mean it.
Well, it was written, but clearly, the lines were blurred as we cannot take tone into account with print media. Zion could have made his point on his stance on immigration less colorfully, perhaps not using phrases like "But I am prepared to bear any burden, pay any price, meet any hardship, and squirt any squirt to Make America Great Again." or when referencing women sleeping with him he wrote "This would serve to raise the total fertility rate practically overnight." (the italics are my emphasis, not Zion's). Here is the last paragraph, which if you omit from what was written regarding immigration or sleeping with the editor would make you think this guy is nuts.
Once again in the digital times, we live in, nothing is safe. No comment, no post, no gif, certainly no editorial that raises an eyebrow. Our skin has seemingly gotten thinner as we are able to connect with more people on a larger frequency. Was the language tasteless in parts? Yes. Did he do his job and get people talking about immigration and having conversations with one another? Yes. Do you have to agree with him? No. Is he nuts? Maybe, but I'm writing about it, so he can't be that nuts. You tell me, after reading this (this is a link to the subscription-based online edition), if he was being serious or satirical.