The San Jose Mercury News’ editorial page is a shambles

Letters to the Editor: Kevin de León and Gil Cedillo, why haven’t you resigned?

Kevin de León, May 25, 2015

The San Jose Mercury News’ editorial page, from which San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo emerged, has been particularly nasty to me over the last several years. I am a political liberal, by definition, but I can be a libertarian and have some libertarian leanings and still not be a leftist.

The newspaper’s most recent assault against us was an editorial attacking city staff for not doing enough to curb homeless behavior in San Jose. We were never quoted. We were never called on the carpet. We were attacked by name. I don’t recall the editorial board’s opinion on the city’s response to the police department’s aggressive behavior in the wake of the sniper incident, and I certainly did not expect to be attacked in my city.

The attacks have not just been on staff. I’m also attacked by a columnist named Gil Cedillo, who has written many letters of outrage over the last 20 years as a means of getting his name in the paper’s headlines. Most of these letters have focused on public policy and government.

I was not surprised to see this editorial board respond by smearing me, with the editor saying my letter was “disingenuous.” That was a low blow, and I can only imagine what Cedillo meant by “disingenuous.”

The editorial board was quite happy to bring down the city’s morale this week by bashing the city leadership, but they missed a mark by attacking Cedillo with the word “disingenuous,” which made it sound as if his argument was frivolous and silly, which it was not.

Cedillo is a respected member of the community, who has been a champion for the rights of people with disabilities and is a community service worker. He could have written an article praising the city’s leaders. But he chose not to.

He is certainly more experienced than the paper’s new editorial board, which has no political or public policy experience. The entire paper should have resigned last week and asked the leader of its party how they could have possibly brought down a city they have only just started to rebuild.

If San Jose is going to have a newspaper editorial page, then they should resign and ask the leader of their party how they could have brought down a city that has only just begun to rebuild.

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