After Elizabeth Fama deconstructed Crystal Fencke's article on Point preservation in the June 25 Hyde Park Herald, I've scanned the following two issues looking for any sign of editorial corrections. Most newspapers issue corrections every day. The Herald has plenty of time to accumulate them, and they would certainly help fill up space in the absence of news, but I haven't found any.
Based on Fama's critique of Fencke's "Learning the Latest about Promontory Point's Rescue", I counted 3 outright factual errors (such as: "The Illinois Historic Preservation Agency stopped the project"), and at least 3 uncorroborated assertions. Any real reporting would have dug into the controversy on the issue and attempted to present the different sides of the story.
Of course this requires work, and it's much easier to flip through the Rolodex, call the same three people that you always talk to, and crank out obviously slanted lines like "the community didn't accept this 'concreting over' of the sensitive historic site", which gives a journalistic foot massage to the assembled members of the Executive Committee of the Community Task Force for Promontory Point.
So I was not at all surprised when I read this week's Fencke piece, "Hyde Park farmers market in full swing", and noticed that the content of the article contradicted the headline.
"In full swing" suggests going at full capacity, a great success, can't be stopped, all pistons firing, look out we're going to run you over. Read on and you learn that "vendors have been wrapping up their weekly Thursday visits at about 12:30...rather than the 2PM time listed on the city of Chicago website."
And again: "Of the more than 20 such seasonal markets around the city, it seems that the market in Hyde Park is slow to catch on with the public this year."
Full swing. Got it.
On a more reassuring note, Sharonjoy A. Jackson, in a letter to the July 9 edition, declares herself Empress of East Hyde Park Shrubbery, and has recognized select Park District employees as her worthy vassals.
As with the Point Savers, in keeping with a certain law of local activism, bureaucratic elephantitis presents itself whenever the membership of a neighborhood group shrinks below the number of letters in the name of their organization, resulting in snappy titles such as "The Steering Committee Members of the Lakefront Task Force for Hyde Park."
A worthy tid-bit:
Yesterday, and today, many trees and bushes are being planted in, and around, the Promontory Annex, in response to the many trees felled by strong wind sheers [sic] and storms for the past two years or more.
So, in the spirit of Sharonjoy's New Imperial Syntax, I'll sign off by remarking that yesterday, but not today, I went to Summer Dance, which was at, and in, 63rd Street Beach House, where I danced around, and about, to the Willie Gomez con Cache Orchestra, and enjoyed myself both at the time, and in reflection.