Does the Hyde Park Herald really want to destroy Hyde Park? One might think so, with the way the Herald has a record of shrieking in support for moribund, counterproductive institutions, as it did for the old Co-op.
More to the point, at present, is the Herald's pitiful and ill-spirited attempt to spread paranoia and to demonize the University of Chicago. I am talking about the Herald's treatment of the University's recent land purchases west of Washington Park.
Apparently unwilling to write balanced news on the subject, the Herald has resorted to publishing a biased, one-sided article, complete with screaming front-page headline, but calling it an "editorial." In this "editorial," the Herald does not directly state its position; the paper just writes the article in a one-sided manner. That way, the Herald can take sides in its news coverage, while hiding behind the false label of the editorial.
Take a look at what the Herald did on September 3, 2008. No editorial page was published in the regular edition. That was odd, I thought; the Hyde Park Herald, with no sophomoric opinion page? Then I looked at the Herald Extra, which like the Herald is published weekly on the same dates. Usually, the Extra is a throwaway ad paper. But not on September 3. On the front page is a green banner proclaiming "Herald Editorial." Below that, in three-quarter-inch-high headline type is "U. of C. ad campaign denies secrecy." That's a news headline, not an editorial headline. The article is written totally from the perspective of 3rd Ward Alderman Pat Dowell, who purports to dislike the University's purchase of property in the ward "without her knowledge" and "not respecting her authority." (Last I heard, property purchases don't require an alderman's prior knowledge or permission, but that's another topic).
There's no above-board Herald opinion in this September 3 piece; it's all Dowell's opinions and actions: Dowell released, Dowell's charge, Dowell's concern, Dowell expressed anger, Dowell said. If the Herald has a policy position on this issue, they haven't shown the courage to say what it is. It's a lot easier to simply spread fear and loathing.
Why didn't the Herald publish this sorry piece on the front page of the main paper? Maybe that would've been just too far off the sleaze chart. No, better to put it in a supplement like the Extra. Nobody cares about journalistic standards there.....uh right, Herald?
Herald, your September 3 so-called "editorial" was cowardly and sneaky. Herald, old buddy, you've been caught. Busted. You're not even good at yellow journalism.