Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Most Excellent and Truly Amazing Letter Ever Written to the Hyde Park Herald

posted by chicago pop

We reproduce, forthwith and herein, the above-said most awesome and amazing letter to the Herald ever written. The author is one Charles Stephen Thompson.

Note that you don't have to have a particular viewpoint on the issue at hand to recognize that this letter effectively demonstrates journalistic bias in the Herald's coverage of the issues. We'll also take this opportunity to note that this blog raised the issue, not of the 47th Street women's clinic, but of the nearby 47th Street pediatric clinic and overall UCMC administrative restructuring, A YEAR before the Herald decided to focus on the latest phase of this restructuring.

Because this letter is so excellent, it needs no further commentary, and we therefore pass on the the brief in full:

U of C Coverage Smacks of Bias (Hyde Park Herald, July 1, 2009)

To the Editor:

It amazes me that your newspaper can be so blatantly partisan. I have watched for weeks as the Herald has methodically torn the university apart for closing its women's clinic at 47th Street and for downsizing and outsourcing its emergent care operations to other, cheaper hospitals. In each instance, this was deemed front page news. Yet, when it was reported -- by the same reporter, mind you -- that the university was donating at least $5 million to Provident Hospital, an "underutilized hospital," to assist in facilities upgrades so that they could better serve some of the same patients that the university will be sending them, this was relegated to page 4.

Moreover, the Herald has routinely pointed out that other non-profit institutions are buckling under the weight of the economic decline ("Budget cuts threaten Hyde Park orgs," June 24; "McCormick seminary for sale," June 24), effectively giving those same institutions a pass as they cut back on service and support of the Hyde Park community. From what I have read, the university's endowment shrank by a similar amount; I fail to see why it is held to a different standard.

While I understand that the university is looked on suspiciously in whatever it does simply based on its past behavior, I think it is deplorable for a journalistic organization to so obviously disregard the facts in such a methodical and partisan fashion. If I wanted such biased reporting, I'd watch Fox News.

Charles Stephen Thompson


Elizabeth Fama said...

I wonder if this letter writer is the same person as our HPP-blog-follower "charlestephen?"

Richard Gill said...

No doubt, the Herald will take the letter to heart and will clean up its act. Right?

Anonymous said...

At least they printed it. It's definitely a welcome change from the usual letters about the demonic university and how they want nothing more than to destroy Hyde Park.

Elizabeth Fama said...

But in my experience, Greg, only people like MaryAl Dale get multiple letters printed. That's the last you'll hear of Charles Stephen Thompson in the Herald.

CharleStephen said...

I can definitively say that it was I who wrote that letter. I have never written a letter to the editor of any publication but I was just so sick of their biased reporting.

Moreover, as a student at the University, I can firmly say that their hospital is EXCEEDINGLY more expensive than others. For example: I was mugged in March and my bill from the UCMC is more than $6000. And that's for only eight stitches and some pain killer; there were no x-rays, or scans, no tests of any kind were performed.

Further, I spent 20 HOURS waiting to be seen in the ER, so when the Herald argues that what the UCMC is doing is wrong or that they shouldn't send people to other, cheaper/faster hospitals, I really get annoyed because that's it's patently ignorant.

Elizabeth Fama said...

I'm sorry you got mugged, Charles.

Toussaint Losier said...

Any chances that the articles that the HPH wrote on the UCMC focused on local HPers protesting the potential impact the hospitals restructuring might have on the community, rather than simply reprinting a press release? Perhaps that's the reason why the coverage got front page news and the Provident hospital donation was on page 4...