Bad Journalism Props Up Hospital Site


Header-image-TuomiBy Robert Tuomi

Of the curiosities surrounding the abject terrible location of the new, so-called mega-hospital is that its advocates claim the majority of those living in Windsor and the communities of its junior partners in the county are steadfastly supportive of the bean field site.

Windsor denizen Karen Gunby, in a letter published by the Windsor Star, makes the unsubstantiated claim, “… the majority of individuals in Windsor and Essex County are quite happy with the plan and site selection that has been proposed to the province at this time.”

Because such bold, speculative claims are not allowed in the world of journalism, the local paper allows it to pass unquestioned on its letters page.

The reality is, no true journalist would ever speak in undocumented generalizations. While it is just not allowed among those who are actually members of the fourth estate, it is a common methodology of sycophants.

They like to galvanize around pretend facts and present them as truth. They do this in the unenlightened belief that the more they say the untruths, by the rules of urban mythology apparently, the groundless fabrications will become truth.

Unfortunately, even the paid scribblers at the paper seem to live in this make believe dream world. A good example is columnist Chris Vander Doelen.

Allegedly, he is not well known for keeping track of the facts. In an April 23 piece, he makes the haphazard assertion, “… most voters in the region, by far, want the new hospital, like where it will be built, and are willing to help pay for it.”

No competent editor would ever allow such brazen, unsupported supposition to be published, even in an opinion piece.

Vander Doelen offers no proof but suggests, because a petition of names of those against the location netted some 1,121 signatures, he is justified in claiming, “… hospital supporters [are] vastly outnumbering the little band of disgruntled protesters.”

If he was right, he’d gladly commission a professional survey to prove the community is united in putting a hospital well distant from the most populated area of the region. Since he is not doing so tells the story.

While he chastises the Citizens for an Accountable Mega-Hospital Planning Process for having few names on its petition, he ignores the fact on June 11, 2014, the local public broadcaster claimed a survey of less than half that many respondents was used by the hospital selection committee to justify its work.

Reported on the CBC, “Two weeks ago the committee over-seeing the project asked for public input. 594 people participated.”

Another myth is taxpayers want higher taxes.

Although not statistically accurate, a poll in the Windsorite.ca found the majority, 70% or 453 citizens, do not, “… support a tax increase to pay for a new hospital.”

To say universal approval exists for the hospital and its cost is simply propaganda. Oddly enough, a commenter to the Vander Doelen column actually defends the un-defendable without realizing the error of her ways.

Brenda Dixon bragged that the, “… volunteer selection committee poured over the criteria of this hospital and the sites offered, for countless hours over months of time. What a slap in the face to these people who gave of their time (1400 hours over 15 months) and energy for FREE!!”

It may be a case of the region getting what it paid for.

Dixon is very truthful in saying the committee examined the “sites offered.” No question on that. The problem is, the committee did not do the job of finding the best location. Pouring over offered sites is not a substitute for combing the region to find the ultimate location; one that meets every major need.

That work is waiting. What is holding back the committee?

Robert Tuomi can be heard at noon every Thursday co-hosting Talkin’ ‘Bout Windsor on CJAM 99.1 FM. Listen on demand to previous episodes or catch the discussion live and join in. It is also streamed online at CJAM.

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About the Author

Robert Tuomi
After initially succeeding as a broadcast journalist and achieving senior level assignments, Robert branched out into marketing communications. As a senior executive, primarily in the high-tech industry, Robert created award-winning and comprehensive, multi-faceted initiatives to enhance sales and expand market awareness for some of the largest companies in their fields. Email Robert Tuomi

2 Comments on "Bad Journalism Props Up Hospital Site"

  1. Caroline T | May 4, 2016 at 5:46 am |

    Perfectly put Robert Tuomi.

  2. The Windsor Star prints what they think not the real accurate truth, no investigation is done, you can tell that by their stories. I do not believe we will get the MEGA hospital because this is an NDP area not a Liberal area. The tax increase to pay Windsor’s share of the hospital is just a money grab as this hospital has not been approved by the Ontario Liberal government. We will not get our money back as promised by the city if the hospital does not get approved. Our ineffective mayor and useless city council will most likely use those funds to sponsor a below average swim meet, as usual.

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