Ken Hemphill said it best. He posted:
This is a pretty good article, but it falls victim to the "he said, she said" journalism structure which doesn't bring the reader closer to the truth. These types of stories set up a false equivalence by giving equal weight to "both sides of the story" even though one side clearly is wrong. But journalism textbooks die hard. Writers/journalists should listen to Robin Williams and throw their textbooks in trash. Writers should instead picka central thesis for a story and support the main point with relevant facts. When statements and information from one side contradict known facts, the story should challenge and fact check them and offer contradictory evidence but not in a way that gives equal credence to both sides because, after all, one side in this story wants to make untold millions in lease fees at the expense of the community's quality of life while the other is trying to protect the community's quality of life and environment. It's the old story of "self interest" versus "selflessness."
So in the case of the Don Guanella forest, one acceptable thesis could be: "why isn't the forest already saved"? Supporting points: 1. When they first met with SMG (and then for a year after that) Miller/McElwee completely lied about what they planned to build 2. They would overcharge by $10 million what the taxing authorities should pay for the preserved land ($19 million instead of $5 million) 3. The Archdiocese is asking WAY too much for what is mostly unbuildable land instead of asking the township and county to pay a "conservation price" in gratitude for having paid no taxes on the land for 100 years. 4. Save Marple Greenspace represents thousands of residents 1,823 of whom have signed our petition to the commissioners and 5,000 of whom have liked our fb page. This is ENORMOUS support from the community, an idea missing from this article which instead allows Miller/McElwee to equate their tiny band of self-interested supporters with the thousands of Marple/Springfield/Haverford residents who DO NOT want more traffic but who DO want more protected open space.