In an high-minded lecture in today's Press-Citizen, Bob Elliott calls some supporters of Hoover School "disgusting" for expressing their anger at how the district treated them in the facilities planning process. Elliott is dismayed that anyone would accuse the board members of deception, though he does not examine any of the actual accusations people made. Elliott wants everyone to be more "respectful" and less "disagreeable."
Elliott's definition of "respectful" discourse, however, apparently doesn't include fact-checking. His piece contains a blatant, egregious falsehood:
By a strong majority, those at the huge June [community workshop] session selected planning scenarios that included closing Hoover Elementary School.In fact, the exact opposite is true, as people have repeatedly pointed out. By an almost two-to-one majority, people chose plans that did not close Hoover School. (Judge for yourself: Only Scenario 4c closed Hoover. Here's how the four scenarios fared.)
Elliott may or may not be "respectful." (His use of the term "disgusting" certainly makes you wonder about his definition.) But it's hard to see how he qualifies as "responsible." Will the P-C correct its irresponsible correspondent?
UPDATE: The online article now has an appended correction that, in my view, still leaves readers with a misimpression of the results of that final community workshop.
UPDATE #2: The correction has been improved by including actual vote counts for 1c and 4c -- but by omitting the vote counts for 2c and 3c, neither of which would have closed Hoover, it still overstates the public support for closing Hoover.
UPDATE #3: The final P-C correction is pretty good, and they are planning to run it in the print edition tomorrow as well. So credit to the paper for correcting Elliott's mistake. I still find it hard to believe that we are still fighting this battle over the simple factual question of what people at that final workshop preferred.