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Editorial: Don't shoot messenger

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By The Staff

We’re glad to see Richard Grogan, CEO of Alta Vista Regional Hospital, present his side of the story involving the hospital’s relationship with the union that was voted in a couple years ago, but we’re sorry to see him fall into the trap of “blaming the messenger” for some of his troubles.

For Grogan to suggest that Optic reporter and managing editor David Giuliani coordinated the recent protest at the hospital, and somehow manipulated the truth about who the protesters were, is way over the top. No self-respecting journalist would lead a protest then report on it as though he were only an observer — and anyone who knows Giuliani knows how unbelievable such an accusation is.

For the record, Grogan’s accusations are just not true. Sure, Giuliani is at times quite controversial, but that’s because he doesn’t shy away from the controversial stories. And we can say with great confidence that he’s never intentionally skewed a story to make Alta Vista look bad.

Of course, sometimes our reports about Alta Vista’s dealings with the unionization of its workforce are a bit one-sided, but it’s not Giuliani’s or the Optic’s fault. It’s Grogan’s. He seldom if ever returns any reporter’s phone calls, opting instead to release public relations-type statements that leave the specific questions unanswered.

If there are two sides to a story, a good reporter such as Giuliani will call to get both sides, but if one side refuses to talk with him, the story must run anyway. It’s the nature of our business. We hope Grogan figures that out.