I read The Dallas Morning News series about abuse and cover up at Parkland Hospital at a bad time: while I was sitting in a hospital. (My 93 year old father-in-law is struggling.) It’s a very disturbing but very important series. I encourage you to read it.
Many of dynamics are tragically familiar – officials ignoring warning signs, acting secretively, blocking efforts to expose wrongdoing, attacking the messengers, griping about allegedly unfair media coverage. ones.
In this whole sordid and depressing mess, I think there are two tiny silver linings.
The first is that despite financial setbacks and uncertainties, the long-standing and admirable tradition of thorough investigations of corruption by diligent journalists at daily newspapers remain intact. This is especially true at the Dallas Morning News, where reporters Brooks Egerton and Reese Dunklin did ground-breaking reporting on the Catholic church crisis over the past decade.
The second silver lining is that The News’ reporting would have been far more difficult if Parkland was a private hospital. In our experience, most public bodies are less reckless about safety than private bodies. In part, that’s because it’s much tougher to hide wrongdoing in public entities than private entities. (That’s why we see more cover ups in parochial schools than public ones, for example.)
In the tempting rush to save money by “privatizing” many government functions, we should keep in mind that private institutions (for all their failures) are usually less forthcoming and accountable than public ones.