Dallas Morning News Goes on Another Fishing Trip at Parkland

I’ve written in this space before (and again here) about how the Dallas Morning News covers Parkland and UT Southwestern. Short version: I think the paper and the hospital have gotten to the point where, if they were a husband and wife, it would be best for everyone concerned if they’d go ahead and file for divorce. The paper performs its watchdog role a bit, oh, shall we say, aggressively. The hospital takes a defensive stance. The more (understandably) defensive the hospital becomes, the more aggressive the paper gets. It’s a downward spiral.

Now, apparently, D Magazine is caught in that downward spiral, I presume because of what I’ve written on FrontBurner. On May 5, the DMN filed an open records request with Parkland. You can read the entire thing after the jump. But here’s what they’re asking for: “Any e-mails, notes or memos since Jan. 1, 2010, including the following keywords: Miles Moffeit, Ryan McNeill, Daniel Lathrop, Sue Goetinck, Sue Ambrose, Sue Goetinck Ambrose, Brooks Egerton, Reese Dunklin, The Dallas Morning News, DMN, D Magazine, Bob Mong, Jim Moroney, George Rodrigue, Maud Beelman, Sherry Jacobson, Morning News, The News, Andy Stern, Sunwest Communications, David Margulies, The Margulies Communications Group, Tim Rogers, Wick Allison, Texas Public Information Act, TPIA or open records.”

Andy Stern runs Sunwest Communications, a PR firm under contract with Parkland. Margulies Communications used to do PR for Parkland. All the other names belong to DMN people. Seems pretty clear that the paper has concocted a conspiracy theory that involves D Magazine working with Parkland’s PR firm(s) to defend the hospital.

Well, I can save the paper some work. Andy Stern and I are, in fact, conspiring. We’re conspiring so hard that we’re actually playing golf together this Friday out at the Four Seasons. Stern owns a whole closet full of red pants that he gets to wear every year for the HP Byron Nelson Championship. Me, out of deference to Stern, I wear red shorts to the media tourney every year. That’s why we’re playing Friday. And you know what we’re going to do (besides win the media tourney)? We’re going to talk about Miles Moffeit, Ryan McNeill, Daniel Lathrop, Sue Goetinck, Brooks Egerton, Reese Dunklin, Bob Mong, Jim Moroney, George Rodrigue, Maud Beelman, Sherry Jacobson, and the Dallas Morning News. Then we’re going to talk about the DMN. Then we’re going to talk about the Morning News. And then, simply, the News.

The last topic, you’ll notice, wasn’t covered by their open-records request. Bwwaaa-HA-haahahahhaa! [rubbing hands together conspiratorially]

Update (1:09): Upon close inspection, I see that they have requested info pertaining to “the News.” Curse you and your thoroughness, Ryan McNeill, computer-assisted reporting editor! Fine, though. Stern and I will just have to discuss “the MN.”

THE OPEN RECORDS REQUEST:

From: “McNeill, Ryan” <[redacted]@dallasnews.com>
To: Nneka Egbuniwe <[redacted]@phhs.org>
Date: Thu, 5 May 2011 15:15:04 -0500
Subject: TPIA Request No. 1.

May 5, 2011

TPIA coordinator

Parkland Health and Hospital System

To whom it may concern:

Under the Texas Public Information Act, we are seeking copies of the following documents:

1) Any e-mails, notes or memos since Jan. 1, 2010, including the following keywords: Miles Moffeit, Ryan McNeill, Daniel Lathrop, Sue Goetinck, Sue Ambrose, Sue Goetinck Ambrose, Brooks Egerton, Reese Dunklin, The Dallas Morning News, DMN, D Magazine, Bob Mong, Jim Moroney, George Rodrigue, Maud Beelman, Sherry Jacobson, Morning News, The News, Andy Stern, Sunwest Communications, David Margulies, The Margulies Communications Group, Tim Rogers, Wick Allison, Texas Public Information Act, TPIA or open records.

We note that the Texas Public Information Act requires government bodies to make a good faith effort to relate a request to information that it holds (Open Records Decision No. 561 at 8 (1990)). So please consider an e-mail that includes only a last name or first name, but is clearly referring to the above people or places, to be responsive.

Please download these e-mails directly from the server and provide them electronically. If a need exists to redact information, please print only that e-mail and provide only that redacted e-mail by paper.

If you have any questions, please call me at 214-977-[redacted] or e-mail me at [redacted]@dallasnews.com.

Sincerely,

Ryan McNeill

Computer-assisted Reporting Editor

The Dallas Morning News

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