The distinguished representative of New York’s North Country has been on a tear lately, issuing tweet after tweet bashing Gov. Andrew Cuomo for making unwanted advances to women and for apparent dishonesty in reporting Covid casualties. A sampling:
Remind me again: Who’s that guy standing next to her in the photo above?
Earlier this week, VTDigger ran a story that explored the opposition to a proposed replacement for the “temporary” psychiatric treatment center in Middlesex. You know, the one that opened eight years ago and is entirely inadequate?
The story quoted people opposed to the replacement plan because it would be “too institutional.” The story didn’t quote anyone who favors the plan, aside from an official of the Department of Mental Health.
And the article framed those opposing the plan as if they represented the entire spectrum of psychiatric care. And used the language of opponents as if it was objective.
Before I go on, I must say that VTDigger is a fine organization that provides an invaluable service in our age of diminished traditional media. I’m a financial supporter. The vast majority of its coverage is thorough and fair. But when it falls short, I will point out the failure.
The trouble begins in the third paragraph, which says the plan “has sparked an outcry from mental health providers and advocates.”
The phrase “mental health providers” is very broad. It can include social workers, nurses, technicians, therapists with a variety of degrees, psychologists and psychiatrists. The article does not quote any psychologists or psychiatrists — the latter being the only mental health providers with a medical degree and specialized postgraduate training.
Those quoted include a former patient at the defunct Waterbury State Hospital, “a psychiatric survivor and mental health worker,” and a self-described psychotherapist whose training is in dance and movement therapy.