This has been one of the most difficult weeks I’ve had in my 2.5 years at Park Cities People.
As anybody who reads this blog regularly knows by now, Merritt Patterson — a freelance columnist and blogger for us since 2005 — was the target of a Channel 8 report that aired on Valentine’s Day. Brett Shipp looked into the finances of Surrogate Parenting Center of Texas, a business that Merritt owned for 15 years and closed last October.
Shipp interviewed at least two egg donors and at least three infertile couples, all of whom had beefs with Merritt over money they say she owed them. Given Merritt’s longtime penchant for calling people out on their drama, plus her recent hounding of the HPISD over its finances, I felt the only appropriate response would be for us to do our own story — a more complete, balanced story — on Surrogate Parenting Center of Texas. That story, written by Bradford Pearson, is in the papers that will be hitting Park Cities lawns this afternoon.
When I announced last week that we would be publishing this story, I got up on my high horse and said that, unlike Shipp, we would name our sources. Well, none of the people featured in Shipp’s report would talk to us on the record. And even some people who spoke highly of Surrogate Parenting Center of Texas didn’t want their names used, because they, understandably, don’t want people to know they needed its services. So, if you want to take me to task over that, the comments are on.
Nonetheless, Brad did a great job with the story. Will the Merritt haters have problems with it? Of course. Will Merritt herself have problems with it? Most certainly. But that’s the mark of a balanced story; neither side will be completely satisfied.