Breaking: Media Does Job for Once
Wedding Crisis Averted After Community Learns of Greedy Business Practices
You don’t need to go to college to be a journalist.
Back in the day, nobody went to college for journalism because the job was typically a working-class gig that required little to no experience that offered a low salary.
That’s because journalism, in its basic form, is about asking questions and publishing facts and stories for people to understand community issues.
Not exactly a hard science.
Don’t get me wrong, the best reporters of all time hone a skill, that’s for sure.
But journalism is kind of like law enforcement in that there’s only so much you can teach formally because most knowledge grows from on-the-job experience by learning how people work.
But over the years, the establishment evolved journalism from a job for working folks into a high-end career reserved for the elite class.
We talked about this in April after I read Bad News: How Woke Media Is Undermining Democracy by Batya Ungar-Sargon.
But we have to give credit where credit is due.
And Boston ABC affiliate WCVB did an outstanding job last week after a woman ran into logistical issues while planning her wedding.
Catastrophic Wedding Disaster Averted
Christina Leonard and her fiance Carmine plan to wed in the Boston area in May 2023, and they’ve spent recent months experiencing the joys of wedding planning.
With prices rising, the couple was happy to finalize lodging arrangements at a respectable, clean, and modern Hilton H2 at $169 per night per room for the 10-room block needed for the wedding party.
Not only did Christina get a fair price, but the hotel was close to the wedding venue.
A convenient distance for those that plan to enjoy a few drinks.
As with any wedding, Christina and Carmine likely anticipated and experienced issues from family, friends, and vendors.
But the couple probably never thought Taylor Swift, of all people, would throw a wrench in their plans.
Unfortunately, the pop star impeded the couple’s lives when Swift announced her performance at Gillette Stadium on the same night as the wedding, not far from the Hilton H2 in question.
Christina likely didn’t think much of the announcement if she even heard about it.
At least, at first.
But the hotel dropped a bomb on Christina’s plans when they emailed her, saying they canceled their reservation in favor of charging a premium for Taylor Swift fans.
While reeling in disbelief at the news, the hotel assured Christina they would be happy to accommodate her wedding party at a Comfort Inn 18 miles away.
The sales manager at the Hilton Home 2 said they canceled because they would charge Swift fans about $1,000 per room per night, where they would only yield about $169 per night for the wedding party, according to Christina.
At least they were honest.
The frustrated fiancé replied to the sales manager that they had signed a contract that guaranteed the ten rooms.
Unfortunately, the rep said the agreement was not final since the hotel did not counter-sign and return the document.
Local ABC affiliate WCBV entered the fight and contacted the hotel in question and the Hilton home office looking for answers, but they didn’t get a response in time for the outlet’s initial story.
Side note, Hilton does not directly manage this particular Hilton H2.
It’s a franchise unit owned and operated by Jiten Hotel Management, which owns several units in the Boston area and other states.
After WCBV ran the first story, Jiten HM suddenly changed their minds and contacted Christina, offering to reinstate the block of rooms to resolve the “misunderstanding.”
Funny how that works.
But what was the misunderstanding?
Christina said the hotel made their reasoning clear that they canceled the reservation because the wedding would not pay as high as concert-goers.
Not because they lost the reservation or mixed their names up but because of money.
And had the local media outlet not investigated, Christina and her wedding party would likely be forced to take the Comfort Inn, as prices would have skyrocketed everywhere else after Swift’s announcement.
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How Journalism is Supposed to Work
I don’t know if the hotel independently decided to reinstate the reservation or if Hilton pressured Jiten HM into taking action, but Christina and her wedding party got more than a contract reinstatement.
The hotel also said the bridal party was welcome to use the meeting rooms to prepare for the wedding if needed.
Additionally, the hotel offered complimentary accommodations for the bride and groom for the weekend.
That’s better, but I’m not sure if that means a comped stay or free canned goods from the lobby pantry, but it’s something.
I personally can only imagine how you are feeling and I can’t apologize enough for the anguish this has caused you and your fiancé, - Jiten Hotel Management Vice President Beth Scherer
This is how journalism is supposed to work: someone uncovers injustice and shines a light on the problem to force a positive outcome.
Or at least inform the public of illegal or unethical happenings.
Bad Name for Capitalism?
While choosing not to honor the unsigned reservation is incredibly unethical and terrible customer service, the hotel franchise was not legally obligated to do anything.
Even if the document was counter-signed, the business may have built language into their contract allowing the entity to terminate the agreement if they choose.
Some people might look at this story and say it’s an example of how capitalism is evil and greedy.
But it’s just an example of how people can be evil and greedy.
As I’ve mentioned in other posts, I used to deliver pizzas.
And the parlor strictly enforced the delivery zone, not venturing outside that area even if a customer had a large order.
In other words, they didn’t place a higher value on customers that offered more profits for the business.
A customer was a customer.
And I’m sure some of Hilton H2's nearby competitors maintain a similar philosophy, while others might destroy months-long wedding plans if it means they increase profits.
Capitalism isn’t the problem, people with poor ethical standards are the problem, and when the citizenry doesn’t get the facts, we can’t correct those issues.
That’s why we promote freedom of the press and free speech, so we can check and balance each other openly.
When the media does its job as WCBV did in this case, we can take care of business without government red tape.
And advocating for the truth is what allowed Christina and her future husband to keep their lodging arrangement.
Think of what the media could do on a mass scale if they sought justice instead of working for the establishment.
Free speech and freedom of the press are essential parts of our country, and it’s a beautiful thing when allowed to operate properly.
You should vote for that freedom before the polls close tonight.
The only security of all is in a free press. -Thomas Jefferson