LETTER- Crafaik's passing: Hook owes apology, condolences

The Hook's coverage of Michael Craifaiks tragic critical condition [December 12 online story: "Restaurateur, former candidate Crafaik mortally wounded"] can be summed up with the following: irresponsible and heartless.

Reporting the incident was to be expected; the utter lack of respect given to Michael's life was not.

Good journalism relies on the ability to capture the essence of the event that is being reported. Irresponsibly and carelessly, journalist Courtney Stuart failed to do her job; she failed Michael's family, his friends, his employees, the Charlottesville community, his alma mater, The University of Virginia, The Hook, and most important, her compassionless reporting failed Michael.

The juicy facts she selected to report do not accurately reflect Michael's life. Instead of spewing out a laundry list of past hardships, more accurate and respectable reporting would have printed how deeply everyone who knew Michael would mourn their loss.

Despite what personal transgressions Michael had, he remained an influential, positive, and prominent figure in the community. The Corner wouldn't be the same without Michael's Bistro, and Charlottesville is certainly not the same sans Michael.

As an employee of Michael's Bistro, I had the pleasure of knowing him for a few short months. From the moment I met Michael, engagingly chatting a mile-a-minute with a huge smile on his face and skate-board in hand, it was clear he embodied the pure spirit of Charlottesville: charming and free-spirited.

My deepest condolences go out to his family during this time; and, as a member of the tight-knit Charlottesville community, I hope the Hook sends condolences, too.

Haley Kreutzer
University of Virginia 2009