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People reading the Fort Worth Star-Telegram on Oct. 7, 8, and 9 might believe that Tax Assessor/Collector Ron Wright is a certified nut case. That appeared to be the paper’s goal. If you wonder why, keep reading.

An Oct. 7 front-page article boasted the headline, “Tarrant tax man references Hitler while cutting ties to United Way.” Seems Wright didn’t appreciate the United Way giving money to Planned Parenthood, a group tied to abortions. Wright, a conservative, abhors Planned Parenthood’s ties to abortion and fetal tissue donations. He told his employees they were free to donate money to Planned Parenthood or United Way as individuals but that money raised through the annual office fundraiser would be sent to Meals on Wheels of Tarrant County instead.

In making his announcement, Wright said United Way does a lot of good in the community, but he added the old saying that even Hitler made the trains run on time. The Star-Telegram pounced on the historical reference and defended United Way. Reporter Anna Tinsley’s story appeared fair and unbiased, but the headline skewed toward United Way as victim. A subhead said, “United Way doesn’t give money to controversial organization,” and another subhead said County Judge Glen Whitley continued to support the group.

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The article says United Way gives no money to Planned Parenthood unless a donor makes a specific request. United Way CEO Tim McKinney said his group sent only $9,300 to Planned Parenthood in fiscal 2014 –– a tiny percentage of its total revenue. But 9 grand counts as money, and United Way did pass it along to Planned Parenthood. That brings into question the subhead’s accuracy.

United Way of Tarrant County is trying to raise $30 million this year. The group relies on local businesses to host fundraising campaigns to bolster workplace donations. Guess which local business has long been one of United Way’s staunchest supporters and donors over the years? If you said “Star-Telegram,” you’re beginning to follow the breadcrumbs.

The newspaper routinely strong-arms employees to donate part of their paychecks to United Way. Never mind that the newspaper pays dirt wages and treats its employees like crap. Former employees describe being herded into conference rooms and told by managers to donate money to United Way. Then the employees are watched by upper management to see whether they signed up. Newspaper officials became de facto henchmen for a charity group whose Tarrant County president and CEO earns more than $230,000 a year in salary.

The Star-T doesn’t disclose its long relationship with United Way at the bottom of its news stories. Readers assume the stories are written without prejudice.

Bud Kennedy’s column on Oct. 8 appeared under the headline, “United Way = Hitler? You sure, Ron?” A subhead refers to a “false smear campaign” and states United Way hasn’t funded Planned Parenthood since 1980. The final subhead: “But, hey, if it gets publicity, why not make up a story and throw in Hitler?”

Kennedy described Wright as an attention hog, United Way as “honest,” and the $9,300 distributed to Planned Parenthood as “piddly.”

An Oct. 8 editorial headline left little doubt about the paper’s stance: “Wright is wrong in his remarks on United Way.” The editorial characterized Wright as “wrong-headed” and “irresponsible.”

Those same adjectives could apply to the Star-Telegram’s coverage on the matter.

9 COMMENTS

  1. I find the Startelgram off base here, Mr. Wright is an American and has free speech rights, his views are not his alone, no wonder that rag (ST) never gets read anymore,..not much anyways. Ron’s Right!!!!! And the germans under hitler were awful not unlike Planned Parenthood-sters….killing babies from the womb and selling baby parts HOW SICK!!!!!!!!!

    • James Clark: There has never been a shred of reality to the “selling baby parts” story. That was a lie from the git go, pushed by Ms. Fiorina to grab post-debate headlines some weeks ago. No baby parts. Tissue donations–authorized by a parent of an aborted fetus–not baby, fetus–are not sold. Planned Parenthood, like all abortion providers and lots of hospitals who wind up with stillborns on their hands, provide fetal tissue for stem cell research, for vaccine research and for a host of procedures. They are legally permitted to be reimbursed for their expense in delivering said tissue. This year, I was offered skin made from fetal tissue to close some septic wounds. I wound up not needing it, but it turned out to be pretty standard: you make skin grow from fetal tissue. Burn victims and people with septic wounds need it sometimes. That is not the same as selling baby parts or organs, and certainly NOT the lie that Fiorina and others have been telling about Planned Parenthood.

      • You’re blowing smoke Peter Gorman, because you’re stating your opinion but clothing it as fact. Surely you don’t contend that all of the PP fetal parts in the videos are from natural stillborns and not from induced abortions. The videos show abortion providers discussing altering the procedure to produce more marketable parts; some admit that they’ve done so in the past, and some express a willingness to do so in the future. That is a crime:

        42 U.S. Code § 289g–1 – Research on transplantation of fetal tissue
        (2) Additional statement. In research carried out under subsection (a) of this section, human fetal tissue may be used only if the attending physician with respect to obtaining the tissue from the woman involved makes a statement, made in writing and signed by the physician, declaring that—
        (A) in the case of tissue obtained pursuant to an induced abortion—
        (i) the consent of the woman for the abortion was obtained prior to requesting or obtaining consent for a donation of the tissue for use in such research;
        (ii) no alteration of the timing, method, or procedures used to terminate the pregnancy was made solely for the purposes of obtaining the tissue; and
        (iii) the abortion was performed in accordance with applicable State law;
        (B) the tissue has been donated by the woman in accordance with paragraph (1); and
        (C) full disclosure has been provided to the woman with regard to—
        (i) such physician’s interest, if any, in the research to be conducted with the tissue; and
        (ii) any known medical risks to the woman or risks to her privacy that might be associated with the donation of the tissue and that are in addition to risks of such type that are associated with the woman’s medical care.

        You say: “Tissue donations–authorized by a parent of an aborted fetus–not baby, fetus–are not sold.” First, you claim tissue donations are authorized by the mothers; but you’ve not seen such authorizations, so you’re merely stating your belief that they exist. Second, you say PP’s tissue donations are not “sold”, as distinguished from PP’s legal recovery of expenses. There again, you’re stating your belief, not fact.

        PP supporters are entitled to their opinions, but for you to flatly declare that “There has never been a shred of reality to the ‘selling baby parts’ story” is pure hogwash.

        • Have yourself another pull on the Vodka Jug Billy Bile & and display your hiney-boe to the world agaworld again, nothing new here, dear. Baggers are going to be Baggers…yesterday, today & tomorrow…losers are losers. Square, normal, Repugs would love to snatch your booze from your hands and drop it into the dumpster & then follow up with the remainder of your vodka-stinking bones and black heart in with it. President Reagan, George Bush, his Daddy & brother, House Speaker Bonener…. any normal Repug would have you in Guantanamo getting water-boarded in a heart-beat if you had to gall to look at them for more than five seconds. Keep yapping, bless your heart.

      • Let it go Mr. Gorman… old Jimmy there will tell you that Santa Clause is on the square riding around passing out goodies each Christmas. Fools are going to be fools, just put him on your Prayer List. Haters are going to be haters, flakes are flakes, and so it goes. Normal greed-head conservatives hate these half-wit dip-sticks. Let those losers deal with them, karmas a bitch boy!

  2. If only Wright had been more accurate and said “Mussolini” instead. The new shrunken size of the Startlegram would have prevented that name from fitting in the headline!

  3. If only Wright had been more accurate and said ‘Mussolini’ instead. The new shrunken size of the Startlegram would have prevented that name from fitting in the headline!

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