MEDIA BIAS EXPOSED:
Are the media biased on abortion?
compiled by Diane Dew
Information at this site was taken from public records, annual reports,
and publications of The Foundation Center.
Milwaukee newspaper editors, reporter, The Journal Company itself fund abortion provider
MILWAUKEE--In what appears to be a serious breach of journalism ethics, two top editors and a reporter for The Milwaukee Journal* have been donating thousands of dollars, in recent years, to Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin (PPW). Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion provider in the world.
According to the Annual Report of Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin for 1990, Howard R. Fibich, Milwaukee Journal deputy managing editor, and Paul G. Hayes, editor of the paper's 'Wisconsin' magazine, have donated considerable sums of money to PPW. Hayes, who donated between $1,000-10,000 in 1990 alone, was also listed as a major donor in the 1988 report, as were the Journal Company itself, and senior editor Sig Gissler.
A judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit, Richard D. Cudahy, also was listed as a donor to PPW in the 1990 Annual Report. It is not known whether he donated to the organization in previous years, or whether he may have served on panels in which Planned Parenthood was involved, without excusing himself. Cudahy has served as federal judge for the 7th Circuit since 1979.
The report also cites Katherine M. Skiba, general assignments reporter for the newspaper, as a donor. Skiba has covered Milwaukee abortion protests for the paper.
Like the ethics codes of most papers, The Milwaukee Journal Code of Ethics prohibits the receipt of gifts, donating of money or participation in political campaigns or organizations, although another reporter at The Journal, who asked not to be identified, says he received prior permission from one editor to actively participate in Mayor John O. Norquist's campaign.
The purpose of the ethics code is to avoid any "conflict of interest, or the appearance of a conflict of interest," the handbook reads. The rule is binding upon all "those reporting and editing," who are involved in the newsgathering process, it says.
This is not the first time in recent years that senior editors at The Milwaukee Journal have encroached upon the paper's credibility. In 1988, donations by editor Sig Gissler and even the Journal Company itself were made public after the 1989 firing of a part-time secretary for her anti-abortion sidewalk counseling, saying it caused the paper to appear biased. In that case, which received nationwide attention, the paper made an out-of-court settlement with the secretary, just days before a decision was due from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, with whom the secretary had filed a complaint. The paper offered a public apology, admitting they had erred in applying the rule, written for reporters and editors, to a secretary.
Gissler excused his donation to the public, saying his wife wrote the check; but no explanation was ever offered for the corporate donation, or that of another editor, Paul G. Hayes. The paper's circulation dropped by several thousand as publications and radio programs from New York to Dallas to Los Angeles were covering the story, for weeks -- while not a word was printed in either of the local papers until the secretary was contacted by Newsweek magazine.
Journal/Sentinel, Inc. owns both The Milwaukee Journal and Milwaukee Sentinel [since joined as The Journal Sentinel], as well as WTMJ-TV. WTMJ-AM and WKTI-FM.
"Conservatives are tired of Milwaukee's monstrous media monopoly," one resident says. "The Journal has been known to obstruct truth, pander to their own and distort the stories they do report. Now we know why."
Also listed as donors to PPW, in both the 1988 and 1990 reports, was former top editor Richard Leonard, and his wife, Barbara (who also is listed as an elected board member for PPW in 1988 and 1990). Leonard is now a journalism instructor at Marquette University, and advisor for the school paper.
[In more recent years, the newspaper has funded PPW through The Milwaukee Foundation.]
* The newspaper merged with the morning paper, owned by the same company, and is now called the Journal-Sentinel.
More stories on media bias toward abortion:
Your Job or Your Beliefs:
The Cowles Media Foundation, publisher of the Star Tribune newspaper serving the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, for years has been donating to Planned Parenthood of Minnesota in Saint Paul. According to records of The Foundation Center, the company-sponsored foundation authorized grants of $50,000 and $12,000 in 1996; $50,000 in 1995; $12,000 in 1995; $10,000 in 1994; etc.
The Cowles Media Foundation had assets of $11,952,683 for the fiscal year ending March 31, 1996. Total giving was $1,646,634.
(612) 673-7051; (612) 673-7100
Boston Globe funds abortion provider
by Diane Dew
The Boston Globe Foundation donated $6,000 to Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts and the newspaper accepted the Maggie Award for Newspapers from the Planned Parenthood Federation of America in 1995 "for its coverage of the Dec. 30, 1994 abortion clinic murders in Brookline and subsequent articles, editorials and columns on the subject." (Boston Globe Foundation Allocations for Fiscal Year 1995) The Boston Globe Foundation is a corporate foundation. Information on the newspaper's 1995 Editorial Awards is available online at http://www.boston.com/extranet/editorial/1995awards.stm
According to information posted at the foundation's web site: "The Boston Globe Foundation was established to coordinate the philanthropy of the Globe Newspaper Company." It partners with numerous other foundations, including the Boston Lesbian and Gay Communities Funding Partnership. For more information, contact:
Microsoft's Gates donates millions
Microsoft chairman William H. (Bill) Gates donates millions to a variety of population groups, according to an article in The Philanthropy News Digest, Oct. 8, 1997.
Bill Gates is donor and trustee of the William H. Gates Foundation, which had assets of $210,000,000 and made grants totaling $6,500,00 in the fiscal year ending March 31, 1996.
Gates is also director of the Washington Research Foundation, which had assets of $15,597,813 and made grants totaling $500,000 in the fiscal year ending June 30, 1995.
Ted Turner gives millions to population groups
Ted Turner, of the all-news channel Cable News Network (CNN), gave about $3 million to population groups from October 1996 to 1997. Among those groups receiving funds from the Turner Foundation, are: Planned Parenthood, Catholics For a Free Choice, the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL), Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS), The Population Institute, etc., according to the foundations website.
Turner also has dedicated a reporter to coverage of population issues, according to The Philanthropy News Digest, Oct. 8, 1997.
R. E. (Ted) Turner III is donor, president, and a trustee of the Turner Foundation, Inc. (GA), which had assets of $133,278,592 and made grants totaling $3,336,238 in the year ending 12/31/95.
For more information, or to voice disapproval, contact:
NEW YORK TIMES A REGULAR DONOR
The New York Times has been very consistent in its corporate support of agencies performing abortion.
In addition to the paper's $10,000 donation to Planned Parenthood in 1990, The Times has been funding the organization on a regular basis, for several years.
According to publications at the Foundation Library:
In the same year that The Times made the $10,000 gift to Planned Parenthood of New York City (PP-NYC), an additional grant of $10,000 was written to the organization's national headquarters, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA).
Also in 1990, the paper gave $10,000 to PP-NYC.
In 1988, several gifts, ranging from $5,000 to $10,000 were given by the newspaper to Planned Parenthood.
The same year, the paper also gave $5,000 to the Alan Guttmacher Institute "for a survey of sex education." Guttmacher was a former president of PP; the Institute is PP's research arm, to reach the press.
In 1986 The Times gave at least $10,000 to PP-NYC, according to the organization's Annual Report.
Foundation publications list only a sampling of grants distributed, and only for select groups.
Information for every year was not available. 1/10/93
CHICAGO TRIBUNE FUNDS ABORTION PROVIDER
The Milwaukee Journal is only one of many newspaper donating to Planned Parenthood, according to an editor for The Chicago Tribune.
Carl Panek, overnight city editor for The Chicago Tribune, says the Tribune also donates to Planned Parenthood, but indirectly, through a fund called the Crusade of Mercy. The Crusade of Mercy solicits donations from various companies and individuals and then distributes it "to the boy scouts, the homeless, Planned Parenthood, and all sorts of good organizations," he says.
"You can't get away from it," says Panek; "there's no way to avoid this stuff. You give to a fund and it gives to PP."
"Anti-choice employees at the Tribune refuse to donate," says Panek, "But 90 percent of the employees give to the Crusade of Mercy."
When told of a story in which Milwaukee Journal editors this week were found to be contirbuting thousands of dollars to Planned Parenthood, and the concern of some that such gifts may cause a conflict of interest, Panek dismissed the story as not newsworthy.
"Something like that would have to go on the opinion page," he said. "When
it comes to the abortion issue, everything is opinion."
Gannett Foundation funds abortion provider
The Gannett Foundation, Inc., of Virginia, authorized a donation of $10,000 to the Planned Parenthood Association of Nashville in 1995, according to Foundation Center publications. It also was listed as a donor in the 1990 Annual Report of Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin (PPW). The Gannett Foundation provides journalism scholarships, etc. Gannett Newspapers in Washington, DC owns 82 newspapers, 15 radio stations and 10 television stations nationwide -- including USA Today, The Des Moines Register, etc.
Gannet Company, Inc., headquartered in Arlington, Va., also owns Louis Harris and Associates, Telematch, and several nondaily publications, according to a list supplied by their public affairs department.
The Gannett Foundation is now called the Freedom Forum.
Why should we care what they do with their
"Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
In other words, media dedicated enough to a cause to support it
financially probably also are biased toward that issue in their reporting.
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