Many of you probably saw or heard about the billboards and bus signage the Vitae Caring Foundation put up this spring. Well, the local NPR station KUOW did a story on...well, we aren't quite sure what the story was on since they are denying that the story was even about Vitae.
Maybe the story was about web design! After all, the reporter Meghan Walker walker sat in Planned Parnethood's office with their director of public affairs Kristen Glundberg-Prossor and critiqued Vitae’s website for the first third of the interview. In that case they should have interviewed someone who knows something about web design, layout and copy. And maybe it should have been someone who didn't have a horse in the race.
So a PP public relations hack gets together with a reporter and they talk about Vitae's billboards and they never contact Vitae.
Silly us. Maybe the story was about Planned Parnethood! That seems the more likely subject since the story they aired is littered with falsehoods and lies about themselves and others that are all par for the course whenever PP or its friends open their mouths.
Vitae asked KUOW to appoint an ombudsman. KUOW has been non responsive. Why are we not surprised.
Vitae also e-mailed Mr. Nelson asking for the station’s Ethics Policy. To date, no reply has been received. Sadly, this is the same kind of action we get from local officials at Seattle Public Health and others when we ask for documents related to their policies on abortion.
Welcome to Seattle Vitae!
Vitae has since filed a complaint with the Washington News Council.
Vitae's full press release about the situation is here.
However, since their initial press release more problems with KUOW's story have come to light and were outlined in an email to us from Vitae president Carl Landwehr as follows:
- The story inaccurately identified Jeff Smith as a doctor, when he in fact is an attorney with Lee & Hayes Law Firm in Spokane .
- Jeff Smith JD is the Board Chairman of Life Services, not Life Choices as reported.
- The quote from Jeff Smith used during the broadcast was taken out of context. The quote came from an archive audio recording of Mr. Smith testifying before the Washington State Senate Health Care Committee earlier this year. This archive piece was KUOW’s only attempt to offer information from the other side’s point of view.
- Megan Walker, the reporter of this story, is not listed as a staff person on the KUOW website. Does this mean she is (or was) an intern? If so, we question KUOW’s ability to properly manage its intern reporting.
- As KUOW received replies to this biased story and inaccuracies pointed out, the station continued to respond with their standard inaccurate reply (misidentifying Jeff Smith and continuing to say the story was not about Vitae). This continued dissemination of misinformation points out a culture of misrepresentation that not only condones but affirms inaccurate reporting.