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Monday, September 18, 2006
WND Ignores Schindler-Randall Terry Split
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Here's something we didn't learn about from WorldNetDaily: The Schindler family -- Terri Schiavo's parents and siblings -- and Randall Terry, who served as a spokesman and activist for the Schindlers during the Terri Schiavo controversy, have apparently had a falling out.

A Sept. 2 article on the right-wing North Country Gazette by June Maxam attacks Terry for invoking the Schiavo case in soliciting fund for his campaign for a state legislature seat in Florida (which he decisively lost). According to Maxam, the conservative "grassroots" group RightMarch used a letter purportedly signed by Bob Schindler, Terri's father, to raise money for Terry's campaign:

Bob Schindler didn't write that letter. Randall Terry has used the name of Bob Schindler and Terri without authorization, a misappropriation of name. This is the individual who has sued his opponent for what he claims is slander and decried the so-called tactics of Jim King. Terry tactics are no better; in fact, they're far worse.

The misuse and misrepresentation by Randall Terry of the Schindler name has caused the family to place a disclaimer notice at the web site for the Terri Schindler-Schiavo Foundation, proclaiming "Fraudulent Fundraising Alert!" The notice says "There is presently a solicitation letter being circulated that falsely implies that a member of the Schindler family is requesting donations for a political candidate. Any sources soliciting contributions in the name of the Schindler family is unauthorized, misleading and totally disingenuous".

Maxam further attacks RightMarch for "exploit[ing] Terri Schiavo in order to raise money for their own causes." Further, she even brings in Gary McCullough, who she describes as Terry's "best friend," into it, calling him, Terry, and RightMarch head William Greene, claiming that all of them are using methods "akin to snake oil sales tactics and not only exploit Terri Schiavo but desecrate her name."

Maxam is very much on the Schindlers' side here; she claimed Michael Schiavo "used and abused the Schindlers" and called Terry's primary opponent, James King, "almost singlehandedly responsible for the death of Terri Schiavo for his refusal to support legislation which would have saved her life."

As we noted, WorldNetDaily didn't mention any of this. To the contrary, in an Aug. 12 article, it touted Terry's candidacy by reporting on his use of a Bill Clinton impersonator in phone calls to voters. WND threw in various resume bullet points about Terry, noting that he "is the author of six best-selling books and "has spent time in jail for his peaceful civil disobedience operations while with Operation Rescue in the 1980s and 1990s."

What you won't find in this article, though, is any mention of his connection to the Schiavo case. As we reported, Terry and McCullough played a notable role in bringing the Schiavo case into public consciousness in 2003.

But, as we also reported, WND news editor Diana Lynne's book on the Schiavo case, despite being promoted as "comprehensive," failed to mention Terry and McCullough at all. In our report on Lynne's book, we speculated that Lynne's reason for doing so was to downplay the Schindlers' connection to anti-abortion extremists like Terry and McCullough or the amount of behind-the-scenes orchestration that went on to publicize the Schiavo case. But now, we have to wonder something else: that the Schindlers no longer wanted to be associated with Terry, and Lynne was more than happy to expunge him from her (biased) version of the historical record. That whitewashing seems to have drifted into WND as a whole with its failure to mention Terry's Schiavo work in its Aug. 12 article.

And poor Bob Unruh thinks he's working for a "news" organization that provides an "unfiltered lens."

Posted by Terry K. at 12:40 AM EDT

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