Special to WorldTribune.com, June 30, 2021
Commentary by Joe Schaeffer
There are two angles to what follows that seem to be of some significance:
1. Local newspapers are writing love letters to Planned Parenthood thinly disguised as “news.”
2. Abortion trumps racism in the modern progressive pyramid.
A June 21 article posted in the Metro section of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s online site featured this ridiculous headline:
‘Effective leader with big heart’: Planned Parenthood of Western PA CEO retires after 37 years
The ludicrousness does not end there. Kimberlee Evert was retiring from the baby slaughtering business after “nearly four decades as Planned Parenthood of Western Pennsylvania’s CEO and president” and the Post-Gazette was eager to portray her as just a regular working gal:
“Time goes fast,” Ms. Evert said. “It just blows by when you’re busy.”
The article goes out of its way to treat abortion as just another “industry” like manufacturing toothpaste or something:
Since Ms. Evert started at Planned Parenthood, she has seen the industry undergo many significant changes.
“When I started, there was a lot that was different. Not as much in the political world, because I think the services we provide, particularly abortion services, have always been controversial,” she said.
“That hasn’t changed. Things that have changed have been just the way people deliver health care. Those changes have been enormous both with things like health insurance coverage that people have now, the technology that people use to deliver care, and to document that care.”
Reminder: This is a straight news article in the Metro section of the newspaper. The sap is poured generously throughout:
Ms. Evert’s passion for her work and community has been clearly apparent to those around her throughout her tenure.
“She was the type of leader that got her hands dirty,” [Former PP board member Carole] King said. “I worked on many fundraising events with her and she was the first person there setting up and breaking down and cleaning up.”
Ms. Evert’s work often is community oriented.
More recently, she led the organization through political attacks that resulted in the loss of Title X funding, which helps low-income individuals receive family planning and reproductive health services.
“She cares very much about the clients of Planned Parenthood. She cares very much about the issue of reproductive justice and feels strongly that family planning services are an important element for our community. She’s just a really effective leader with a big heart.”
All this is about as subtle as a punch to the face, of course. But an August 2020 Charlotte Observer feature obit managed to be even more over the top. The newspaper flat-out celebrated the life of a eugenicist abortion activist who died at the ripe old age of 98.
Even by modern “mainstream” journalism standards, the obituary stands out for its effusive super-saccharine propaganda. A “genteel, cultured lady,” banana splits, red rotary phones… and the abortion clinic Sarah Bryant founded.
“Sarah always had a white-gloves look about her,” former Observer publisher Rolfe Neill, “who with his late wife Ann Neill were early supporters of her efforts,” is quoted as saying. “But she put on her work gloves to create a much-needed home for family planning.”
The article quaintly details how Bryant used her red rotary phone home phone to counsel traumatized young girls before the clinic opened.
But this glowing paen to Bryant, a North Carolina abortion-rights hero who died Aug. 3, 2020, left out a salient fact. “With the encouragement of the late Art Jones and Wallace Kuralt, Bryant and her friends raised $7,500 to open a clinic in a retired doctor’s office on East Morehead,” the account reads. “That was in 1971, two years before abortions were legalized.”
What is not reported is that Kuralt, the father of famed CBS “On the Road” correspondent Charles Kuralt, was a prominent mid-20th century eugenicist whom the Observer itself in a 2012 investigative piece described as the “architect” of a local “program of eugenic sterilization” who “helped write one of the most shameful chapters of North Carolina history.”
Wallace Kuralt served as Mecklenburg County’s welfare director from 1945 to 1972.
“In 1960, just under 25 percent of Mecklenburg residents were African-American,” the Observer reported nine years ago. “But blacks made up more than 80 percent of the people ordered sterilized at the request of the Welfare Department between 1955 and 1966. In 1957, the peak year for Mecklenburg, the state approved sterilizations of 52 blacks and five whites.”
“He was a hero with women’s reproductive rights. I would just be shocked if Wallace Kuralt were playing the game of ‘improve the stock,’ ” Dr. John Johnston, a “retired pediatrician and public health leader,” told the Observer in the investigative article.
Yet Kuralt was performing a service that fellow “reproductive rights hero” Bryant openly sympathized with as well.
“We were like a Third World country in that area at the time,” Bryant told the Observer in 2011 of the period before her clinic opened, anti-abortion website Live Action reported in 2019. In a video for Planned Parenthood, Bryant related how “Mr. Art Jones, who was a banker, and Mr. Wallace Kuralt, who was the chairman, head of the county health commission, urged me to start Planned Parenthood. They had been involved and had known about Margaret Sanger when they were in [Oberlin] College. So, that was the beginning.”
Here’s more from the Observer’s obit version of local newspaper love letter to Planned Parenthood (bold added):
An odd pursuit for someone like Bryant, who, as a teen, once sat weeping in an uptown drugstore because she’d ordered a 20-cent banana split and had only a dime in her purse.
Before Planned Parenthood, her life had revolved around her husband Bob Bryant, a funeral director, and her two sons, Frank and Jamie. She led Cub Scout troops, headed up a women’s circle at Myers Park Baptist, taught Sunday school and served on local boards.
Ah, yes, the banana split lady who was so hardcore about abortion that she opened a clinic two years before Roe v. Wade made that murderous act legal across the nation with the stroke of a pen. It’s your classic Norman Rockwell painting.
As the Observer noted in its 2012 piece, Wallace Kuralt never flinched from his eugenicist beliefs:
But Kuralt had no regrets. In writings and interviews throughout his life, he described sterilization and birth control as the key to saving tax money and rooting out poverty among the “low mentality-low income families which tend to produce the largest number of children.”
“When we stop to reflect upon the thousands of physical, mental and social misfits in our midst,” he wrote in The Charlotte News in 1964, “the thousands of families which are too large for the family to support, the one-tenth of our children born to an unmarried mother, the hoard of children rejected by parents, is there any doubt that health, welfare and education agencies need to redouble their efforts to prevent these conditions which are so costly to society?”
This is what the Charlotte Observer carried water for with its praise for Sarah Bryant last August.
If you’re keeping track of the woke progressive scoreboard, it would appear that lionizing an abortion clinic owner as America’s Grandma now takes precedence over pointing out that her clinic was founded at the direct behest of a man who targeted blacks for sterilization.
On one hand, The Charlotte Observer would dearly love to portray Wallace Kuralt as an evil racist who wanted to stamp out the local black population. But there is a problem. As a member of the so-called “mainstream media” in good standing, it also loves abortion and population control in general.
What to do?
The Charlotte Observer made its choice. And it had the phenomenal gall to do so as it and big-box media parent company McClatchy was hosting panels on “systemic racism” for North Carolina newspapers during the summer of George Floyd. “Breaking Point: Tackling Systemic Racism in North Carolina,” was the bloated title of a July 16 symposium.
Somewhere Sarah Bryant is chuckling. Well… maybe not.
Joe Schaeffer is the former Managing Editor of The Washington Times National Weekly Edition. His columns appear at WorldTribune.com and FreePressInternational.org.