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Media Bias in San Antonio Express-News coverage of Charlie Thrash’s guardianship case

April 12-13, 2019: April 12-13, 2019 San Antonio Express-News coverage of Charlie Thrash’s guardianship trial, showing obvious bias against Laura Martinez and her counsel Phil Ross, a bias picked up from Court investigator Elaine Damian’s discredited report, which offered unsubstantiated opinions and misstatements of fact in place of an evidence-based, impartial investigation to discover the truth of Charlie’s incapacitation and whether or not Laura was exploiting Charlie.

Nowhere in this article does John MacCormack and the Express-News inform readers that Laura Martinez’s entire defense was struck from the record based on, among other reasons, Court investigator Elaine Damian’s erroneous, largely unsubstantiated, frequently-misstated Report. Instead Damian’s Report is quoted at length, without any further substantiation or research, and no attempt to offer any counter-argument against it.  This is obvious bias in MacCormack’s and the Express-News‘ coverage of Charlie Thrash’s guardianship case that prejudices readers against Laura Martinez, and in favor of the Court, Judge Kazen, and Mary Werner.

Nowhere in this article does John MacCormack and the Express-News inform readers that this article omits all of Laura Martinez’s exculpatory evidence because Judge Kazen disallowed Laura Martinez to present to the court, through her attorney of choice, Phil Ross, factual evidence of Laura’s innocence. In our opinion, this is a gross journalistic omission, especially in a newspaper, whose primary role is to inform readers of all sides, not be the Court’s stenographer, especially when the Court appears to be engaging in action contrary to Law and Fact – and that should be evident to anyone who actually researches and investigates the facts of a news story.

This article, among the others MacCormack penned for the Express-News, shows how the lightly-talented, high-prejudiced but long-employed John MacCormack is used by the Powers that Run San Antonio to tell its citizenry what the social boundaries are that must not be crossed.  It’s as if there is an unwritten law, enforced by Probate Court:

Even if a wealthy white man wants to leave his younger, Hispanic girlfriend his millions, and writes a legal, legitimate Will that names the girlfriend, that will simply not be allowed. We’ll guardianize anyone who tries to defy our control, take away their home and wealth, destroy their family, defame them in the newspapers, and convert their assets to our use.

Not in feudal, backwards, Medieval San Antonio/Bexar County, still run by Catholic macho patrons in a tight caste system, just like over 300 years ago, 1691, when the city was founded.

April 12-13, 2019 San Antonio Express-News coverage of Charlie Thrash's guardianship trial, where author John MacCormack chooses phrasing that incriminate, not support Laura Martinez. It is not simply "According to Laura Martinez... she is the sole beneficiary of [Charlie's] will." This is a FACT that has been recorded in court documents. Obscuring documented court records with "according to [one of the parties in the case]" is gross journalistic misconduct, in our opinion. The use of the phrase, "according to Laura Martinez," deliberately re-frames a neutral fact-issue in a weaponized, negative slant, against one of the two parties. It reduces the value and truth of Fact to a sketchy, 'Well, that's just what *she* says." Horrible journalism, but typical of what we what have seen repeatedly, across multiple topics, in our review of John MacCormack's directed perspective writings for the Express-News.
April 12-13, 2019 San Antonio Express-News coverage of Charlie Thrash's guardianship trial, where author John MacCormack chooses phrasing that incriminate, not support Laura Martinez. It is not simply "According to Laura Martinez... she is the sole beneficiary of [Charlie's] will." This is a FACT that has been recorded in court documents. Obscuring documented court records with "according to [one of the parties in the case]" is gross journalistic misconduct, in our opinion. The use of the phrase, "according to Laura Martinez," deliberately re-frames a neutral fact-issue in a weaponized, negative slant, against one of the two parties. It reduces the value and truth of Fact to a sketchy, 'Well, that's just what *she* says." Horrible journalism, but typical of what we what have seen repeatedly, across multiple topics, in our review of John MacCormack's directed perspective writings for the Express-News.
April 12-13, 2019 San Antonio Express-News coverage of Charlie Thrash's guardianship trial, where a careful reader will note all author John MacCormack has done is parrot one side's Motion, not provide objective, journalistic news coverage of two-sided Trial. Thus, all readers every learn in John MacCormack's reporting is what Cavaretta, Katona, Leighner & Andersen want the readers to know. Since CKL&A represent Charlie's estranged grandniece, Tonya Barina, Guardian of Charlie's Estate, anything they state in their Motions will be highly prejudiced against Laura Martinez, in favor of their client, Tonya. That's the way the law is supposed to work. It is NOT the way journalists are supposed to cover a civil, legal case where a man's liberties, freedom to freely associate with whom he pleases, and his life work, is at stake.
April 12-13, 2019 San Antonio Express-News coverage of Charlie Thrash's guardianship trial, where a careful reader will note all author John MacCormack has done is parrot one side's Motion, not provide objective, journalistic news coverage of two-sided Trial. Thus, all readers every learn in John MacCormack's reporting is what Cavaretta, Katona, Leighner & Andersen want the readers to know. Since CKL&A represent Charlie's estranged grandniece, Tonya Barina, Guardian of Charlie's Estate, anything they state in their Motions will be highly prejudiced against Laura Martinez, in favor of their client, Tonya. That's the way the law is supposed to work. It is NOT the way journalists are supposed to cover a civil, legal case where a man's liberties, freedom to freely associate with whom he pleases, and his life work, is at stake.
April 12-13, 2019 San Antonio Express-News coverage of Charlie Thrash's guardianship trial, shows the inaccuracy of John MacCormack's reporting for Express-News. There has never been a Texas Adult Protective Services investigation that "concluded that Martinez was exploiting Thrash financially and isolating him from his family and longtime friends." That simply is not a true statement and we challenge John MacCormack, or the Express-News since MacCormack is now retired (as of 12/31/2020), to show proof of the accuracy of their reporting. If the Express-News cannot demonstate any evidence to support its claim that APS found evidence of Laura exploiting Charlie, as is customary when a newspaper is found to have published factual errors, a retraction, as prominent as the original article's placement, should be made. If no prominent retraction or apology to Charlie Thrash, Laura Martinez, Phil Ross, and everyone else the Express-News' coverage has materially harmed, we can only conclude that the Express-News' editor and publisher have no trouble defaming, slandering and ruining San Antonians lives, in order to sell more papers. Because just like everything else about guardianship: It's All About Making Money (at the complete expense of the Ward and their family.)
April 12-13, 2019 San Antonio Express-News coverage of Charlie Thrash's guardianship trial, shows the inaccuracy of John MacCormack's reporting for Express-News. There has never been a Texas Adult Protective Services investigation that "concluded that Martinez was exploiting Thrash financially and isolating him from his family and longtime friends." That simply is not a true statement and we challenge John MacCormack, or the Express-News since MacCormack is now retired (as of 12/31/2020), to show proof of the accuracy of their reporting. If the Express-News cannot demonstate any evidence to support its claim that APS found evidence of Laura exploiting Charlie, as is customary when a newspaper is found to have published factual errors, a retraction, as prominent as the original article's placement, should be made. If no prominent retraction or apology to Charlie Thrash, Laura Martinez, Phil Ross, and everyone else the Express-News' coverage has materially harmed, we can only conclude that the Express-News' editor and publisher have no trouble defaming, slandering and ruining San Antonians lives, in order to sell more papers. Because just like everything else about guardianship: It's All About Making Money (at the complete expense of the Ward and their family.)
April 12-13, 2019 San Antonio Express-News coverage of Charlie Thrash's guardianship trial, where Judge Kazen complains about the slow pace of the trial, which is reduced to a more innocuous-sounding 'proceeding.' How dare Judge Kazen complain the removal of Charlie Thrash's rights and the taking of $3.4 Million in Charlie's assets is "a three-legged burro ride up a mountain." Especially after Judge Kazen was elected to the bench upon the Express-News's recommendation over his opponent, former Probate Judge Kelly Cross. Now we think Judge Cross referring to her Wards as "Maggot Man" was disgusting, but quite frankly, much worse than any names former Judge Cross called her Wards are current Judge Oscar Kazen's denial of Due Process to Charlie Thrash, and we are certain other Wards who may have been cowed into silence and submission by Kazen's heavy hand and questionable rulings.
April 12-13, 2019 San Antonio Express-News coverage of Charlie Thrash's guardianship trial, where Judge Kazen complains about the slow pace of the trial, which is reduced to a more innocuous-sounding 'proceeding.' How dare Judge Kazen complain the removal of Charlie Thrash's rights and the taking of $3.4 Million in Charlie's assets is "a three-legged burro ride up a mountain." Especially after Judge Kazen was elected to the bench upon the Express-News's recommendation over his opponent, former Probate Judge Kelly Cross. Now we think Judge Cross referring to her Wards as "Maggot Man" was disgusting, but quite frankly, much worse than any names former Judge Cross called her Wards are current Judge Oscar Kazen's denial of Due Process to Charlie Thrash, and we are certain other Wards who may have been cowed into silence and submission by Kazen's heavy hand and questionable rulings.
April 13, 2019 San Antonio Express-News coverage of Charlie Thrash's guardianship trial, showing how casually and easily, without any regard for Charlie Thrash's wishes, Judge Oscar Kazen does exactly what he wants with Charlie's prized Corvette: Judge Kazen seizes it from Charlie's attorney, Phil Ross, and gives it to the very person Charlie has repeatedly expressed his fervent desire to not have possession of his car: his estranged grand-niece, who Charlie does not like and does not trust, Tonya Barina. Judge Kazen's actions are against the Texas Wards Bill of Rights and qualify Kazen to not just be removed from Charlie's case, but to be removed from the judgeship, have his law license revoked, and spend time in jail, for what we believe to be the clear-cut railroading of Charlie Thrash into guardianship for the express purpose of stripping Charlie's valuable property from him and providing it to whomever Judge Kazen wishes.
April 13, 2019 San Antonio Express-News coverage of Charlie Thrash's guardianship trial, showing how casually and easily, without any regard for Charlie Thrash's wishes, Judge Oscar Kazen does exactly what he wants with Charlie's prized Corvette: Judge Kazen seizes it from Charlie's attorney, Phil Ross, and gives it to the very person Charlie has repeatedly expressed his fervent desire to not have possession of his car: his estranged grand-niece, who Charlie does not like and does not trust, Tonya Barina. Judge Kazen's actions are against the Texas Wards Bill of Rights and qualify Kazen to not just be removed from Charlie's case, but to be removed from the judgeship, have his law license revoked, and spend time in jail, for what we believe to be the clear-cut railroading of Charlie Thrash into guardianship for the express purpose of stripping Charlie's valuable property from him and providing it to whomever Judge Kazen wishes.
April 12-13, 2019 San Antonio Express-News coverage of Charlie Thrash's guardianship trial, where Mary Werner admits she's isolated Charlie Thrash - since March 6, 2019. It's today, as of this writing, April 22, 2021 - 778 days Charlie has been isolated from his common-law wife Laura, and their family, upon orders of Mary Werner, in direct contradiction to The Texas Wards Bill of Rights, authored by San Antonio State Senator Judith Zaffirini and signed into law by Gov. Greg Abbott in 2015. Could it be that Mary Werner feels emboldened to defy state statutes while making money as a private, "professional", guardian because she knows the judge in Charlie's case - Mary & the Mayor's two-block away neighbor and financially-supported candidate for public office, Oscar Kazen - is well-connected and highly unlikely to find anyone willing to call him out on his misdeeds?
April 12-13, 2019 San Antonio Express-News coverage of Charlie Thrash's guardianship trial, where Mary Werner admits she's isolated Charlie Thrash - since March 6, 2019. It's today, as of this writing, April 22, 2021 - 778 days Charlie has been isolated from his common-law wife Laura, and their family, upon orders of Mary Werner, in direct contradiction to The Texas Wards Bill of Rights, authored by San Antonio State Senator Judith Zaffirini and signed into law by Gov. Greg Abbott in 2015. Could it be that Mary Werner feels emboldened to defy state statutes while making money as a private, "professional", guardian because she knows the judge in Charlie's case - Mary & the Mayor's two-block away neighbor and financially-supported candidate for public office, Oscar Kazen - is well-connected and highly unlikely to find anyone willing to call him out on his misdeeds?
April 12-13, 2019 San Antonio Express-News coverage of Charlie Thrash's guardianship trial, where Judge Kazen has, in our opinion, some gall to scold the Martinez family for "improper courtroom conduct" given his own improper and counter-to-law rulings and orders he's issued in Charlie's case. For Elaine Damian's gross misconduct in Charlie's guardianship case, including misstatements of fact to the court, in our opinion Damian deserves the special place in Hell that is destined for her, once she meets her Maker, which we hope is in a very long time so she can live to an old age and experience for herself what she's been dishing out to Texas seniors for years.
April 12-13, 2019 San Antonio Express-News coverage of Charlie Thrash's guardianship trial, where Judge Kazen has, in our opinion, some gall to scold the Martinez family for "improper courtroom conduct" given his own improper and counter-to-law rulings and orders he's issued in Charlie's case. For Elaine Damian's gross misconduct in Charlie's guardianship case, including misstatements of fact to the court, in our opinion Damian deserves the special place in Hell that is destined for her, once she meets her Maker, which we hope is in a very long time so she can live to an old age and experience for herself what she's been dishing out to Texas seniors for years.
April 12-13, 2019 San Antonio Express-News coverage of Charlie Thrash's guardianship trial, shows again the emphasis on making sure Laura Martinez and her attorney Phil Ross are denied every opportunity to defend Charlie, including using a GoFundMe account to raise money to pay for Phil Ross' legal defense of Charlie and Laura. Again we see the Court, through Judge Oscar Kazen's rulings, abusing his judicial authority to deny Due Process and the Right to Legal Representation in a Trial. This article also points out lease terms between Charlie and his adopted daughter, Brittany. Why is it any business of anyone's what terms under which Charlie decides to rent his shop to his adopted daughter? We believe the Werner's adult daughter or adult child lives with them at 310 Fawn Drive. If it's the court's business to investigate the financial terms of Charlie's rental to Brittany, then the court must investigate if the Werners are charging their adult daughter/child sufficient rent, at a fair market rent.
April 12-13, 2019 San Antonio Express-News coverage of Charlie Thrash's guardianship trial, shows again the emphasis on making sure Laura Martinez and her attorney Phil Ross are denied every opportunity to defend Charlie, including using a GoFundMe account to raise money to pay for Phil Ross' legal defense of Charlie and Laura. Again we see the Court, through Judge Oscar Kazen's rulings, abusing his judicial authority to deny Due Process and the Right to Legal Representation in a Trial. This article also points out lease terms between Charlie and his adopted daughter, Brittany. Why is it any business of anyone's what terms under which Charlie decides to rent his shop to his adopted daughter? We believe the Werner's adult daughter or adult child lives with them at 310 Fawn Drive. If it's the court's business to investigate the financial terms of Charlie's rental to Brittany, then the court must investigate if the Werners are charging their adult daughter/child sufficient rent, at a fair market rent.
April 12-13, 2019 San Antonio Express-News coverage of Charlie Thrash's guardianship trial, where this shows the Court clawing back any and all of Charlie's property it possibly can. Because again, in our opinion, this clearly shows the motivation of putting Charlie under guardianship, and reinforces what Charlie's Attorney Ad Litem Ben Wallis III wrote to the Court on July 19, 2018: "You should be aware that a principal purpose of the family's involvement in this was to obtain a share of Mr. Thrash's estate to which they were never entitled."
April 12-13, 2019 San Antonio Express-News coverage of Charlie Thrash's guardianship trial, where this shows the Court clawing back any and all of Charlie's property it possibly can. Because again, in our opinion, this clearly shows the motivation of putting Charlie under guardianship, and reinforces what Charlie's Attorney Ad Litem Ben Wallis III wrote to the Court on July 19, 2018: "You should be aware that a principal purpose of the family's involvement in this was to obtain a share of Mr. Thrash's estate to which they were never entitled."
April 12-13, 2019 San Antonio Express-News coverage of Charlie Thrash's guardianship trial, where Judge Kazen openly and unseemly "marvels... We went from a Rolex to a check to guns to one bag of jewelry." This sounds like a man counting his incoming treasures, not a Judge at all reluctant to see a man deprived of his liberties, his family, and all his possession and wealth. At least, in our opinion, it shows what Kazen & Werner are actually after: Charlie's money.
April 12-13, 2019 San Antonio Express-News coverage of Charlie Thrash's guardianship trial, where Judge Kazen openly and unseemly "marvels... We went from a Rolex to a check to guns to one bag of jewelry." This sounds like a man counting his incoming treasures, not a Judge at all reluctant to see a man deprived of his liberties, his family, and all his possession and wealth. At least, in our opinion, it shows what Kazen & Werner are actually after: Charlie's money.

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