Monday, June 22, 2009

New low in insensitivity?... Star-Telegram reporter mocks website owner for attire worn at grave site service

Fort Worth Star-Telegram reporter Barry Shlachter (left) may have hit a new low in insensitivity, if not cruelty, by mocking the attire somebody wore to a grave site service.

Here's the story. Robert McKee runs a Fort Worth web site -- -- which sponsors a yearly contest. The contest involves the website publishing letters from signage downtown, and contestants try to guess which signs the letters belong to. The winner usually gets several hundred dollars worth of downtown merchandise.

The contest results were delayed this year because McKee went to Scotland with relatives to scatter his father's ashes.

One of the 450 contestants was unhappy that the results were delayed, and contacted Star Telegram reporter Barry Shlachter.

Shlachter did some research, discovered McKee's father had died months ago, and sent a skeptical email to McKee to ask how he could be at his father's "funeral" when his father died several months earlier. In response, McKee sent an email explaining the circumstances -- and McKee included a photo showing him scattering his father's ashes.

Shlachter saw the photo and instead of treating it as confirmation of McKee's private moment honoring his father, Shlachter went to print mocking McKee for wearing "an Aloha shirt". This is from Shlacter's June 21st column:

"Scattering ashes in an Aloha shirt (he sent us a picture) may not be the same as a funeral (his father died in December), but why quibble?"

Below is the photo McKee sent Shlachter.

For the record, McKee says he was wearing a pixellated floral design -- not a Hawaiian shirt. But even if it was a Hawaiian shirt, what business is that of Shlachter's?

McKee isn't taking Shlachter's insult sitting down. Check out his response to Shlachter's tacky article here.

Update: Barry Shlachter's book on chili recipes here.


Anonymous said...

It's nice to see McClatchy continue to do such riveting journalism as this.

I'm sure we can look forward to such hard hitting reports on what custard Obama ate next week.

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:51 LOL

And they actually wonder why anyone bothers to buy one of their overpriced papers, or log into their biased blog?

All the while their geriatric owners, who should be up in arms over this article, are only concerned about retaining ownership of their plague ship company.

As for this idiot old timer who made the comment, who out there knows the old codgers story?

Anonymous said...

After reading his blog entry, Robert McKee seems like a really good guy! I wish him well, as all the other McClatchy people of his ilk!

Anonymous said...

Barry Schlachter on the other hand, seems like a world class POS

redwoods said...

Someone had a great line in the comments section of the Star-Telegram article:

"such groundbreaking hard hitting investigative journalism going after a guy who was late updating a blog website because he was out of the country burying his father's ashes. seriously??? man, every day it seems my dear old Fort Worth Star Telegram is looking more and more like TMZ."

That really does speak volumes. And the fact that the article ran in press today, while their website was updated last Friday, makes his assertion that "no results have been posted" an outright lie.

Amazing how a story of only seven short paragraphs can have so many misleading details and unchecked facts. I think he should stick to chili recipes, lol.

Anonymous said...

Geez, I mean, really. Who cares? This is the kind of drivel that makes me crazy. On both counts. A goofy column about a blogger. Yikes....move along the droids you're seeking aren't here, you may continue with your regular programming.

Anonymous said...

Barry Schlachter, the Perez Hilton of the chili set, does his Mr. Blackwell impersonation.

candycorn said...

I agree about the "who cares" factor regarding B.S.'s (lol) article, but McKee's reaction is warranted, I'd be pissed too if this jerkoff publicized any details about me having a memorial for either of my parents, funeral or not.

'Perez Hilton of the chili set' = LOL

Anonymous said...

Barry's article isn't indicative of a change in the journalistic direction of the paper, obviously attacking citizens and readers isn't a smart thing to do and certainly isn't supported by upper management. Is it?

Instead this is simply an example of Barry acting like the disaffected troll he is.

Anonymous said...

JUne 30th sposed to b more bad news @ Star-Telegram?

Anonymous said...

Isn't it ironic a fun contest about the wonderful downtown Fort Worth gets treatment like this from it's very own city's paper.

I can only surmise mst intelligent people can easily see who is the good guy in this (hint: he's wearing something that resembles a Hawaiian shirt).

Way to go FWST.

Anonymous said...

Back in the day, I would have called Barry Schlachter an ignorant asshole, but having graduated from college and all, I would now call him an ignorant, liberal asshole. I am 99% sure about that liberal call, and 100% sure he is an asshole.

Anonymous said...

Snark like what this "insightful, professional, and thoughtful journalist" wrote about a man's memorial for his father at one time would have resulted in broken glasses and loose teeth for said reporter.

I'll settle however for the joy of watching reporters becoming hobos begging for change on freeway ramps.