The Wounded Warrior Project...

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Wounded Warrior Project...

...an organization OtBB has been pleased to support in the past thanks to the local activism of young Derek Araujo, has taken a salvo this week for its stupidity and hypocrisy.

It began small Tuesday on my old colleage Tom Gresham's GunTalk Facebook page in a thread entitled "Wounded Warrior Project Email Exchange," and took off from there.

The gist of the controversay is that when Gresham invited the Wounded Warrior Project to join him on his Veteran's Day radio broadcast and talk about their work, their accom­plishments and their objectives, WWP's public relations director Leslie A. Coleman declined, citing their "Additional Opportunities Policy," specifically the disclaimer at the bottom of that Webpage:

"WWP does not co-brand, create cause marketing cam­paigns or receive a percentage or a portion of proceeds from companies in which the product or message is sexual, political or religious in nature, or from alcohol or weapon companies."

Ignoring for a moment that Gresham's radio and television programs are by no stretch of the imagination "weapon companies," WWP actually sponsers firearms-related events such as hunting, and the sale of a Wounded Warrior Project Commemorative Rifle.

And this past May, "weapon companies" Kahr Arms, Mag­num Research and Auto Ordnance, announced a $50,000 donation to the Wounded Warrior Project.

(That was from a press release from Kahr, not WWP, so it would seem that Wounded Warrior Project will take "weapons" money... as long as it's on the down-low.)

Grisham, like Hollywood cowboy of yore "Wild Bill" Elliott, is a "peaceable man," but he wasn't of a mind to lay down on this one.

It didn't take long before the non-mainstream media took note of Wounded Warrior Project's high-hatting of Grisham.

Wounded Warrior Project faces fallout after snubbing ‘Gun Talk’

Okay, so while you won't see this reported on ABC, CBS, CNN or NBC, it's gotten national attention, and while gun owners weren't able to prevent an Obama re-relection, within 24 hours they had caused WWP to back-track:

Wounded Warrior Project reverses position, ‘welcomes’ Gun Talk 'opportunity'

"A spokesperson for the Wounded Warrior Project ex­pressed regret for 'the appearance of a lack of apprecia­tion for the support the [firearms] community has given us based on a confusingly communicated business decision.'"

Right! That, as the late "Colonel Sherman T. Potter" would term it, is "Carolina cowpies!"

The policy cited by Leslie A. Coleman (who may also be "late" at this point), stems from knee-jerk corporate hoplo­phobia, an educated surmise based on the structure of the Wounded Warrior Project, a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

It boasts that...

"82.8 percent of total expenditures went to provide services and programs for Wounded Warriors and their families."

...but the fact is that it is a fund-raising entity whose CEO/Executive Director Steven Nardizzi pulls down almost $320,000 per year, including $135,000 in bonuses and incentice compensation.

Today, the fast-moving story had another development:

Wounded Warrior redux: WWP now ‘Clarifying our approach’

Basically, it's more backing and filling, but it does note that Nardizzi will be appearing on Gresham's program this Sun­day to hash it out with the host and do his mea culpas for the listeners.

Comments

1. Paul Haines said...

August 2012 issue of Charity Watch.org gives the Wounded Warrior Project a "D" rating which is unsatisfactory. It is my understanding that the Semper Fi Fund which gets an "A+" broke away from the WWP. – Paul Haines

Thank you Paul!

So everyone's using the same yardstick, Charity Navigator.org rates SFF at an exceptional "67.85/70" while WWP at a not-so-hot "54.18/70."
– Dean

2. Rob F. said...

For the last several months, at my gun club's monthly membership meeting, we have been "passing the pot" -- handing around an old US Army helmet -- and collecting money for the Wounded Warrior Project. Our small group of gun owners has donated several hundred dollars from our little monthly collections, and planned to keep doing so. We may have to rethink that and find an alternate group for our donations.

I'm listening to Tom's interview with Steve Nardizzi right now, and I'm not impressed with Nardizzi's double talk, and neither, to his great credit, is Tom.

Others may take a different view, but I think Nardizzi is full of crap.
– Dean

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