Friday, March 26, 2010
Protecting those who protect us
Tina M. Perriguey
Protecting those who protect us - in counterterrorism, and working the street - our German Shepherd Dog.
Here's a contest. How many of you will call the editor of your nearest MAJOR newspaper today- and DEMAND that they run a story on the RICO lawsuit against HSUS?
Can we get in 10,589 calls before David takes the stage in Orlando?
Please comment here after you speak to the editor. My comment is below. Hopefully, if you live in California, you'll be dialing (916) 321-5249 before you finish reading...
On March 1st, I couldn't help noticing that the Sacramento Bee Capitol Report had completely ignored the fact that HSUS had a RICO lawsuit filed against them. The Sacramento Bee faithfully prints every HSUS-issued press release. So I gave the Bureau Chief, Dan Smith a call that morning to politely inquire about their journalistic standards. I pointed out that the Sacramento Bee is always all too happy to print what HSUS tells them, without questioning or investigating the merit of HSUS's claims. And now that there's a huge scandal-ridden story about HSUS - the newspaper of our State Capitol is ignoring it. He said he'd check it out with their Washington DC office and call me back. I called him about an hour later, and we had a long talk. He said "I checked and although it's been talked about in some blogs, no major newspaper has written it up. If I were to do this, I'd have to put a reporter on it to verify the details. Most people think that HSUS is a good outfit, and I know some people like you may disagree, but..."
Essentially he was getting ready to blow the whole thing off and hang up, but I couldn't accept that. For one thing, I was still processing the fact that the Bureau Chief of the Sacramento Bee had just admitted to me that his idea of journalism is following the herd. (Which explains a lot about the catastrophic condition of our once-Golden State). I hadn't planned to do this, because I wanted a friendly conversation with the guy, but I ended up venting a bit. Which sounded a lot like this... (Forgive the run-on sentences, this is how I talk when I get fired up)...
"The Sacramento Bee is the newspaper of the state Capitol of California (the 8th largest economy in the world) - and it's disconcerting when we can't look to them for investigative journalism of an organization so powerful they just wiped out an important industry in our state. Should we tell California egg farmers there's no need for the public to learn the truth about HSUS?
"If I sound angry it's because you're hearing over three years of frustration built up, by reading Sacramento Bee reporters regurgitating HSUS press releases, without doing ANY investigative journalism. I find it interesting that you're suddenly concerned with accurate reporting when you are asked to publish something negative and scandal-ridden about HSUS. Pesky details like accuracy never slows Sac Bee down when you want to print something positive about the deceptively-named "Humane" Society of the United States. Do you know how many Constitutional violations are in the HSUS-backed bills that your newspaper routinely promotes?
"Thank God the Governor vetoed Pedro Nava's HSUS-backed so-called "puppy mill bill." But you know maybe it wouldn't have made it to his desk if Sac Bee had bothered to report that it would have criminalized the most ethical and essential breeders in the state - I'm talking about the men and women who produce top-quality bred and highly-trained assistance dogs for the disabled and law enforcement K9's. You know how much pressure was put on legislators to sign that deceptively-named bill, because of your newspaper's incessant printing of the lies told by HSUS and Pedro Nava? That bill didn't offer one single meaningful provision to protect dogs. It didn't have to, all it had to do was get called the "puppy mill bill" in print enough times.
"Dan, you sound like a nice guy, and a part of me wants to let you off the hook, because I get the sense that you haven't a clue as to the truth about how dangerous HSUS is. But then it hits me during this conversation... That's the most alarming thing of all. How is it possible that the Bureau Chief of the Sacramento Bee can still be in the dark?
"Dan I've got my own press release for you - and here it is. Every time you guys serve as a HSUS PR agency, instead of acting like a newspaper - you're helping the Bill of Rights get kicked to the curb. I don't know where you grew up, but where I grew up - that's called abdication of journalistic standards."
Now mind you, I know this is no way to win friends and influence people, so I got nicer at the end. I don't suggest a tirade. But I'm thinking Dan needs to get a LOT more calls. (916) 321-5249.
How many major newspapers have printed a story covering the RICO lawsuit filed against HSUS? How many of them routinely print stories casting HSUS in a rosy glow?
Is it just me, or is time to start demanding a little thing called journalism from major newspapers NATIONWIDE? If you agree with me, David can tell Orlando about the day 10,589 Americans made sure their newspaper editor read http://www.humanewatch.org/.