Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Reno, NV - In February, we wrote about a Washington State resident working to gain support for breed-specific laws in his area (See: Activist Questions 'Journalistic Integrity' of Article by Sue Manning of the Associated Press). Our post scrutinized a "pet poll" designed by the Associated Press and Petside.com and an article written by Sue Manning. Today, the SRUV blog brings us a new Fact Cooker, blogger Mark Robison of the Reno Gazette-Journal.
The Clifton ReportSee: Blog post in full
A recent article by Mark Robison is the most recent example of dishonest pit bull advocacy. Fact checker: What's so scary about pit bulls? misrepresents the Clifton Report, fabricates its own statistics, and makes incorrect assumptions.
One of the most egregious errors is Mr Robison's claim that "Impound stats by primary breed show that pit bulls make up about 17.3 percent of dogs." Mr Robison fails to give reliable sources for his statistics, so we are unable to discuss them rationally. The attempt to base breed population on shelter intake statistics shows the most specious reasoning. Shelter intake statistics for pit bulls demonstrate only that pit bulls are a highly liquid asset. People pick them up then dump them off at shelters more often than other breeds for obvious reasons: they are a volatile breed. That is the only conclusion that can reasonably be drawn from shelter intake statistics about pit bulls. People are far more likely to keep a retriever for the entire life of the dog.
The post also discusses the nonfactual claims Robison makes about The Clifton Report and that Robison did not contact Clifton prior to regurgitating them. It seems Robison only relied on emails and "educational bulletins" sent by pit bull advocates and national animals groups targeting his region. As the post points out, The Clifton Report is the "only ongoing, updated, authoritative statistical report of dog bites, and thus is a favorite target of pit bull advocates."
Recent Nevada Developments
There is a backdrop here worth noting. Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval recently signed into law Senate Bill 223, a felony animal cruelty bill named Cooney's Law. Cooney was a beagle-mix that was badly tortured and killed by its owner, Raymond Rios. Due to poor animal cruelty laws, authorities had to let Rios go. Under SB 223, Cooney's death would have been a felony crime. State and local animal welfare groups are rightfully excited by the new law.
When SB 223 was introduced, Ledy VanKavage, a lobbyist for Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, began promoting AB 324 to Nevada lawmakers. The bill sought to reduce the ability for authorities to deem a dog dangerous and to prohibit breed-specific laws. The combined meaning of the bill, one, make it more difficult to label a dog "dangerous" and two, restrict cities from adopting pit bull laws, only has one benefiting group: dangerous dogs, primarily pit bulls.1
It seems AB 324 got stalled in committee. Needless to say, Nevada has been a focal point for animal advocacy groups of late, specifically the northern region covered by Robison's newspaper. It is doubtful Robison will ever reveal which advocacy groups "spoon-fed" the substance of his article to him, along with his deceptive Find the Pit Bull photo game.2 One day though, while enjoying a hike, Robison may have to face, "What's so scary about pit bulls?"
1More communities are making it easier to declare dogs dangerous (See: Recent Los Angeles County news). The bill presented by VanKavage and Best Friends illustrates their mission to protect dogs, specifically dangerous dogs, over the risk of innocent persons and animals being mauled and killed by them.
2If only the pit bull problem was an online photo game. The 30-year old pit bull problem, however, is hardly a game. Individuals are being permanently disfigured, maimed and killed by this breed at a chilling rate.
04/26/11: Blogger Dissects Deceptive Online Pit Bull Identification Test, 'Find the Pit Bull'
02/11/11: Activist Questions 'Journalistic Integrity' of Article by Sue Manning...
11/30/10: Collection of Best Friends Animal Society Related Posts - DogsBite.org
10/15/10: The DNA Paradox: Hired Gun Ledy VanKavage Flip-Flops Position...
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| 7/20/2011 9:02 PM |
This is so blatantly pit bull propaganda. Fact Cooker, what an apt term.
Thank you for the background on these bills and explaining why the propagandists are so intent on finding a baby to spoon feed their propaganda to in this area.
SRUV did an excellent job smacking Mark Robinson down.
| 7/20/2011 11:12 PM |
A comment left at the article:
10:22 AM on July 19, 2011
It appears this fact checker starts with a proposition he has an opinion on, and then goes out and collects those statistics that he will then use to prove what he thinks. Comparing the amount of bites by breeds or species does not compare to the damage done by those bites. Certain breeds are clearly more dangerious than others.....I have never heard of any body being killed by a house cat or a chihahau. I have heard of many attacks resulting in death to other animals and even people from pti bulls. Really this news paper should drop this fact checker business.....editorials can be written but quit pretending this is all above board factually checked out information. Or at least we as readers must know these fact checkers often have an agenda to promote and are not non biased in their points of view.
| 7/21/2011 11:29 PM |
Robison was also behind a recent gag-inducing (and dangerous) pit bull piece that urged local residents to adopt a pit bull from the Nevada Humane Society (a No Kill group), "Pit bull contest aims to change dogs' image." Robison uses the email address "email@example.com" because he's the paper's pet writer and runs the Mostly Dogs blog (which is actually just a crappy forum). Such an email address would not have gone over too well in his so-called "fact" piece, which is why he used "firstname.lastname@example.org" instead. This guy isn't a journalist at all, he's a pet writer advancing the No Kill (aka No Kill pit bull) cause. Check it out: http://www.rgj.com/section/blogs11. He even blogs a Sue Manning article!
We really need a name for these types.
Linda Wilson Fuoco
And the list goes on and on...
| 7/22/2011 4:12 AM |
All I got out of this article is that we have another county where Pits are the leading biter:
» Pit bull type dogs such as Staffordshire terriers and American pit bull terriers accounted for 13.4 percent of bite reports
He also threw the "Retriever" group together, to make the Pit Numbers look better. This is a first.
Retrievers are getting a Bad Rap...Gotta wonder how long the rest of the dog lobby will keep defending the Pit Community while they throw other breed communities under the bus?!?