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28 thoughts on “Activist Questions 'Journalistic Integrity' of Article by Sue Manning of the Associated Press

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  1. I read this and was also outraged that no pit bull victims were interviewed and then to learn that Colleen was interviewed and cut, well, it's just disgusting.

    Why were only pet owners were interviewed about questions that affect entire communities?

    According to the AMVA 63% of households have a pet. That means 37% of the population was excluded from a poll that asks questions that affect whole communities.

    I think it says a lot that polls cover such idiotic topics as "Is your dog a better listener than your husband?'

    I found an article from the National Council on Public Polls:
    "20 Questions a Journalist Should Ask About Poll Results"

    They're very interesting questions and all pertinent to this reporting. One is: why was this poll conducted? Polls are conducted to either gain information or to advance a cause.

    Another question that needs to be asked is when was the poll conducted.

    The correct answer to this question for this poll is: Almost exactly one month after the Jim Gorant book was published and got a lot of media attention.

    Its worth a look because there are many more issues with this poll.

    I fear that politicians, who are very familiar with polls and have a love/hate relationship with them, might be tempted to use this as a gauge for public interest in bans. Unlike political polls, which all ultimately get the question answered: was this poll accurate?, this one will not have a neat answer.

    I would love to see a similar poll that asked the questions:
    Would you feel comfortable living next to a pit bull?
    When buying a house, would seeing a pit bull in a neighbor's yard affect your buying decision?

  2. Of the 38 polls conducted by the AP last year, 7 (nearly 20%) were about pets. From "holiday shopping for pets" to "vacationing with pets", right up there with Obama and Afghanistan. Thus far in 2011, there have been 10 AP polls, 3 (30%) about pets.

    Prior to December 2008, the AP had no pet polls, but instead focused on national issues, such as presidential elections, education and the death penalty. According to their Wiki page, the AP used to be best known for college sports polls. They had to step away from their most famous one due to conflict of interest.

  3. Here is just one advertising and propaganda article for the AKC, designed to increase AKC's sales and profits and lobby for their anti-regulation interests, written by Sue Manning under the Associated Press banner.

    This should be labeled an ADVERTISEMENT, because it is not a news article. It is not even honest about the huge list of genetic problems these dogs have.

    Manning is directly connected to the AKC dog breeding world, as commented by breeders on their own boards and forums.

    She writes the propaganda and advertising they need and gets the AP to sell it as "news" and try to give it an air of credibility, and to direct more money and sales to the AKC, as well as lobby against laws that AKC feels might impinge on their profits.

    There is of course no regard to human safety issues, public health, or even humane treatment of the animals, such as the many dogs of these breeders abandoned in shelters.

    The purpose of these "articles" is to promote profits and to lobby.

    This is again, unethical. AP bears the final responsibility for this.

    Notice the last lines by Manning

    "Frei believes Rufus' biggest impact has been on the breed itself. Rufus, who has been mistaken for a pit bull a time or two, belongs to one of those breeds sometimes singled out and banned.

    It's a gentle loving breed and should not be discriminated against," Frei said. "He's been a great representative for Westminster and for dogs in general. He's been an incomparable representative for bull terriers and related breeds."

    Mr. Mair, you have uncovered the smoking gun of unethical "journalism" and caught a propagandist and lobbyist in the act.

  4. Some other breeder lobbyists posing as "pet writers" and "reporters" while they lobby for breeding industry interests. These are only some. There are more. Most know each other and are connected. Most are AKC breeders and lobbyists. You will notice similar strains of propaganda in "articles" written by each.

    Christie Keith of the San Francisco Chronicle
    (Keith also works for a pet dealer and breeder business, PetHobbyist, that lobbies against regulation as it pursues its for-profit pet breeding and dealing businesses.) Keith also works for Spadafori and Becker's breeder connected business, PetConnection.

    Gina Spadafori, business partner of Keith, now runs for-profit Pet Connection, a breeder lobbying and "media" business, with veterinarian Marty Becker. Spadafori admitted she recommended Keith for the job at the Chronicle as Spadafori used to work for the Sacramento Bee as a "reporter." Spadafori's PetConnection also releases breeder propaganda "articles" under something called Universal Press Syndicates.

    Kim Campbell Thornton who works with these two individuals in this PetConnection breeder business, and has written breeder propaganda for while asserting she is a "reporter."

    Dr Marty Becker DVM who runs the PetConnection business with AKC breeders Christie Keith and Gina Spadafori, and who has appeared as their "vet expert" on ABC's Good Morning America, markets himself as "america's veterinarian," and "resident veterinarian" on the Dr. Oz show (Does Dr. Oz know what Becker's associates at AKC are involved with?). He also claims he is the pet expert for AARP (which published an article not long ago encouraging older people to basically run breeding mills for cash and was criticized for it.)

    Marty Becker does NOT reveal his connections to the breeding industry and the AKC propagandists he works with and runs a business with, PetConnection.

    His daughter, Mikkel Becker, is also a "writer" and "dog trainer."

    The PetConnection business started as a "column" written by Gina Spadafori for the Sacramento Bee. It then turned into a full-time breeder lobbying business. Perhaps the Sacramento Bee decided it did not want to engage in for-profit breeder lobbying as a "news" source?

    As you can see, breeder lobbyists infiltrate mainstream news sources to control and direct the information according to breeders' financial interests. They issue some mundane, topical, lightwight "pet care" material to provide some media cover, and then lobby away.

  5. Sue Manning works for AP from Los Angeles. California is the home turf of these others.

    Another associate of these people is someone called Patty Khuly DVM, who also markets herself as a "pet writer" in Miami Florida I think but fails to reveal her AKC connections.

    Khuly is personal friends with Spadafori and PetConnection and works closely with her.

    Khuly was the individual exposed here, as I recall, for falsifying the "service dog status" of her pit bull to get around laws and to inflict her personal and AKC opposition to BSL laws upon the public.

    Despite this, I believe she is still using the media to propagandize for breeder interests.

    These individuals also are all connected to Nathan Winograd and promote him, the Nathan Winograd who has received much negative publicity for his links to the AKC lobbying arm. Winograd is promoted because he opposes regulation for breeders.

    More associated with this breeder lobbying cum "reporter" activity.

    Another cover organization (created by them) for these breeder lobbyists cum "reporters" and "pet writers" designed to give some kind of surface credibility to each other where they give each other "awards"

  6. When Manning states that the poll was only from "pet owners" that is VERY significant.

    AKC asserts that dogs are property and that breeders may do what they want with their OWNED property, and cannot be regulated due to "property" or "owners" laws. (Yes, I realize that this makes no sense, but this is the battle cry from breeders.) Their lobbying centers around the term "responsible pet OWNERSHIP." They hold "responsible pet OWNSERSHIP" lobbying events.

    Many of the anti regulation lobbying groups call themselves "Responsible dog OWNERS" this or that. They are breeder lobby groups.

    The term "owner" is quite significant to breeder lobbyists.

    I believe that Manning meant that BREEDERS were the ones answering the poll, especially as she has personal relationships with these people and has written many volumes of propaganda and advertising for them.

  7. Washington Post has a rather dirty history of colluding with this industry as well.

    When I saw that they had printed Manning's breeder propaganda, something seemed familiar and I searched and found this at the craven desires site.

    A Washington Post writer colluding with a Mirah Horowitz who runs a pit bull sales group, who works for a Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey (after rather ignominiously getting transferred out of Senator Kerry's office where her activities upset many in the Democratic party)

    Horowitz's pit bull attacked someone's poodle at a street fair, and she and Matt Zapotosky of the Washington Post organized a smear campaign and tissue of lies to attack the police officer that killed the attacking pit bull that was in the process of trying to attack people, as well as blaming the victim.

    I don't know if Mirah Horowitz knows she is being used by breeders or not, but she certainly used their tricks to hurt victims.

    It is certainly possible that Mirah was tricked into pushing her friends at the Washington Post to give a plug to breeders with this fake poll.

    The problems with this Manning pseudo propaganda poll would be evident to anyone in the journalism field or any sane editor at Washington Post, which makes me think someone got a favor by getting this published.

  8. All of this should serve as a very grave warning to those who have been victims of pit bull attacks.

    Do NOT allow yourself to be interviewed by anyone claiming to be a "reporter" or "pet writer" (especially a national or syndicated one) no matter where they work, no matter how impressive their journalistic credentials may APPEAR to be, unless you have an attorney check their credentials and history for bias and unethical behavior.

    Even then, think twice.

    These breeder lobbyists posing as "reporters" want to use and abuse victims as they produce propaganda designed to protect the interests of pit bull breeders and those affilated with them, and to create myths and falsehoods that they hope will trick the public into opposing regulation and hurting their financial interests.

    These pseudo "reporters" also try to extract personal information from victims to supply to their dog breeder industry friends and associates in order to try to smear and hurt pit bull victims, or anyone who speaks out about pit bull attacks and "ruins the illusion" that the breeders are trying to create with lies, myths, and blaming.

    Some of these breeders are connected with some very bad people, even in the dog fighting world.

    As shown here, media organizations either collude with this propagandizing or are tricked by these fake "reporters" into allowing this to issue under their name.

    Associated Press committed a very unethical action here, and even buying any material from Manning or using her in any way or allowing her to use the AP name continues this unethical journalism. If Manning wants to work for the AKC, then the AKC needs to give her a job.

    AP is not to be trusted.

    accurately and honestly. Our efforts have been rewarded with trust: More people in more places get their news from the AP than from any other source.
    That means we abhor inaccuracies, carelessness, bias or distortions. It means we will not knowingly introduce false information into material intended for publication or broadcast; nor will we alter photo or image content. Quotations must be accurate, and precise."

    The only reason the AP is the most widely read is because it is pushed in our faces through a gazillion syndication methods!

    It's NOT read due to its accuracy. Remember this from 2009? Quite an error! "The article states, "12 states and several cities and towns have adopted bans on specific breeds." 12 states — how laughable!

  10. Is this is owned by a corporation that has been criticized by real animal welfare people for a long time, Procter & Gamble, a company that also has direct connections to the breeder industry as well as those who lobby with the breeder industry, like the lab animal breeder industry, etc.

    Procter and Gamble has, for example, been criticized by Peta (much hated by breeders, especially pit bull breeders, for supporting regulations for pit bulls) for conducting cruel and unusual deadly experiments on beagles PURCHASED FROM AKC BREEDERS for its Iams and Eukanuba dog foods.

    AKC breeders run lucrative businesses selling beagles for not-so-scientific "research" by businesses like P & G.

    Petside and Procter & Gamble run frequent AKC advertising "articles" on this Petside,com sham corporate website

    Procter & Gamble also sponsors many breeder activities, including PIT BULL ACTIVITIES, through the Iams and Eukanuba arm, in hopes that breeders will shill their dog food.

    Thank you again to craven desires where I found information about the P & G link to the pit bull breeder lobby through Iams and Eukanuba, including people who breed pit bulls and work for P & G!

    Procter & Gamble most certainly is involved with the sordid breeder industry! Procter and Gamble also hires Rick Berman and Center for Consumer Freedom to lobby for them.

    The Petside website is just a corporate shill for financial interests of those Procter & Gamble does business with, while pretending to be a banal "pet interest" site.

    It isn't. It's a business lobbying front, much like many of Rick Berman's fronts. And the AKC, etc is running the front through Procter & Gamble with this sham

    As usual, just follow the money. And money doesn't care about victims.

  11. Some VETERINARIANS also receive money from Procter & Gamble for marketing their products, most especially veterinarians connected to the breeder industry (despite the fact that many in the breeder industry denounce Iams and Eukanuba as poor quality food, they do it privately as they do not want to bite the hand that feeds and markets them! Some breeders also receive free Iams and Eukanuba food to market to buyers)

    But money talks and it speaks loudly.

    Other dog food companies have gone the route of marketing through shelters, etc.

    Procter & Gamble uses BREEDERS and breeder lobbying groups like the AKC and colludes with the breeder industry. P & G is STRONGLY affiliated with the breeder industry, and again, there are breeders who work for P & G, especially in their pet food companies.

    Keep in mind Procter & Gamble is still one of the last of the big companies to market through newspapers, as other major corporations are now advertising and issuing coupons, etc, online.

    We should not be surprised to see the NEWSPAPER INDUSTRY colluding with a P & G/breeder industry propaganda set up. P & G is paying their bills as the newspaper industry dies. Newspapers cater to their advertisers, and some are willing to print advertiser propaganda.

    It looks like this may be an attempt by P & G to move the propagandizing online in collusion with their breeder industry allies.

    Mr. Mair, this entire episode is perhaps an even dirtier one than you first thought.

  12. And now think about the most awful hypocrisy of all, Associated Press lobbying on behalf of rich middle-class white dog breeders (and yes even dog fighters) to protect fighting breed dogs from regulation that could save lives, even the lives of the dogs!

    Think about the children getting slaughtered and maimed by these dogs on a daily basis.

    But the AP is certainly willing to warn parents about the dangers of, say, small batteries

    How many more children will get their lives destroyed in one way or another by pit bulls than swallow a battery and get it fixed at the doctors?

    Children who die by pit bulls, get maimed, become emotionally and psychologically ill after their own attack or that upon a friend or relative or witnessing one, losing a parent or grandparent or sibling to a pit bull, having a handicapped parent or grandparent or sibling due to a pit bull, losing their home due to medical bills caused by a pit bull attack, having a beloved pet destroyed in front of them by a pit bull in nightmare-inducing fighting breed attacks.


    We are now talking about millions of kids whose lives are getting negatively affected by these fighting breeds, but the Associated Press chooses to let breeder lobbyists propagandize, oppose public safety laws, and encourage more attacks?

    But batteries are bad?

    The hypocrisy of the AP and those who published this junk poll is just disgusting. And it is especially poor and minority children who have been victimized by the pit bulls that rich white breeders "want" to breed and profit from.

    The ownership of Associated Press should be begging for forgiveness.

    William Dean Singleton of Denver Colorado, Shame on you. Perhaps you will be a big man and admit your mistake. We shall see.

  13. Those for whom the civil rights of the poor and minorities mean nothing, but the financial interests of rich white dog breeders mean so much. Many of these publications have been guilty of fighting breed propagandizing, or with those affiliated with it, such as Nathan Winograd (who says violent dogs should be sold into homes)

    AP Board of Directors

    William Dean Singleton – Chairman
    Chairman and CEO
    MediaNews Group Inc.
    Denver, Colorado

    Mary Junck– Vice Chairman
    President and CEO
    Lee Enterprises, Inc.
    Davenport, Iowa

    Donna J. Barrett
    President and CEO
    Community Newspaper Holdings
    Birmingham, AL

    Elizabeth Brenner
    Publisher and President
    The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
    Executive Vice President
    Journal Communications Inc.
    Milwaukee, WI

    Craig A. Dubow
    President and CEO
    Gannett Co., Inc.
    McLean, VA

    R. Jack Fishman
    Lakeway Publishers Inc.
    Publisher and Editor
    Citizen Tribune
    Morristown, Tennessee

    Michael Golden
    Vice Chairman
    The New York Times Co.
    President and CEO
    The New York Times Regional Media Group
    New York, NY

    David Lord
    Vice Chairman
    Pioneer Newspapers, Inc.
    Seattle, Washington

    R. John Mitchell
    Rutland Herald
    Rutland, Vermont

    Steven O. Newhouse
    New York, New York

    David M. Paxton
    President and CEO
    Paxton Media
    Paducah, KY

    Charles V. Pittman
    Senior Vice President-Publishing
    Schurz Communications Inc.
    South Bend, Indiana

    Gary Pruitt
    Chairman, President and CEO
    The McClatchy Company
    Sacramento, California

    Michael E. Reed
    GateHouse Media, Inc.
    Fairport, New York

    Jon Rust
    Southeast Missourian
    Co-president, Rust Communications
    Cape Girardeau, Missouri

    Steven R. Swartz
    Hearst Newspapers
    Senior Vice President
    Hearst Corporation
    New York, NY

    Dunia Shive
    Belo Corporation
    Dallas, TX

    Paul C. Tash
    Chairman and CEO
    Times Publishing Company
    St. Petersburg, FL

    Katharine Weymouth
    Washington Post Media
    The Washington Post
    Washington, D.C.

    Sam Zell
    Chairman and CEO
    Tribune Company
    Chicago, IL

  14. Roper conducts surveys connected to marketing for commercial products or services. For-profit BUSINESS.



    They are marketers.
    Enablers of sellers, business, industry.

    No media source worth its salt would EVER try to claim that a Roper poll was a scientific poll. Roper works for BUSINESS and MONEY and the businesses that will pay them money to market.

    This was not a "poll." It was a MARKETING AND PROPAGANDA SALES PIECE for dog breeders.

    NOW who paid Roper?

    I would wager that Berman and/or AKC money bought this marketing scheme. With a little help from their friends at Proctor & Gamble.

    This whole setup was a fraud.

  15. Oh she's a journalist all right; she won an SPJ award in 2002. She's not noted for her "pet" writing skills in the related press release.

    "Manning has worked for The Associated Press for 24 years. In five years in Spokane, Wash., she was part of the AP crew that covered Mount St. Helens volcanic eruption. She transferred to Los Angeles in 1983, in time for the 1984 Olympics. She became day supervisor in the late 1980s and helped coordinate coverage of the Rodney King beating, the Landers-Big Bear earthquakes, the riots, the 1993 wildfires, the Northridge earthquake, the O.J. Simpson case, the rainstorms of 1995, the Hector quake and the Alaska Airlines crash in 2000."

  16. Sue Manning listed as a "Desk Editor" in LA along with a man.

    This sounds almost like a boiler room operation. 2 people, perhaps in a home office in someone's basement or apartment.

    What kind of media organization would hire a person who writes unethical, ridiculous ads for the AKC to be a "Desk Editor."

    This woman does not even qualify as a journalist.
    AP doesn't seem to know what unethical behavior is going on under its name. Hiring someone who writes strange ad copy as a "Desk Editor?"

    There seems to be a complete lack of supervision or consideration for quality at AP.

  17. Someone sent me some more information on Christie Keith, AKC lobbyist and breeder who poses as a "reporter" at the San Francisco Chronicle and SFGate.

    She does not reveal she is a breeder in her articles, of course. This is kept hidden, further unethical "journalism."

    Her editor there was a person named Amy Moon. When Keith was challenged as a breeder after harassing some commenters who disagreed with one of her poorly written, ill-conceived propaganda columns, Editor Amy Moon appeared in the comments section and flatly denied that Keith was a breeder. Simply lied and tried to hide Keith's for-profit business affairs and affiliations.

    Moon has ethics violations herself.

    She was suspended by the San Francisco Chronicle and SFGate with a Mark Morford for standards "grossly outside the standards that we have."

    Yet here was Amy Moon lying again for unethical columns by her charge, Keith.

    Keith later on her private blog wrote a defensive, whining piece admitting she WAS a breeder, but offering no explanation for why she hides her affilations with for-profit breeder businesses and is a breeder herself. Essentially, Keith proved her own editor, Moon, a liar.

    Moon no longer works for SFGate or the Chronicle.

    She is now a "Content Strategist" at Ecodana.

    In essence, propagandists for businesses to lobby and "get their message across." I am sure that Moon is still using her contacts in the journalism world to further the business she nows works for.

    Comment by one "content strategist"

    "Call in your favorite content strategist for help. After all, your business and brand may depend on it."

    AKC is using pseudo "reporters" to infiltrate the media world, pretend to be reporters, but instead act as "content strategists" for the AKC business brand and all that entails.

    This should disgust all.

  18. Journalism awards are meaningless. They are given by journalists to each other to try to pump up their careers, or to award someone for a political slant deemed worthy by the award-giver. The SPJ in particular is a joke.

    Manning has been a low level hack churning out the usual for a long time, with no career escalation.

    Her breeder propagandizing must be connected to either her personal friends, relatives, or her personal business interests.

    You can see why interest in the media has fallen to such a low with people like this fooling around in it.

    Her immediate boss in LA who should be taking responsibility for this unethical mess is Bob Jablon.

    What kind of a reporter claims that pit bull drool cures sick kittens? What kind of reporter writes ad copy for the AKC, a puppy mill registering organization noted for its corruption? What kind of reporter cooks up fake polls with their business friends? Is this guy all there? Why would he have someone like this connected to him?

    Probable answer, cheap hire.

    These people get peanuts, and AP doesn't get the best or brightest willing to work for those peanuts.

  19. "I fear that politicians, who are very familiar with polls and have a love/hate relationship with them, might be tempted to use this as a gauge for public interest in bans"

    Politicians have become very savvy to the machinations of the breeder lobby, in part because so many of them have received death threats thanks to these idiots.

    The information about this business and how it lobbies and bullies politicians, and how this lobby lies and deceives, is now readily available, which it wasn't so long ago.

    Manning and her AKC friends are trying to save a sinking ship.

    Politicians care more about a bleeding child after a pit bull attack in their locale than some breeder in another state calling them names and sending them emails full of the usual buzzwords from the organized, well-funded lobbies that people like Manning quote. And the politician's constituency has become outraged at the bullying and lies by the breeders.

    But Manning needs to be out of a job for pulling this business propaganda stunt, as failed as it is.

    Propagandists are not good reporters. Reporters need to be truthful and honest.

  20. This whole issue has exposed a very large issue with Sue Manning and AP that still is a problem, and creates an aura of mistrust around AP regarding its other pet related material being sold to other media sources. Really, all its material being sold to other media sources. Is it reporting, or is it, as in Manning's case, marketing and lobbying?

    Manning has a history of writing promotional public relations material for
    AKC, as well as lobbying for AKC financial interests, and calling them "articles" and publishes them under the aegis of Associated Press as "news."

    A reporter does not do this, and that is the last word. It is unethical. This has been going
    on for some time, yet her bosses at AP let her do this. Are they
    unaware of what she is doing? If so, why?

    AKC is a lobby for the incomes of the breeder business. It isn't a public health or animal health organization, it's not a humane organization, it doesn't represent consumers or the public's interests. AKC is a business lobby for dog breeding and the money to be made from dog breeding.

    It is a business lobby that also has a tremendous amount of very negative things attached to it, from the genetic malformations and problems with purebred dogs that it registers, to the puppy mill registrations that form
    the majority of the AKC's income, to the rather dubious parties that lobby with AKC, including people from the dog fighting and puppy mill world, to the
    cruelty and public health risks that AKC has lobbied to protect and the regulation it fights against so that these abuses can continue.

    And that is just the tip of the iceberg!

  21. AKC also hires lobbyists with just atrocious reputations to lobby for its interests, whether PetPac and AKC breeder Bill Hemby (whose history must be well known to Los Angeles AP management through the COPS indictment) but also including Richard or Rick Berman of the Center for Consumer
    Freedom, a lobbying firm with a lengthy history of ethics questions, who also hires "hacks" to produce propaganda in the name of "news" to propagandize for clients' business interests.

    Propaganda is not news, but Manning has written propaganda as a "reporter" for AP.

    AP has a much bigger problem going on in their ranks, and fooling around with one article isn't solving that problem.

    The pitiful thing about all of this is that pit bull lobbyists like the AKC and its allies help increase the attacks on the poor and helpless in our society.

    Why is AP allowing itself to be used for the financial interests of the wealthy breeders and their allies who profit from opposing regulation, while denying a voice
    to the often poor and often minority human victims, of whom children are a large percentage, who suffer because a business lobby wants no regulation and is disguising the truth or simply altering and hiding it with false marketing polls and reporter's public relations puff pieces?

  22. AP articles usually go "dead" after a short period of time for copyright and syndication reasons. This has little to do with the Wapo; other than that it has agreed to AP terms…

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