Sunday, September 29, 2013

Demonizing Media?

By: Jenny R
Media "Conspiracy"/"Hysteria"

Q: Why do I always read about pit bulls in the news? 

When a pit bull attacks, the injury inflicted may be catastrophic. First responders, such as police officers and firefighters, understand this as do members of the media, who are quick to report these attacks. Ongoing social tension also keeps pit bulls in the news. The pit bull problem is nearly 30-years old.8 In this time, most lawmakers have been "too afraid" to take breed-specific action to correct the problem. Due to this failure, horrific maulings continue to make headlines.
About half of all media reports regarding pit bulls involve police officers shooting dangerous pit bulls in the line of duty.9 Since the late 1970's pit bulls have been used extensively in criminal operations for drug dealers, gang members and other violent offenders. The pit bull terrier is the breed of choice for criminals. This choice is directly linked to the pit bull's selectively bred traits of robust jaw strength, a deadly bite style, tenacity (gameness) and a high tolerance to pain. 

Why the media reports pitbull attacks more than other kind of breed is threefold:
I.)                     Superficial nips from other breeds is hardly newsworthy. Nutter assertions that little nips like the following are relevant to the conversation because "thousands of [these nips from other breeds] go unreported".  The same logic would make regular news bulletins of every mosquito bite and ant sting.

Deep lacerations, degloving, throats torn out, crushed ribs, skulls, and other bones, scalping, muscles ripped off of bone, loss of eyes, ears, even noses, dismemberment, decapitation, and gory, drawn out deaths do solicit cause for notice.  On the rare occasions in which another breed commits physical devastation, the issue receives just as much attention as any pitbull attack.  Sometimes more, because such attacks are so rare and unusual.  With pitbulls, on the other hand, brutal attacks are business as usual. (note: in the photo with the scratched legs, what you don't see is the fact that BOTH of this woman's ankles are broken--the force of a charging pitbull is a considerable one)

scalpings are extremely common in head-attacks
What IS newsworthy is an animal in a community committing catastrophic damage on persons whether they are in the street, at the park, in their own yard, in their own home, minding their own business, etc..  No one would claim that the news reporting on severe weather or terrorist attacks is "nothing more than fear-mongering".  There is a legitimate threat.  A real attack.  Safety is compromised.  Danger is imminent, and it is not make-believe.  Why should people not be alerted to what is happening in their communities?  Especially when these 'happenings' are thus:
A 12 year old boy's pitbull mix turned on him and made hamburger of his arm
This 12 year old boy was attacked by his own pet
24 year old woman attacked by female pitbull
both legs of this 27 year old woman were badly injured
she wound up losing a pound and a half of muscle from her leg, and reports that her post-attack wound is deeply scalloped and disfiguring
This young man was bitten by his own dog, in the back of the leg.
this woman's bull terrier broke bones in one hand and severed the middle fingertip on her other one.
This fifty year old man did not survive his encounter with a pitbull. The face is one of the most common targets for pitbull bites.
This woman was walking her son to the bus stop when she encountered the same pitbull for the SECOND time. It had attacked her son previously. She put herself between her child and the animal, and it ripped out her elbow.
This woman is fortunate to have not lost her arm--a fate many fellow attack victims have suffered--or worse.

This is reporting of fact, plain and simple.

2.)        Additionally, pitbull attacks are actually being minimized, not exaggerated.  If anything, the media is benefiting the nutters*, not the other way around. Many articles/reports are little more than a paragraph with minimal description of the damage done, and frequently include quotes and excuses from the pitbull owner, as if to justify the attack.  More disturbingly, pitbull attacks are being covered up entirely.  An article titled“Dog-bite girl leaves hospital” does not report the breed at all.  The five-year-old child’scatastrophic injuries were abbreviated to nothing more than a mere “dog-bite” in the article title.  So much for the alleged “sensationalism” and “hysteria” pit-nutters scream about.
*Note: "nutters" is not intended to be a blanket term for all pitbull owners, but exemplifies the sort of person who is well aware of the dangers and science refuting their chosen myths, and still continues to proliferate those dangerous falsehoods as fact.  They rely on personal anecdote alone, or even outright lie about their credentials and experiences (see: Michelle Serwocki's campaign to construct an abuse dynamic that did not exist in Susan Iwiki's home, and assertion that she was a professional consulted on the case.  She never was.)  Nutters means the people who seek out pit-bull-related tragedies to attack the victims and their families.
“…surgeon Hiroshi Nishikawa said: "Leah's injuries were life and limb-threatening but a team here at the children's hospital, including surgeons, anesthetists, nurses and physiotherapists, have successfully treated her…”
“…is now making good progress walking.”
"Due to the severity and extent of Leah's injuries, she will be permanently scarred and…” …”require reconstructive plastic surgery on her legs in the future."
A little girl nearly lost her legs, was in critical condition, had to re-learn walking with mutilated legs, and still has much more pain, surgery, and impediment ahead of her.  And yet… the title of the article uses a two-word phrase that solicits little more than images of a little nip on the finger; “dog-bite”.  Even bites from other large dog breeds (non-vicious, excluding Rottweilers and Dobermans), such as Labrador and Golden Retrievers, St.Bernards, Greyhounds, Poodles, Schnauzers… rarely solicit more attention than cleaning superficial abrasions. 
“Mrs Reynolds said she and her family were looking forward to getting back into a routine and life returning to normal.”
Destruction of routine and sense of security are common among mauling events, not with mere “dog-bite[s]”.  The breed of canine assailant is protected; not even a vaguedescription is offered.
…and the pitbull lobby insist the media is in the back pocket of “the haters”.

The voice of pitbull advocates is louder than all else.  Shows like Pitbulls and Parolees, Pit Boss, and Dog Whisperer disseminate throughout the country, with no program giving voice to the victims of pitbull attacks.  Not only that, the advocates are aggressively seeking to silence what few forums the victims do have... to the extent of even petitioning to have websites--like and social networking groups for pit-truthers--torn down. In the attacks from dogs with previously documented aggression, the majority of previous aggression incidents went unreported, and only came to light after a brutal mauling occurred. 
It's not uncommon for nutters to pressure their victims into silence about an incident, as well.  Thomas O'Halloran (owner of the dog that nearly killed Dominic Solesky) threatened the life of little Dominic's friend in an effort to keep him from telling.  Nutters flood websites reporting an attack, immediately after it happens, and spams it with entreaties/threats to reword and erase the pitbull aspect of the event. Relabeling the animal as another or mixed breed is a common tactic of both pit defenders and animal shelters desperate to unload the surplus of the breed overwhelming their facility.
In reality; pitbull attacks are under-reported.
3.)        Media coverage of pitbull attacks is a numbers game.  Pitbulls kill and grievouslymaul people and other animals more than any other dog breed.  The incessant demands for a fluff piece* touting the nutter myths bombard their source, generating yet more pitbull attention.  This cycle of constant pitbull attack-constant pro-pit furor is what keeps pitbulls in the media to such a large degree.  Nutter perpetuation of life-shattering myths and obstruction of life-saving BSL send the numbers snowballing.

Additionally, news pieces are heavily influenced and funded by the massive pitbull lobby, which aggressively pursues media proselytizing.  It is in the syndication's best financial interests to publish pro-pit, (rather than unbiased journalism with integrity), and so pass off one-sided articles as news reporting.  Things contrary (safety advocacy, which exposes unsavory pitbull myths) to those monetary interests can even be cut entirely from publications. Polls are narrow and skewed; conducted in such a way to maximize favorable pitbull results, and exclude a massive contingent of the populace.

The only exaggeration of pitbulls by media is that which the nutters contribute; and they are too persecution complex blinded to grasp the realities of pitbull media--even when it serves their own interests.