DawnWatch: 2010 ends w/ Fox's Tucker Carlson - Important View --- Vick should have been executed
- “I hope Tucker Carlson gets thousands of emails of thanks from the animal advocacy community. If he does, we are sure to hear more of his voice for the animals in the future.” As Carlson was subbing for Hannity, you can send feedback about the show to Hannity@....I subscribe to the above – 100% - I don’t care about any political party—but will praise any of them which does something for the animals."All beings tremble before violence. All fear death. All love life. See yourself in others.
Then whom can you hurt? What harm can you do? ~Buddha"----- Forwarded Message ----
From: DawnWatch <news@...>
Sent: Sun, January 2, 2011 6:40:55 PM
Subject: DawnWatch: 2010 ends with Fox's Tucker Carlson saying Vick should have been executed
People who have been receiving DawnWatch for some time know that the list is non partisan. I have noted many times that while Democrats tend to have better voting records on animal issues, the exceptions are frequent and sometimes startling: Ultra conservative Senator Robert Smith of New Hampshire spoke powerfully on the senate floor against vivisection. Pat Buchanan put "Torture on the Farm," with a picture of a sow in a gestation crate, on the cover of his conservative magazine years before any of the liberal magazines ever touched factory farming. If the animals have more sympathizers on the left than on the right, I hope that animal advocates will try to change that rather than reinforce it. The animals must not be shunted into a camp that is not always in power and that still mostly ignores their needs.
In Thanking the Monkey I discuss Fox News host Bill O'Reilly's outspoken attack on bullfighting. I recently saw MSNBC's Keith Olbermann cover a dying bull's attempt to escape into the stands at an arena as if it were hilarious.
That all brings us to Tucker Carlson's recent comments about Michael Vick. Everybody on this list knows that Vick was convicted of running a dogfighting ring. Most animal advocates will not have forgotten that he was found to have supervised many killings and even personally executed dogs who had lost fights -- by hanging them with their feet barely touching the ground so that they died slowly, by drowning, and in one case by throwing a toaster onto a dog lying a puddle, electrocuting her. We have read about dogs used as bait, who had all of their forty-something teeth yanked out so that they couldn't fight back. I invoke those images as my introduction to Tucker Carlson's words of introduction on the subject of President Obama's attitude to Michael Vick. When Carlson was the guest host on the Fox News show Hannity on Tuesday December 28 2010 he said:
"President Obama, it has been confirmed by the White House, called the owner of the Philadelphia Eagles, and during the course of that conversation thanked him for giving Michael Vick a second chance. Now I am a Christian, I have made mistakes myself, I believe fervently in second chances. But Michael Vick killed dogs, and he did it in a heartless and cruel way. And I think personally he should have been executed for that -- he wasn't. But the idea that the president of the United States would be getting behind someone who murdered dogs is kind of beyond the pale."
Carlson went on to describe any praise Vick had received from animal advocacy groups as "grotesque" and he commented, "It is like the Donner Party becoming spokesmen for vegetarianism."
(The Donner Party became cannibals when faced with starvation.)
As for the idea that Vick has already paid his debt to society, Carlson commented:
"He went to jail for two years. Whatever. There are people who cheat on their taxes, there are maitre d's who don't report all their tips, who get longer than that. That's nothing!"
It's true. Tax evaders face longer in prison. And animal rights activists who have never hurt a flea -- let alone a dog or a human -- have been jailed for many years.
Carlson did not get support from his panel -- he really put himself on the line.
I personally am not in favor of execution as punishment for any crime. But to learn that somebody who supports capital punishment would go on a popular national news show and say that Vick's crimes should have made him eligible for it gave me hope for the animals. It was wonderful news to receive at the end of 2010 -- a nice counterbalance to the dispiriting news of Obama's phone call, which I learned about when reading a blog by the director of Best Friends, the group caring for many of Vick's dogs, who are also waiting for a call from the president. That ironic blog is on line at http://tinyurl.com/2al86gg .
Given how he feels about Vick's cruelty to animals, we might expect that Tucker Carlson will be shocked and moved when he sees some video of what goes on in animal enterprise -- on factory farms, in slaughterhouses, in laboratories where animals are tortured to test lipstick and oven cleaner. The animals may eventually find they have an ally at Fox News. The animals could use an ally there, so, whatever your political leanings, I hope you will do what you can to encourage Carlson's voice for the animals by commending his impassioned stance for the Vick pitbulls. If your personal politics on other issues differ from Carlson's mostly Libertarian leanings, perhaps you can compartmentalize and remember that your email is for the sake of the animals -- your expression of the your differing personal views won't help them. But giving Carlson positive feedback for his extraordinarily controversial stance, letting the host feel some love from the animal advocacy community, could help the animals a lot. In our society, the hosts on Fox News are powerful; the animals need powerful friends.
You can watch the clip on line at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PKerlVGM-nk
As Carlson was subbing for Hannity, you can send feedback about the show to Hannity@....
I hope Tucker Carlson gets thousands of emails of thanks from the animal advocacy community. If he does, we are sure to hear more of his voice for the animals in the future.
Yours and the animals',
(DawnWatch is an animal advocacy media watch that looks at animal issues in the media and facilitates one-click responses to the relevant media outlets. You can learn more about it, and sign up for alerts at http://www.DawnWatch.com. You may forward or reprint DawnWatch alerts only if you do so unedited -- leave DawnWatch in the title and include this parenthesized tag line.)
Please go to http://tinyurl.com/254ulkx to check out Karen Dawn's book, "Thanking the Monkey: Rethinking the Way we Treat Animals," which in 2008 was chosen by the Washington Post as one of the "Best Books of The Year!"
Now that President Obama has jumped on the Michael Vick bandwagon with an official call to Eagles’ owner Jeffrey Lurie to congratulate him for giving the quarterback another chance, all of us here at Best Friends are waiting for a call from the White House to congratulate us for giving Vick’s dogs a second chance. I’m quite sure that the other organizations that also took on some of the canine survivors of the football star’s dogfighting operation are similarly poised.
The conventional wisdom on this is that the president’s people have put their finger to the wind and decided that Michael Vick has been sanitized for political consumption by his success. (It’s interesting to speculate how he would be perceived if he were having a lousy year.) Personally, I’m kind of tired of hearing and reading about Michael Vick and wish that the media would lose its obsession with the man, especially since any mention of or concern about the dogs who managed to escape with their lives from his care is conspicuously absent from his public statements.
While we no longer wait by the phone for a call from Mr. Vick asking after his dogs, the likelihood of a call from the president has brought new esprit to the switchboard team and I’ve put together some notes on those we call the Vicktory dogs in case someone puts the historic call through to me by mistake. The conversation will go something like this:
“Mr. President, what a surprise! Thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule to commend us for giving the Vicktory dogs a second chance. Sure, I’ve got a few minutes to fill you in … kind of a presidential briefing, I guess.
“To be quite honest, sir, it’s kind of a mixed bag as far as how the dogs are doing. After all, these critters were right there when Michael Vick and his friends were body slamming some of their doggie buddies to death and electrocuting, drowning and hanging others. Unlike Mr. Lurie and the NFL, Bad Newz Kennels wasn’t into second chances. What’s that, sir? Yes, he’s having a great year … yeah, a terrific arm.
“So, as I was saying, it’s a mixed bag on the dogs, though some are doing very well, all things considered. Handsome Dan, Cherry, Mel, Oliver and Halle have all been adopted and some of these guys were pretty shut down, you know, terrified when they arrived here. Mel was mentioned in Bill Plaschke’s article in the L.A. Times about Michael Vick … yeah, he interviewed Mel’s new family in Texas. Poor dog still shakes in a corner whenever a new person comes to the house, but he’s in a great home and that’s what counts.
“What’s that, sir? Sure, we want them all to be adopted and live in homes with a nice family, but unlike Mr. Vick, the court has ordered that most of the dogs, based on their behavior evaluations back in 2007, have to pass a good citizen test before they can be adopted. No, I’m serious. It’s called a Canine Good Citizen certificate, CGC, and it means that the dogs are able to demonstrate self-control, sociability and friendliness toward people and other dogs. Actually, it’s quite an accomplishment for a dog who was encouraged to be aggressive or maybe was used as a bait dog. Sir? Oh, a bait dog is a relatively non-aggressive dog who gets thrown into the ring with a stronger fighter just to give the stronger dog confidence and a taste for blood. That’s right, sir, kinda like a press secretary.
“Anyway, 16 dogs are still at the Sanctuary: Mya, Shadow, Lucas, Layla, Willie Boy, Georgia, Meryl, Ellen, Tug, Denzel, Ray, Squeaker, Lance, Curly, Little Red and Oscar. And they get a lot of attention. Most of them have health issues; some have bebesia, a blood parasite that spreads among fighting dogs and flares up occasionally. Some have immune problems that we speculate came from excessive use of steroids, but they continue to make progress.
“Ray, who was really shy and dog-reactive when he arrived, has earned his CGC. Oscar got his CGC and Shadow has made such great progress that he has a potential adopter coming to meet him next week. We’re very pleased. Most of the dogs are now social enough to share a run with another dog and some spend a few days a week in staff offices, getting comfortable in new environments with people coming and going. Yes, I guess it is a bit like the new Congress, except that most of the dogs would never bite you and I doubt that Congress people are able to share a run, um, I mean, an office.
“Why do we do all this for these dogs? Well, Mr. President, that’s a big question but I’ll try to keep it short. First of all, we don’t believe that killing the Vick dogs, which many people and even some animal organizations wanted to do, would have been right. We know that they are individuals with the potential to have rewarding lives. They were like child soldiers kidnapped by warlords and forced to fight; no one thinks child soldiers should be killed just because they are damaged. Same thing applies here. Also, the Vicktory dogs are victims of a crime. As long as they are struggling to regain even a semblance of the life that should have been theirs from birth, then that crime continues to affect lives, dog and human, and is not yet a thing of the past, regardless of Michael Vick’s jail time or talent. You’re right, sir, it’s not funny and I’d hate to think of Bo in that situation, too.
“Of course, no worries! I’ve got a pretty busy day as well. Nothing like yours, but thanks for calling and please pass along a Happy New Year to Michelle, the girls and Bo from all the animals and staff here at Best Friends…. Oh, just one more thing: I think it would be a great message to send if you adopted a shelter dog as a companion for Bo, maybe a cute pittie girl with a big smile and wiggly butt. Sure, we can set you up. Call anytime — you’ve got the number. And a good day to you, too, Mr. President.”
Co-Founder, Best Friends Animal Society