Posts tagged ‘black-or-white’

“Pit Bull Hack”

Pit Bull Hack
A “Pit Bull Hack” is generally a pit bull protectionist given a media platform to spread misinformation to the public. A Pit Bull Hack can also be a lazy journalist who reuses circular or red herring arguments (“Are Pit Bulls Dangerous?”) that have been around for three decades. A Pit Bull Hack can be a “pet writer” too or dog lover journalist sympathetic to pit bulls, sometimes recklessly so. The term “Hack” usually involves deliberately using polarizing language to “generate” page views or social media shares while knowing the piece does not contribute to reducing the number of maulings and deaths routinely inflicted by pit bulls. A Pit Bull Hack can also refer to an entire news group, such as the Toledo Blade and Huffington Post, who indisputably advocate for pit bulls and promote false myths about them. All in all, a Pit Bull Hack is a derogatory term as it either means a journalist who is blatantly biased, is lazy by reusing circular debates and/or has failed to address the real issue: “How do we stop creating new victims?” #AdvancetheDebate. Asking the same questions for 30-years after a new disastrous mauling or deadly pit bull attack — which often “resets” this debate back to 1985 — is unacceptable today.

Once Upon a Time in America

During the mid 1980s, when journalists were asking similar questions, they were doing so because parts of the country were in crisis. The epidemic of “headline” pit bull maulings and fatalities had just erupted. Animal control departments and humane groups were in crisis too — these dogs were coming into shelters and eviscerating dogs. By 1983, new shelter policies had to be established to “isolate” pit bulls. Journalists then were investigating this issue and trying to understand it, as well as reporting how cities were responding to it. Aspects present in articles back then usually included the history of the breed, dogfighting and “gameness,” and the devastating injuries pit bulls inflict on their victims. Some of them include: Pit bulls: part terrier, part terror (1985), The Pit Bull Friend and Killer (1987) and Pit bulls: Foes, fanciers agree dogs are a breed apart (1987). Browse through them (view longer list), then compare them to the all too often lazy journalism of today that continue to “frame” this issue as if the public is hearing about it for the first time (or worse, perpetuating a “fake” controversy), and also leave out the vital details of why pit bulls are inherently dangerous: selection for bull-baiting, dogfighting and “gameness.”

Examples of Common “Pit Bull Hacks”

  • Are Pit Bulls Dangerous?” — This is a red herring question, appellate courts in multiple states have already determined that they are. This circular debate is a 100% failure in advancing the honest debate of: “How do we stop creating more victims?” This overused, irrelevant question returns over 11,000 Google results. This particular example shows a live chat debate between several guests that inspired some blockbuster anecdotal comments like: “can stop by my house anytime and see for yourself, they are not dangerous. I’m more afraid of Chihuahua” #AdvancetheDebate
  • The Truth About Pit Bulls” — This phrase is most often used by biased journalists, sympathetic to pit bulls, to hide the truth about the breed. It usually implies misinformation and is also used to “generate” controversy and social media shares. This wildly over used phrase returns 84,000 Google results. Seeing the volume of propaganda web pages using this title, someone created a blog using the name and points out that “facts are stubborn things” and wishes “cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.” This blog DOES offer the truth about pit bulls. #AdvancetheDebate
  • Pit bulls versus everyone: Should they be banned?” — This piece came after the horrific pit bull mauling deaths of Xavier Strickland and Rebecca Hardy. It qualifies as a Pit Bull Hack because 1.) The title perpetuates a fake controversy — right off the bat the piece admits that Detroit was not considering a pit bull ban ordinance — and 2.) It resets the debate back to 1985 and 3.) It sank to include Petey & Company. The public deserves better after 30-years of grisly maulings and deaths. #AdvancetheDebate
  • Pit Bulls: Menace or Misunderstood?” — This “For or Against” framing is another red herring that comes in many flavors. The framing sets up a circular debate that contributes little or nothing to preventing new mauling victims. Again, this should not be a debate about pit bulls, but about reducing violent attacks. As with most “Pit Bull Hacks,” it comes after a deadly pit bull attack and carries the traits of “let’s examine the divide” and introduces very little or no new information at all. #AdvancetheDebate
  • Similar “For or Against” framing questions — Pit Bulls: Bad Dog or Bad Rap?, Pit Bulls: Man’s Best Friend or Worst Enemy?, Pit Bulls: Dogs or Monsters?, Pit Bulls: Docile or Dangerous?, Pit Bulls: Friend or Foe? Also, “Is it the Owner or the Breed?” is yet another red herring “framing” question that accomplishes zero. The question is irrelevant. What is relevant is reducing serious attacks, maulings and deaths by pit bulls. This dated question from 30-years ago returns a whopping 100,000 Google results.

Since 1987, the news media has been seeking out mainly the same “experts” for “balance” when they “examine the divide” who have been diverting with “Petey was a pit bull” (irrelevant) and lying with the Nanny Dog myth.

What “Pit Bull Hacks” do not understand, is that even pit bull advocates are tired of these circular debates from 1985. Looking at the Virginian-Pilot’s social media campaign (for Pit Bulls: Menace or Misunderstood), there was only one Facebook share with 43k Likes on their page. Their Twitter campaign hardly fared better. They promoted the article in 4 Tweets out to their audience of 50k. There were ZERO “Loves” and only 3 “Retweets.” That’s all the response they got even by using photos designed to bait people. In a separate case, after creating the “earth shattering” piece, “The Truth About Pit Bulls,” the story did not even get one Facebook Like after the author shared it with a popular pit bull page. Finally, while these types of red herring and circular debate titles commonly indicate a Pit Bull Hack is behind it, certainly there are legitimate articles that also use them. Headlines have always been a primary marketing tool for newspapers. What truly defines a Pit Bull Hack is its “predictable content” that fails in anyway to #AdvancetheDebate.

Identifying a Pit Bull Hack

  • Does it “reset” the debate back to the 1980s or 90s?
  • Does it use a red herring or “For or Against” title?
  • Does it fail to contain any useful new information?
  • Does it invent or perpetuate a “fake” controversy?
  • Does it sink to include Petey or the Nanny Dog myth?
  • Is it from a Pit Bull Hack source? (a writer or entity)
  • Is it blatantly biased or perpetuating misinformation?

A “yes” answer to two or more qualifies it as a hack.

PS. Because these articles so commonly appear after a serious or deadly pit bull mauling, one can also call it a Post Attack Hack. Feel free to intermingle the terms.

“Ban stupid owners!”

“Ban stupid owners!” is a reactionary phrase used by Maul Talkers following a serious or fatal pit bull attack. The phrase denies the pit bull’s responsibility in the incident and directs the blame onto the dog’s owner. Despite the U.S. Constitution, specifically the 14th Amendment, Maul Talkers will have you believe that banning stupid owners is legal in our country. This distortion works to further confuse the public about the underlying source of the pit bull problem: the dog was bred to bite down with its powerful jaws, hold that bite and shake whatever is in its mouth until it’s dead. (See: pit bull bite style).

Why don’t they ban stupid people instead? I’m no fan of a pit bull chained to a tree in the trailer park – Bootz Fan
Ban Stupid People… not dogs – Pit nutter Myspace page
Ban stupid ownersPit nutter Facebook page
Stupid owners have stupid dogs. Maybe the ban should be that stupid people shouldnt be allowed to own pit bulls – Julie and JoJo Fink
I say ban stupid owners not the breed. =) – Pit nutter
Ban Stupid People Not Dogs (Tee-shirts) – Pit nutter
it’s not the dogs. it’s the stupid owners. there is a reason they call pits the “ghetto mascot” guess who owns them and treats them badly to make the dog mean. they should bad stupid people. – Chris Crawford

“Must have been trained to attack”

This statement is often made by Maul Talkers after a horrible pit bull attack. It is used to deny the pit bull’s responsibility and the breed’s genetic history by shifting the blame onto the dog’s owner. The term is also used to victimize pit bulls. What goes notably unmentioned by Maul Talkers are the many disfiguring and deadly pit bull attacks that involve “loving household” pit bulls that were never trained to attack prior to the dog’s berserking incident.

What Little Bear also didn’t know is that the pitbull breed gets a bad rap because of a handful of pitbulls who were either trained to be mean, or not trained correctly. – Nicki Mann
And just becuase criminals take this breed and fight it and make it do terrible things, you want to punish us all? Guess what, get rid of them and the same criminals are going to go after your beloved Labs and Retrievers who can be trained and tortured just as easily to fight… – Anonymous pit nutter
Just another horrible pet “owner” that will continue to tarnish the reputation of a perfectly good dog breed. Ignorant people that have no clue about Pit Bulls or dogs in general will latch onto this to support their xenophobic fear of the dog rather than the stupid owners that mistreat and train their animals to behave poorly. – Fuzzle1
If any dog is trained to fight by (probably by your distant igrorant lowlife realtives) humans, thats what the dog will do. Get it- still HUMANS FAULT. No different then teaching your son to go rob 7-ll and shoot someone. Does that mean the entire human race should be punished because of your stupid family?? – Pit nutter Jen
“We try to keep track of them, and we have very few incidents,” he said. “A lot of them are not because of what breed of dog it is, but how it has been trained.” – Pit nutter police chief

“Educate yourself!”

This term is frequently used by pit bull advocates to condemn persons who speak up about the inherent dangers of pit bulls. The term is expressed in a variety of ways, such as: Get educated, Do some education, I am an educator and Educate yourself. The mauling thread following a May story (Pit Bull Attacks Dog, Owner in Elliot City) is a classic example. The terms are used 15 times, here are just a few examples:

  • “You really need to get educated on dogs before you say anything”
  • “All I ask is you do some education on the breed”
  • “Should we ban the human. Come on people, get educated!”
  • “Get educated people, Petey from the little rascals was a pit bull”
  • “I am an educator with a masters degree and I own a pit bull!”
  • “Stop name calling and get some education!”
  • “This comment blog has turned into “educated” pit bull owners and breed experts trying to convince the “uneducated” non breed experts”

“You are ignorant!”

Like the phrase, “educate yourself,” the phrase, “you are ignorant,” is used by pit bull advocates to condemn persons who question or criticize pit bulls. A Google Search for the term, you are ignorant pit bull shows over 180,000 results:

What do you suggest – kill off the species? Kill all dogs?? Nevermind…don’t answer that…I can already guess your answer. I will just ignore such ignorance. Period. – liveyourlife
You sir, are ignorant. Pit bulls do not instinctively go for the jugular vein. They also do not have “Locking Jaws.” I own an American Pit Bull Terrier. I have all the shots and papers to prove it. – thrustedyosocks
I’m so glad you said and did exactly what you said and did, Shorty. That photographer was an ignorant ***hole and I HOPE that everyone sees that and no one wants to work with him again. Hercules is awesome and sweet. – umm

“Petey was a pit bull”

Google this phrase and you’ll get nearly 7,000 results. Pit nutters find this phrase useful as a response to any criticism of pit bulls, but they feel it is especially convincing and appropriate when used as a retort to a story about a pit bull attack, mauling or killing.

Nutters with their own blogs often attempt to elaborate a bit more about just why Petey is supposedly relevant to anything.  As you read on, though, keep in mind that 2 popular TV shows in the 60s and 70s featured “friendly” bears.  Gentle Ben ran from 1967 to 1969 and The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams ran from 1974 to 1978. The two series combined were comprised of 92 episodes and five 2 hour movies with no reported maulings, accidents or deaths caused by the bears.

Petey, the faithful dog on the TV show, The Little Rascals, was a Pit Bull.  He spent countless hours with children day after day and never hurt anyone. – Courtesy of Sonnet Dashevskaya and Spindletop Pit Bull Refuge, Austin branch

The American Pit Bull Terrier was the most popular family dog in the beginning of the 20th century…. Petey of the Little Rascals was a Pit Bull.http://www.dontbullymybreed

“Knee-jerk reaction”

When pit bull owners and pro-pit bull lobbying groups speak to the media, such as lobbyist Ledy VanKavage of Best Friends, they often use the term “knee-jerk reaction” to describe the actions of a municipality or institution after it has adopted a pit bull ordinance. Gail Golab of the American Veterinary Medicine Association frequently uses the term as well. A Google News Archive search shows the term in use since 1985.

The ordinance would require pit bull owners to register their dogs with the city , … called the ordinance a “knee jerk reaction” to problems in other … –1985
… Daily News recent articles on pit bull attacks have been quite sensational and have … knee-jerk hysterical reaction that the media has recently… – 1987
“He’s part Labrador and part pit bull,” says owner Ron Anderson, … ”The bottom line is that the ordinance is kind of a knee- jerk reaction… – 1989