Dog Owners' Oprah Alert

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Dog Owners’ Oprah Alert

by JOHN YATES
The American Sporting Dog Alliance
http://www.americansportingdogalliance.org

Dog owners might be in for another bashing on Friday, when ultra-liberal talk show host Oprah Winfrey does a special program on “puppy mills.” Winfrey’s star reporter, Lisa Ling, went undercover in commercial breeding kennels to do an expose on the pet store trade.

Although the commercial trade in pet store puppies has nothing to do with the vast majority of dog owners and breeders, sensationalistic news coverage tars us with the same brush. To the liberal animal rights mindset, all breeders are either “puppy mills” or “backyard breeders,” and this always translates into more laws that harm only the innocent. Moreover, the hidden agenda of the animal rights movement is the ultimate elimination of animal ownership, and their strategy is to pick us off one group at a time.

The American Sporting Dog Alliance (ASDA) does not know how Winfrey and Ling will approach the topic, but we are not optimistic that it will be a fair, balanced and reasonably objective report. Based on the normal biased reporting we see about dog breeding, and Winfrey’s close personal ties with animal rights groups, we would expect them to take their cameras into a couple of “worst case” kennels, and then by inference say or imply that all kennels and breeders are bad.

Expect to take a thumping from one of the wealthiest and most powerful animal rights activists on Earth. According to a report in Women’s Day magazine, billionaire Winfrey feels that leaving a cool $30 million to her own five dogs in her will is not even slightly extravagant. Inflation, you know.

Winfrey was partners with the radical Humane Society of the United States in a movement aimed at destroying cattle ranching because of alleged food safety issues from eating beef, and they were codefendants in a lawsuit brought by the industry.

This month, Winfrey has been giving serious consideration to an invitation to appear in nude photographs sponsored by one of the most extreme animal rights groups in America, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, pop tabloids report. The nude photos would be for PETA’s “I’d Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur” campaign. Winfrey’s concern reportedly is not about endorsing PETA. The tabloids report that she is worried that nude photos might offend voters and harm the presidential campaign of Barrack Obama, whom she has strongly endorsed.

On Friday, we can expect a thumping with no opportunity to defend ourselves. The Winfrey/Ling style of journalism is to exploit highly emotional topics and sensationalize them to twang the heartstrings of a predominantly middle class audience of liberals who are looking for the next “do-gooder” cause to embrace. It looks like saving the whales or feeding starving people in Somalia aren’t fashionable this year. Pity the poor whales. Pity the poor Somali refugees.

And pity the poor dog owners! A campaign against dog owners and breeders has become the latest fashionable cause for the glitz and glitter crowd of celebrities.

The question is, what are we going to do about it?

For myself, I’m just plain sick and tired of being unfairly bashed. I guess I just wasn’t raised to be a punching bag.

But, you might be asking, how can we fight back against the wealthiest and most powerful media mogul in America? How can we fight that kind of power? How can we fight someone who wills $30 million to her dogs when we’re trying to figure out how to pay last month’s electric bill?

I think we can do it, if we get off of our butts and actually do it. There are hundreds of thousands of people who breed dogs because they love them – show dogs, performing dogs, hunting dogs, obedience dogs, field trial dogs, companion dogs and just plain dogs. In addition, there are millions of dog owners who love their animals and thank breeders for doing the fine job that they know we do in improving temperament, genetic soundness, utility, beauty and health.

If we join together in this, we can be a formidable force.

My thoughts are that a boycott of Winfrey’s advertisers would be the most effective strategy. If several hundred thousand dog owners and breeders were to contact advertisers on the Oprah show and refuse to buy any of their products, they would be forced to take notice.

Please understand that I am not talking about censoring Winfrey’s opinions. I would fight for her right to express any opinion she chooses, and also for her right to present and endorse the views of animal rights groups on her program.

However, journalistic ethics demands fairness, balance and objectivity if programming purports to be reporting the news. If Oprah wants to do a report on dog breeding, that’s fine. But the report should be fair to us and give us the opportunity to balance the views of the animal rights groups with our side of the story.

I don’t expect that Oprah will hold to the same standard of ethics that I did as a newspaper reporter. I expect that her report will be a hatchet job on dog owners and breeders. The promotional blog for Friday’s Oprah Show gives us an idea of what we can expect: http://www.oprah.com/community/thread/44908. Read it for yourself.

A boycott of advertisers just might convince Oprah to undergo an ethical reformation. Most of her advertisers won’t like the idea of losing several hundred thousand customers so that Oprah can preach sermons against dog owners and breeders.

When I worked on newspapers, there was a cynical wisecrack that my bosses sometimes told me when they didn’t like something I wrote. “There is freedom of the press in America – for anyone who owns a press.” That meant I didn’t own the press.

It takes a lot of money to own a TV show. Oprah has that kind of money, and she earned it, but it has gone to her head. Now she sneers at the rights and lives of ordinary people who made her a pop star, and that includes dog owners and breeders.

The Internet is the great equalizer. One of the beauties of the Internet is that it allows everyone to truly have the rights of free speech and free press. The Internet has become the printing press of ordinary people, and now it reaches a reported 80-percent of American households.

Television represents the past, when Oprah’s kind of money and power controlled the right of a free press. The Internet has given us our voice.

The American Sporting Dog Alliance is asking all dog owners and breeders to watch the Oprah Show on Friday and form your own opinions. Then, if she does the kind of hatchet job we expect, please bombard her with emails expressing your displeasure.

Then, we need to get organized for a campaign to reach her advertisers. In order to get ready, ASDA is asking readers of this report to email us a list of every advertiser that supports the Oprah Show. ASDA is willing to organize this campaign. Also, please let us know if you are able to help with it. Our email address is asda@csonline.net.

The American Sporting Dog Alliance works at the grassroots to defend the rights of dog owners and professionals against the very real threats of animal rights activism. Please visit us on the web at http://www.americansportingdogalliance.org. We maintain strict independence and are supported only by the voluntary donations of our members.

While the Oprah segment may be about “puppy mills,” the laws that her friends in PETA and HSUS are proposing really are targeting dog owners and hobby breeders, with the goal of reducing and ultimately eliminating animal ownership. These same radical groups also want to eliminate hunting, ban the ownership of firearms, forcibly convert us to vegan vegetarianism and destroy American farming traditions.

“Puppy mills” are not the issue. Existing federal, state and animal cruelty laws already intensively regulate commercial kennels. You are the issue. These groups want to destroy the things that you love and believe in.

Does Oprah have a conscience? She is leaving $30 million to support five dogs that she loves and apparently believes she is doing something right by supporting animal rights groups.

But she is being suckered. She is supporting groups that believe that the only unexploited dog is a dead dog. The truth is that PETA slaughters 97-percent of the dogs that enter the organization’s “shelter” in Virginia. They would rather kill those dogs than help them find a loving home.

Please forward this posting to as many people as you can, and also cross-post it on message boards. We need to reach as many people as possible quickly.
 

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