DawnWatch: CBS stories, polls, and other coverage of Vick and dogfighting 7/18/07

July 19th, 2007 5:51 pm by Kelly Garbato

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From: DawnWatch <news@dawnwatch.com>
Date: Jul 18, 2007 11:23 PM
Subject: DawnWatch: CBS stories, polls, and other coverage of Vick and dogfighting 7/18/07

DawnWatch, while not officially on a break, will not be functioning at full throttle this week or next. (The final of my book is due next week! I will be telling you more about it before it comes out early next year.) I will only be able to send occasional news updates over the next couple of weeks.

The story that is impossible to ignore this week is the indictment of Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick. He is charged with dogfighting, a felony, and with other hideous crimes that traditionally accompany it. I will share some of the coverage below and encourage you to respond. At the very least, please vote in the ESPN and NY1 polls.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution front page story, by Bill Torpy and Bill Rankin, opens with:

July 18, 2007 Wednesday

“Losers allegedly didn’t fare too well with Michael Vick. His pit bulls were often summarily executed after losing fights, according to a federal indictment that portrays a disturbing picture of animal cruelty.

“In April, just before authorities raided his property in rural Virginia, the Falcons’ star quarterback was there ‘rolling’ some of his pit bulls — that is, putting them through test fights to see if they were ‘game,’ federal authorities said.

“Eight of the animals didn’t make the cut, and were executed by Vick and two co-defendants by ‘hanging, drowning and slamming at least one dog’s body to the ground,’ authorities allege.

“A federal grand jury Tuesday indicted Vick and three others, accusing him of taking part in a well-established dogfighting operation.

“The indictment lists numerous dog fights conducted by Vick and his associates going under the name ‘Bad Newz Kennels’ since 2002. Often those dogs lost and met terrible fates.

“In March 2003, Vick and others sponsored a 35-pound female pit bull in a fight that had a $26,000 purse. After the fight, Purnell Peace, one of the others indicted, consulted with Vick about the losing dog and Peace then ‘executed the losing dog by wetting the dog down with water and electrocuting the animal,’ the indictment states.”

It is a Cox News Service article, which you will find in full on line at http://tinyurl.com/yqcbw8.

You can send letters to the editor at http://www.ajc.com/opinion/content/opinion/letters/sendletter.html. An outcry from all over the country is appropriate.

Some of the strongest coverage of the issue today was on CBS. You’ll find both the text and video of their July 18 CBS Evening News story on line at http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/07/18/eveningnews/main3072425.shtml. Please go to that link and post a comment at the bottom of the page. And please also send the station a quick thank you at http://www.cbsnews.com/feedback/fb_news_form.shtml.

The video link to CBS Evening News story is headed, “Spotlight on Dog Fighting.” Underneath it is a link headed, “Dogfighting up Close.” That takes you to a superb report by Genesis Award winning report Brad Woodard, from the CBS Houston affiliate KHOU.
It is also on line at http://www.khou.com/topstories/stories/khou070717_ac_dogfighting.849c40af.html.

Woodard sums up the awful video when he says, “Television may be a visual medium, but it’s the sounds of animals screaming in agony to the crowd’s delight that most would find difficult to stomach.” Indeed, the soundtrack is stomach-turning. So are the images, particularly when you see dogs that look sweet-natured and uninterested in fighting.

In the piece, Assistant District Attorney Belinda Smith says, “There are instances in the video tape when the dogs are licking each other. They release them, and they’re licking each other. They don’t want to fight, yet the handlers bring them back and get them pumped up to fight. It’s not natural.”

That is hard to hear, knowing those who don’t want to fight will often die in the ring or be killed by their handlers for being bad fighters.

Please thank KHOU for Brad Woodard’s exceptional coverage. The station takes comments about news at http://www.khou.com/customerservice/helpcenter.jsp?id=1078341169000.

You’ll find a web exclusive commentary on the MSNBC/Newsweek site, by Mark Starr, headed “Michael Vick’s Shameful Scandal.”
Starr describes some of the “grisly and gruesome array of savage misdeeds directed at helpless animals.” And he tells us,
“The NFL, not to mention Blank’s Home Depot empire, are posited as mainstream American businesses. And there is not a remotely mainstream note in this sordid affair. Vick is almost certain to see all his endorsement deals—Nike, Coca-Cola, Rawlings and others—disappear. While he deserves all the legal protections our society offers, none guarantee him the right to keep his job as the Falcons’ starting quarterback.”

You can read the whole piece on line at http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19834860/site/newsweek/ and most importantly, give it a positive rating and comment on that page. It will take you a couple of seconds to give it a five-star rating, and feedback matters.

Newsweek has more good coverage on the issue, by Steve Tuttle, headed “An Ugly World” at http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19836601/site/newsweek/.

ESPN has a survey on dogfighting, which will take you just seconds to fill out. It asks questions such as whether or not the Falcons should let Vick go, and whether or not dogfighting is a serious crime. Please go to the site and take a moment to respond:
http://proxy.espn.go.com/chat/sportsnation/polling?event_id=3037.

NY1 has a snap poll on whether or not Vick should be suspended at http://www.ny1.com/ny1/Polls/index.jsp?pollactivequestionintid=2855.

Sports Illustrated’s George Dohrmann has done two great stories on the issue for the magazine’s website. You’ll find his coverage at http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2007/football/nfl/07/17/dohrmann.vick/index.html and can send him a quick thank you at George_Dohrmann [at] simail.com.

Angelenos can check out the Los Angeles Times coverage, on the cover of the July 18 sports section (pgD1), headed “Vick faces several charges” You’ll find it on line at http://www.latimes.com/sports/printedition/la-sp-vick18jul18,1,1972134.story and can respond with a letter to letters [at] latimes.com.

HSUS president Wayne Pacelle’s blog calls for both the NFL and Vick’s corporate sponsors to drop him. Check it out at http://hsus.typepad.com/wayne/2007/07/vick-indictment.html.

And finally: HSUS has made it easy for you to send a letter to the NFL urging Vick’s suspension. Just go to https://community.hsus.org/campaign/US_2007_dogfighting_nfl2/nqod5jwnj and fill out the form.

Yours and the animals’,
Karen Dawn

(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 if you do so unedited — leave DawnWatch in the title and include this parenthesized tag line. If somebody forwards DawnWatch alerts to you, which you enjoy, please help the list grow by signing up. It is free.)

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One Response to “DawnWatch: CBS stories, polls, and other coverage of Vick and dogfighting 7/18/07”

  1. easyVegan.info » Blog Archive » True justice for Michael Vick would involve his own pit bulls ripping him limb from limb… Says:

    […] * DawnWatch: CBS stories, polls, and other coverage of Vick and dogfighting 7/18/07 […]

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