I had no intention of weighing in on the Michael Vick dog fighting story, but some of what I’ve read around the InterTubes™ just begs for some enlightenment as to the media’s handling of this.
Lawrence O’Donnell wrote an article at the Huffington Post that he ironically titled “What’s Wrong with Killing Dogs?” The point was to suggest that compassionate people who are outraged by Vick’s treatment of dogs ought to be equally outraged by the inhumane treatment dished out by the beef and poultry industries – to say nothing of hunters and others who kill for sport. O’Donnell correctly observed that people have an irrational preference for the welfare of dogs and an indifference to the suffering of other species. This is an angle that the media has thoroughly ignored.
Let me say, unequivocally, that I think Vick’s activities are disgusting, but I think Dyson Foods is 1000 times more disgusting. I mourn for the dogs that Vick harmed, but I also mourn for every gentle, peaceful cow that ended up in some glutton’s Big Mac. And what of all the birds and fish and what are perversely refer to as “game?” I think everyone who laments the fate of these dogs and does not feel the same about all the other animal victims of mass murder in the this country, are hypocrites.
However, this news eruption is just a new flavor of the “missing pretty white girl” syndrome that our media loves so much. Vick is this week’s Paris Hilton. They’ll exploit him for ratings because of his celebrity, and ignore 100 other atrocities that occur contemporaneously. This story further reveals how the media values one type (race?) of victim to the exclusion of all others. It reeks of a disingenuous compassion with blinders on.
If I thought that the promotion of this story would lead to a deeper examination of animal cruelty in America, I might be consolable. But all the talking heads are concerned with is whether Vick will still have a place in the NFL when he gets out of jail. It’s just pathetic.