“There can be no higher law in journalism than to tell the truth and shame the devil.”
~Walter Lippman, a real journalist
The Huffington Post is at it again. They don't even try to pretend to be objective in reporting the "news". In fact, every time someone sends me a link to a pit bull story on HuffPo or the PuffHo as I have come to think of it, they appear to have crossed the line from journalism into public relations even further. I'm convinced that they would not recognize journalistic integrity if it kicked them in the pants.
The most recent attempt to polish the turd image of america's gripping dog comes in the form of a vicious attack on Merritt Clifton and the dog attack data he has been tracking for 30 years. It is much easier to shoot the messenger than transform that ugly message into something that does not scare the hell out of the average american.
DOUGLAS ANTHONY COOPER based his scathing analysis on an impromptu video recorded "interview" of Clifton by the nutters three: JOSH LIDDY, JEFF THEMAN and KIM WOLF last summer. The video opens with a question from WOLF. You only need to suffer through the first minute of these nutters trying to play gotcha! for the purposes of this piece.
KIM WOLF: "Can I ask you a question in the meantime while you are shutting that off?"
Brenda Barnett: "Sure"
KIM WOLF: "I'm curious about yer um statistics cuz I'm a geriatric social worker, so public safety n, n, reducing risk is very very important to me cuz I work with the vulneral set of the population but I'm curious why yer statistics have never been peer reviewed, especially by..."
i thought phonetic spelling was appropriate here;-)
Merritt Clifton answers: "Actually, they have been. They have been. I'm in over a hundred peer reviewed publications."
KIM WOLF: "In a scientific journal?"
Merritt Clifton: "That is correct."
KIM WOLF: "The AVMA publication that recently came out is contradicting what you've said."
Merritt Clifton" "That article is actually authored by paid professional pit bull advocates."
More on that AVMA publication later, for now, I'll focus on Clifton's answer, "I'm in over a hundred peer reviewed publications."
DOUGLAS ANTHONY COOPER'S critique is based on Clifton AUTHORING over 100 peer reviewed articles. DOUGLAS ANTHONY COOPER twists Clifton's words,"I have more than a hundred peer-reviewed publications." That is an incredibly brazen lie but you don't need to take my word on this. Just click on the link that DOUGLAS ANTHONY COOPER so generously provided and decide for yourself.
DOUGLAS ANTHONY COOPER then goes on to include the opinions of four highly educated experts that he consulted to deconstruct the statement, "I have more than a hundred peer-reviewed publications." Not surprisingly, their comments were harsh and they should be harsh, if that was what Clifton actually said. When I read this HuffPo propaganda piece, I assumed the four experts were unwilling dupes in DOUGLAS ANTHONY COOPER'S smear campaign. I assumed that he deliberately misled the four experts in much the same way that he is deliberately misleading the over emotional politically correct liberal readers of the HuffPo. Then I googled the experts.
I decided to google them and post their faculty websites with contact information with the hope of creating some discomfort for being manipulated by DOUGLAS ANTHONY COOPER and just maybe the four experts would pressure the HuffPo for a retraction and an apology to Clifton. You know, cuz of all that academic integrity they have and need to maintain. But as I googled the experts, my position began to shift.
Let's meet DOUGLAS ANTHONY COOPER'S cadre of expert dupes.
Dr. Mark Hogarth, Philosophy of Science, Cambridge University
(note there is a misspelled word on this prestigious university website)
Nothing I found on-line was cause for concern but I had to ask myself, of all of the professors on the North American continent, why was this particular professor consulted?
Rafael Newman, translator for hire with a PhD from Princeton
Rafael Newman was the first of the four to set my spidey sense a-tingling. Newman attended high school and college in Canada, so I assume he is Canadian. His linkedin page states that he is a freelance writer and while he lives in Switzerland, his phone number is Canadian and his email is German. Newman seems to be a rather obscure character and an unlikely candidate for this job. I found myself thinking, Why him?
Professor Amy Kaler, Sociology, University of Alberta
Amy was my fave. There she was in all nutter glory, facebook friends with DOUGLAS ANTHONY COOPER. Yeah, I suppose she could have been duped... nah, never mind.
Professor Michael E. Harkin, Anthropology, University of Wyoming
Again, nothing I found on-line was cause for concern except for his connection to Canada, I must ask myself, WHY this particular professor?
DOUGLAS ANTHONY COOPER has an expert statistician at the ready to inspect Clifton's raw data. I would like to encourage Clifton to do just that on one condition, that the evil genius KAREN DELISE fork over her raw data for scrutiny as well. The expert statistician, Mike McCaffrey of the University of Toronto does not appear to have personal ties to DOUGLAS ANTHONY COOPER but I did notice that McCaffrey is a softie when it comes to dogs but geese, not so much.
Mike McCaffrey, Lecturer at the Faculty of information who specializes in reference work and government information, University of Toronto
I saved the best for last, the article authored by paid professional pit bull advocates.
I will cherry pick a few gems and comment.
"The study found that "Most DBRFs (dog-bite-related fatalities) were characterized by coincident, preventable factors; breed was not one of these."The study FOUND exactly what it was looking for and breed was not on the list. This is really not hard to understand. Look, if the cattle industry funds heart attack or cancer studies and they don't design their study to LOOK at meat as a possible culprit, they won't find it. This is not rocket science man.
If you watch another couple of minutes of the Clifton video on Josh Liddy's blog, you'll see him refer to this very paper: "That article is actually authored by paid professional pit bull activists."BRAVO DOOFUS! Although not verbatim, I'll give you points for accurately conveying the meaning of Clifton's statement! But yes, LET'S FUCKING EXAMINE THAT. And thank you for linking to it, you saved me a step.
That's a pretty serious accusation. Liddy sounds unconvinced. So let's examine it.
The evil genius needs no introduction.
He has been on Berkey's payroll for as long as Clifton has been collecting dog attack data.
The lead authors on this article are Gary Patronek VMD, PhD, and Jeffrey J. Sacks, MD, MPH. Dr. Patronek's PhD is in Epidemiology. Dr. Sacks is an epidemiologist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: the official body in the United States devoted to the study and containment of epidemics. Sacks writes about dog-bite issues not simply for JAVMA, but for the CDC itself.Sacks WROTE about dog-bite issues for the CDC. PAST TENSE. It has been over a decade doofus.
Clifton's charge is that an epidemiologist with the CDC -- a doctor tasked with the study of dog-bite prevention, nationwide -- is for sale. And has been bought by crazed dog lovers bent on making America less safe.Well, Sacks is working with Jane Berkey puppets, DELISE, CLEARY and MARDER, so I'd say that is that is a very real possibility.
ANTHONY DOUGLAS COOPER is just one of the huffington post's many shameless whores for pit bulls.
Arianna Huffington, wtf are you doing over there? Your schlog has begun to resemble the tobacco industry's public relations firm, Hill & Knowlton.
some interesting reading:
Principles of Journalism Pew Research
A rather negative book review on Animals 24/7 of Galunker, pit bull propaganda whose target audience is preschoolers written by none other than DOUGLAS ANTHONY COOPER.
hmm... is it possible that someone has an ax to grind?
postscript If NCRC's PUBLISHED mission statement is "preserving the human-canine bond" what do you suppose their UNpublished mission statement is? Three guesses.