July 16, 2007

Gotta use that word "pit bull"

Came across this story while reading KC Dog Blog's weekly roundup. It's a perfect example of the media's desperate need to somehow, somewhere, include the word "pit bull" in any story about dog bites.

Two separate incidents in Lubbock TX. Both appear to have involved German Shepherds, including one that caused serious injury to the face of a mail carrier.

In this story about two separate German Shepherd attacks, the newspaper reporter (Eric Finley), for some unknown reason, felt the need to single one incident out of the 19 previous incidents in the city. Which one? The one, and only one, of 21 dangerous dog complaints that involved a "pit bull".

This had nothing to do with the current story, unless the reporter was willing to take all 19 prior incidents and discuss them all, equally.

In fact, since this report is about a type of dog that typically does not fall under the "pit bull" moniker, and since there is no valid reason to mention the prior story, it appears that this reporter may have an agenda to keep the supposed dangerousness of "pit bulls" in the readers' minds.

You will notice that there is no further mention of the German Shepherds in this story after the reporter brings up the prior "pit bull" incident.

The last thing the readers are left with, the lingering memory in their minds, is "that pit bull that attacked those two children in Lubbock", not "that German Shephered that attacked the mail carrier and that other German Shepherd that attacked its neighbour" nor the other 18 incidents that had nothing to do with "pit bulls" and probably nothing to do with German Shepherds.

And for those who may wish to quibble with me about breeds, no, I don't believe that German Shepherds are more dangerous or should be singled out. Breed is the least important factor in a list of reasons why dogs bite.

I'm just making a point.

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