As I noted in an update to my previous post, Atlanta's WSB-TV has removed from its Web site the May 14th story that criticized The Humane Society of the United States. (You can read The HSUS response to the story here.) My guess is that The HSUS threatened legal action. However, news organizations don't typically cave to threats of lawsuits. They have lawyers, and they also have the First Amendment. So I have to think that the people at WSB are doubting the validity of the story they aired.
Second, I want to make it clear that "Digging Through the Dirt" is not affiliated with any organization. This blog is not a PR piece for The HSUS. In fact, I have been critical of that group before. (However, I believe that the work they do for animals greatly outweighs any differences of opinion I may have with them from time to time.)
So it's ironic that blogger Andy Vance has accused me of being tied to The HSUS.
Claiming that the Center is some manner of industrial front-group, the HSUS-linked blogger attempts to tie the Center to a shadowy cabal including evil farmers and the tobacco industry.Apparently Vance, host of ABN Radio ("Ohio's Voice for Agriculture"), doesn't know that the CCF began as a front group for the tobacco industry.
Vance also accuses me and other "pro-vegan minions" of "wag[ing] war on investigative reporters and their interviewed guests" in the WSB piece. However, as I noted in my previous post, while it would be nice for reporters not to take the CCF at its word, my contempt is not with them. Nor is it with any of the people interviewed for the story, save one: David Martosko. While Vance says I'm disparaging the messenger because I don't like the message, the truth is that the message is a lie and the public needs to know the motives behind the messenger.
"Disparaging the messenger" is actually the cornerstone of the CCF's strategy, as revealed in a 1999 interview with president Richard Berman.
"We always have a knife in our teeth," he said. Since activists "drive consumer behavior on meat, alcohol, fat, sugar, tobacco and caffeine," his strategy is "to shoot the messenger. ... We've got to attack their credibility as spokespersons."
As I noted in my previous post, the CCF and animal ag are running scared because of the success of Prop 2. Instead of going after the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, an easier target than The HSUS because of its antics, Martosko and the CCF have to contend with a more-respected organization. Martosko likes to refer to The HSUS as "PETA with a better wristwatch."
And as Paul Shapiro, senior director for The HSUS's factory farming campaign, notes, "rather than discussing the issues at hand, [Martosko would rather] just destroy the reputation of [his] critics.
"You can either lose pretty or win ugly," Martosko told animal-ag proponent Trent Loos last week.
The CCF's tactics are damn ugly. Martosko has even resorted to posting his group's lies on Craigslist.
The CCF and animal ag are desperate. As Loos accidentally said in his interview with Martosko, with any luck the CCF will "lose ugly."
(Image courtesy of BermanExposed.org.)