Many of you will remember the post Why Does the Houston Chronicle Want Me to Hate Pit Bulls? from a few months back. It definitely got a lot of people talking. Every single one of my family, friends, and faithful blog readers (strongly!) agreed – it was a ridiculous article and should have never found its way to the front page of a major news publication.
Despite my disagreement with the Houston Chronicle’s views on pit bulls, I still subscribe to the paper. (Reading the paper first thing in the morning over a cup of coffee is one of my absolute favorite things to do.) And this past Tuesday, on Page 3 of the City & State section, on the very bottom of the page in the “Around the State” section a heading caught my eye: “Dad accused of negligence in mauling death.”
Turns out, the 4 year old boy who was mauled to death (the one that I mentioned in my earlier post) was missing for SEVERAL HOURS before his dad decided to contact authorities. It was not until the NEXT DAY that the little boy’s body was discovered in the neighbor’s yard. (The boy’s father, Michael Cole Johnson, was detailing his truck when the boy wandered off.)
While this story – when it was the grizzly tale of pit bull brutality – was considered the #1 story on the day the paper gets the most reads; it was an 8 sentence blip in the City & State section on a Tuesday – when it was simply the story of just another idiot father. The last sentence being: “The dog was euthanized.”
I was livid when I read this story. How could the Houston Chronicle print a story with the title “Man’s Best Friend? Beware” on the front page…and then not find the time or the space to recant their bias reporting? Obviously, I understand everything is a business…and if “sex sells” in advertising, “fear sells” the news…but we aren’t talking about a hurricane or terrorism. Pit Bulls are something that we as a society encounter in our day-to-day lives. Instilling meaningless fear in the subconsciousness of the masses will only perpetuate the problem!
But should I be so upset? At least the paper printed something! While the small article doesn’t even mention that the poor, euthanized Pit Bull was originally blamed for the boy’s death, it does say that Michael Cole Johnson was indicted on charges of negligent homicide, injury to a child and child abandonment in the “mauling death.”
So, what do you think? “Ridiculously too little” or “At least they tried“?