When you point out to someone that pit bulls are responsible for a disproportionate amount of carnage and death when compared to every other sort of dog, the most common reaction you get from a pit advocate is that there is a media conspiracy afoot. Its the Anti Pit Bull Media Conspiracy, and they are out to make the dogs look bad. I'm not a person who dismisses the idea of a media conspiracy out of hand, but if it exists surely there is evidence of it somewhere. Usually a conspiracy involves propaganda of some sort, an attempt to hide or obscure facts that don't fit with the dominant narrative. According to pit advocates the media has an anti-pit bull narrative that is difficult to stray from. To which I say- oh, really? I've seen nothing but positive spin and uncritically examined pro-pit nonsense from the media for years now. Here is a list of tv shows/movies I know from off the top of my head that regularly espouse pro-pit messages:
Cesar Milan's The Dog Whisperer
Pit Bulls and Parolees
Beyond The Myth
Some of these programs are incredibly popular. They all claim that pit bulls are simply misunderstood and pose no additional danger when compared to other types of dog. Here is a list of the supposedly anti-pit bull programs available in the media:
The News (when they report a pit bull attack)
What is funny is that while you would never see actual statistics on dog bite related fatalities discussed on the 6 pro-pit bull programs I named earlier, but you can still find pro-pit lobby stuff in news editorial pages all over the place. Book stores are also largely filled with pro-pit bull messages, and so are magazine articles and blog posts and so on. Even comments on news stories about maulings or deaths seem to have about the same 6 (or more) to 1 ration of pro pit bull messages vs anti. Curiously, historical books about dog fighting have been deemed anti-pit bull propaganda by advocates on amazon, though all they do is document the history of the development of pit bulls and other gripping dogs. The advocates have tried to get the books removed from listings at the website. Hmmm.
It seems that the increasing number and frequency of pro-pit bull messages in the media do not do anything to assuage the average advocate's urge to argue that the Anti Pit Bull Media Conspiracy exists. They also seem to believe that a bunch of mushy rhetoric about pit bulls (like from Cesar Milan and Rachel Ray) isn't propaganda, but chronicling events that have actually transpired (selective breeding for blood sports, actual attacks on actual people) is propaganda. Advocates aren't denying that people are killed by pit bulls regularly, they just believe that there are stacks of bodies of people who died by beagle (or poodle or retriever) that the media ignores for some reason. It seems much more likely to me that the facts available in the clifton report are difficult to reconcile with slogans like "blame the deed not the breed" and "they are like every other kind of dog", so advocates are stuck having to allege such an outrageous conspiracy exists. It would be easier to take them seriously if it weren't so hard to find critical analysis of pit bull advocate messages in the media in general. I wonder what it would take for them to accept that the media is not anti-pit bull?