Yellow Journalism In Commerce City
It seems that all of Colorado is aflame with Pitbull Hysteria, and local suburbs of Denver are getting into the act by passing their own breed restrictions or bans - like Commerce City.
Helping to fan the flames of fear and ignorance is one Kathryn McIntyre, editor of the local rag, Commerce City Gateway. Last month, following the enactment of a local ordinance that required dog owners of pitbulls to "register", Ms. McIntyre took it upon herself to then publish the street addresses of these law-abiding dog owners, in a piece entitled, "Registered Pit Bulls In Commerce City". Kathryn McIntyre wrote,
Kathryn McIntyre then ran the "piece" with the official Commerce City logo, like the one above, deliberately inferring she and the paper had the official endorsement of the city of Commerce City.
Her decision to publish these addresses of dog owners created even more fear and anger in Commerce City, even drawing criticism from the Poynter Institute, however, Kathryn defended her actions in an article by the Rocky Mountain News, stating, "They lost their privacy when they registered their pit bulls" .
Have these dogs or owners done anything wrong? No! It sounds to me like convicted sex offenders or drunk drivers have more standing in Commerce City than dog owners.
Lack Of Integrity Can Be Profitable
Let's call a spade a spade, Kathryn - your actions can be called many things , but not journalism. What comes to mind, Kathryn, is that your lack of journalistic integrity and irresponsible, substandard reporting has led you to sensationalize the issue to sell more papers, thereby increasing circulation and ad revenues, all the while gratifying your need to feel righteous. You are a profiteer, madam, and there is a name for your brand of "reporting" - it's called Yellow Journalism.
BTW, Kathryn, you lost your right to privacy on this issue by publishing - period - and therefore, as a public service to our readers here at DogPolitics.com, I've decided to publish the results of the phone calls I made to each of your advertisers...........
This blogger decided to go straight to the source - meaning the local advertisers who are the source of the Commerce City Gateway's revenue - because at the end of the day - papers exist for only one reason - to sell ad space. As they say - money talks and bull.... But I had questions, like....
- What did advertiser's think of the Commerce City Gateway's editorial decision to publish the street addresses of dog owners of pit bulls?
- Did they agree or disagree, and why?
- Did it help or harm their businesses?
- We're they even aware?
- Were advertisers aware that dog owners are approaching 50% of U.S. households, giving them tremendous buying power and economic clout?
A Public Service To Our Readers
As a public service to our readers, we've compiled this full LIST OF COMMERCE CITY GATEWAY ADVERTISERS - you can find the results of our calls to each of the advertisers here: Download CommerceCityGatewayAdvertisers.xls .
Dog owners in Commerce City and beyond will find this handy, dandy list extremely helpful in determining which advertisers are worthy of patronage - and greenbacks - and which are not.
I Love Capitalism
I just love capitalism, don't you? We live in a free market economy - free to buy or sell or trade with whomever we please. That means as consumers, we get to dictate which businesses we will and won't support - especially on the local level.
So if I we're a dog owner, and I lived in Commerce City, I would think twice about which businesses advertise in the Commerce City Gateway, and whether or not they support or oppose Kathryn McIntyre's anti-pitbull, anti-dog stance.....
Find out if your local businesses are anti-dog BEFORE you make a purchase:
- Before you buy a car at Dominguez Motors
- Before you buy tires from C & L
- Before you take your kids to The Bison Grill - call 'em up! Ask where they stand on this whole pitbull thing.
- Before you drop your shirts at Bull's Eye Cleaners or
- Before you open a checking account at Academy Bank - call them up - and ask them whether or not they value your business - where do they stand on the paper's editorial decision?
- Before you get your driveway paved by Colorado Asphalt Services -
- Before you buy a home from Oakwood estates - call them up - and ask if they want your business, as a dog owner.
Vote With Your Wallet
And when you visit businesses in Commerce City that are decidedly dog-friendly - like Horizon Veterinary Clinic or Mike's Killer Fish - you can say "Thanks!" for supporting dog owners. And you can thank them with your continued patronage.
After all - it's your money - you can patronize any business you want... And if you're not happy with the response you get from any business that advertises in the Commerce City Gateway- why then you - the customer, can just take your money and spend it elsewhere, can't you?
Theft Of City Property?
Now Kathryn McIntyre did more that just break the rules of responsible journalism by self-righteous pandering and fear mongering. Yes , indeedy - she stole the official logo for Commerce City, and plotzed it right in the middle of her "public service" announcement in other words - she stole city property. It's called theft.
Did Kathryn McIntyre actually have the permission of Commerce City to use its logo? If not - just what is Commerce City's official position on the use of the city logo in Kathryn McIntyre's piece? Would that unauthorized use of the Commerce City logo be considered theft? Deceptive business practice? According to the Justice Department - she could face federal charges for theft of intellectual property.
The Rules According To Heather
According to Heather Rule, Commerce City's Director of Marketing and Public Relations,
"The information (list of pitbull owners) is a matter of public record and was obtained through a public information request via the Commerce City Police Department. The use of the city logo was done without the knowledge or consent of the city".
Heather sounds very professional - very polite. She's also a dog owner - Canaan Dog. Gotta give her snaps for that - oh - and she also lived in Jersey. Another plus.
But that means Kathryn McIntyre broke the rules - broke the law. Hey - whaddyah think would happen if you or I were to lift the official Commerce City logo for our own use to deceive people into thinking that we had the endorsement of Commerce City? Would we be fined? Arrested? Sued? I'm waiting for the answer to that one.
The Dollar Is Mightier Than The Pen
In the end, dear readers- it always comes down to money - doesn't it. They say the pen is mightier than the sword, but I say the dollar bill is mightier than the pen.
That means you are "The Mighty" - you have the power - the power to spend, or not to spend. To buy - or not buy - to shop - or not. To read or not to read the Commerce City Gateway.
How would the Commerce City Gateway handle a backlash of angry, dog-owning consumers - if they stopped reading her paper - and stopped patronizing her advertisers? Would that put a dent in her ad revenue? Would advertisers be pissed if they got calls and letters from angry dog owners telling them they'll stop shopping with them?
Quid Pro Quo, Kathryn
We all hope that Kathryn McIntyre gets what she deserves - and that will be up to the people of Commerce City and the dog owners who live there.
Quid pro quo, Kathryn, quid pro quo. And btw - Wake up and smell the dog because My Dog Votes.