I found a surprisingly one-sided article on the Florida decoupling bill posted Saturday on the Tampa Bay Times website, one that is decidedly pro-dog racing, in terms of only including information presented from the racing side.
The writer notes two bills are under review – in the state house and senate – but he then states, “Similar bills last year failed.” This is not exactly true. Both bills passed, but time ran out in the legislative session on a compromise bill.
The president of Greyhound Pets of America, Tampa Bay Chapter is quoted as saying – “If all of a sudden we have 1,000 dogs (Derby Lane’s kennel population), we wouldn’t have any place to put them, and (you know) where the dogs would go.” Is she suggesting the dogs would not make it out alive if racing was suddenly shut down? That’s an odd thing for an insider to say. What about the dogs dying every year now?
In reality, adoption groups from far and wide would come to the rescue to save the dogs.
Another person makes the tired, old, inaccurate, warped suggestion that racing dogs receive better care than dogs living with loving families. Reality is not a strong point for these people.
There is one statement in the article that offers hope – If the bills pass, dog racing in the state could end by July 1. What a great day that would be for greyhounds. But unfortunately, a Derby Lane spokesperson states that track would continue racing.
Local news organizations need to make sure editorials are posted as opinion pieces on their websites. Nothing on the Tampa Bay Times page where this story runs indicates it is more than a straight news story. The writer includes quotes from four individuals on the pro-racing side and then fails to include a single paragraph with a quote from the anti-racing side or from those supporting the bills. The writer even calls the Derby Lane facility an “iconic greyhound track.”
I think all sides on any particular issue have a right to a voice and I don’t mind reading editorials from those with opposing views. But news sites need to label their blogs and editorials as such.