Going to the Dogs

Among the sentient members of the news-consuming public, few are likely unaware of the federal indictment of Micheal Vick for running a dog-fighting and gambling operation. The most salacious details of the indictment are the ones about how losing dogs were treated. Dogs were apparently electrocuted, drowned and beaten to death once they passed their usefulness. The resulting outcry has been deafening and I think absurd.

This isn’t a defense of anything Vick is accused of doing. His attorneys will make his case in court, and a judge or jury will decide if he’s guilty. Nor is it a criticism of the prosecution. It’s questionable to me why this is a federal case, but I don’t know enough to say whether that is any kind of abuse or overzealousness.

The absurdity lies in the ridiculous level of media hypocrisy about the moral failings of Micheal Vick. I’ve listened to local sports radio, read articles online from media around the country and they seem to be trying to top each other in the race to condemn Vick as the worst sort of criminal. What he did was horrible, but the flood of outrage strikes me as cheap piling-on. When the wrestler killed his family several weeks ago, that didn’t dominate the airwaves like this has. When Ray Lewis was accused of being involved with a murder several years ago, was he told not to show up to play, were sales of his jersey and merchandise suspended, or was he subject to anything like the recriminations that Vick has been? Pacman Jones has been criticized for being arrested 10 times, but do any of these moral titans ever condemn him for being at strip clubs in the first place? If you want a job that takes major athletes to task for their moral failings, you’ve got plenty of material, but you probably won’t have a job for long. Why is this case, for all its distastefulness, treated worse than instances where people died, instead of dogs?

Admittedly, this rant is mostly disgust with the media  who feel qualified to condemn Vick as a human being because of how he treated animals. Part of it is my natural irritation with people who pander to the lowest common denominator. I’ve been thinking about this ever since the story hit the air, but Rush did a monologue about it yesterday that I think highlighted how ridiculous it’s been (transcript). One of the issues we are dealing with in our society is the cheapening of human life, and the hue and cry over this situation illustrates how severely out of whack the public perspective is.

OK, end of rant. If nothing else, Deion has Micheal’s back.

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2 Responses

  1. I think you’re right about this. I’ve never heard so many sportscasters on their high horse about anything.

    Glad to hear about the new Lyle album (I just got back from H-town and was reading 12 of your posts at once).

  2. I love gambling but we need to draw a line somewhere. When you place a bet on dog fighting, etc.. you really need some help.

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