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Pit bulls and Mass Media

Updated on February 26, 2018

Breed History

When Pit Bulls were brought to the U.S. in the 19th century they were cattle dogs and "catch dogs" for pigs, but they were also used as fighting dogs. Though most pit bulls were not used as fighting dogs. The majority were used as hunters, herders, guardians and also friends. Pit bulls also acquired the nickname "nanny dogs" because of their courageous and loyal companionship to adults and children.


Media Bias

The media has tremendously changed a lot of the publics opinion on Pit Bulls. I can guarantee that whenever there is a pit bull attack, you will find a story about it in the new. Though you will almost never hear about a dog attack from a Labrador retriever or a Pomeranian. This is solely based on the fact that pit bull attack sell while other dog attack do not.

Approximately 4.5 million dog bites occur each year. No two list of dogs that bite the most are the same. I've found lists that place Pit Bulls at number 1 and I've found lists that place Chihuahuas at number one. If you google search "pit bull attack" there is hundreds of news articles, but I could not find a single news article on a Chihuahua biting someone, in fact the majority of the news articles that I found are about Pit Bulls attacking Chihuahua's.

The National Canine Research Council issued a report that reveals how biased the media is when it comes to dog bites. They did a study which focused on how dog bite attacks were reported by breed in a four day period from August 18, 2007 to August 21, 2007. There were four dog attacks in that four day period.

The first dog attack was by a Labrador mix which sent a 70-year old man to the hospital in critical condition. There was only one news article on this attack, and it was by the local news paper. The second dog attack was by a mixed breed dog, a 16-month old child received fatal head and neck injuries, and it was only reported two times by the local news paper. The third attack was by a medium-sized mixed breed dog that hospitalized a 6-year old boy. The boy had his ear torn off and was severely bitten several times by the dog. This attack was only reported one time by the local news paper.

The last attack was two pit bulls that attacked a 59-year old woman. She was hospitalized for severe injuries. This attack was reported over two-hundred and thirty times nationally and internationally. Major television networks such as CNN, MSNBC, and FOX news had covered this story. A fatal attack on a 16-month old child by a mixed breed is clearly not as news worthy as a non-fatal attack by two pit bulls.

For a non-fatal attack by two pit bulls to be more news worthy than a fatal attack by a mixed breed dog just goes to show how biased news companies really are. Any and every dog can be aggressive and attack someone. Dog aggression is not breed specific, while some dogs are more powerful than others, that is not a valid reason for the news to play up pit bull attacks and not other dog breeds.

Kenneth M. Phillips a dog bite attorney posted a commercial on Twitter that stated "DO NOT ADOPT A PIT BULL". This is the type of biased media that changes the publics opinion. There are people out there that believe anything that they see. Pit bulls are not born aggressive, they are not born with the want to attack people. Pit bulls are not the only dog breed to attack people, but the media plays it up like they are the only dog breed out there that attacks people and it is disgusting.

Pit Bulls used to be Americas favorite dog and because of mass media it is now Americas most feared dog.

In the 70's they blamed the Dobermans. In the 80's they blamed the German Shepard's. In the 90's they blamed the Rottweiler's. Now they blame the Pit Bull. When will they blame the humans?

— Cesar Milan

Is the media biased against Pit Bulls?

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