No Flies on PETA
I thought it awfully strange that People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) was weighing in on President Obama's fly-swat (the headline on website TMZ: "PETA Swats at Obama for Killing That Fly!"), so I emailed PETA spokesman Bruce Friedrich this morning to ask why he was devaluing his currency on such nonsense. Shocking, I know, but it seems his remarks were taken out of context for the sake of a better, if ridiculous, story. Here's his reply:
It must be a slow news day. Here’s me talking about it on CNBC, and this is a New York Daily News piece about it. Most of the press has really created a story where there is none. In every interview, we’ve stressed that this is not a big deal, is not something we thought to comment on until TMZ called us, etc. This is the statement we put out:
Well, who is perfect? Certainly, President Obama has been helpful in his opposition to factory farming, which involves the mutilation and slaughter—while fully conscious—of 10 billion chickens and other farmed animals every year and is something that America can truly be ashamed of. He condemned the Canadian seal slaughter, which is the largest massacre of marine mammals in the world. His wife won’t wear fur, which means that she doesn’t support allowing animals to die slowly in traps or to live abysmal lives and suffer horrific deaths on fur factory farms for a coat. His administration supports openness with regard to how government money is spent, which will save millions of animals from painful experiments every year. He also had a perfect voting record in behalf of animals while he was in the Senate and spoke out publicly in support of animal protection on multiple occasions during his presidential campaign. Swatting a fly on TV indicates that he’s not the Buddha, that’s all.
And it was blown into “PETA outraged.” That’s just not true; all we said is “it shows he’s human.” I guess that was a revelation for some journalists!
But there you go.
p.s. I do appreciate your checking in, Kathleen. I’ll bet if we’d refused to comment at all, the story would have been “PETA Refuses to Condemn Fly Murder!” or something.
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