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Good News, Bad News, No News

McCain's Rosy Future, Corpses Down the Drain

Bill Radke

Suzie Lechtenberg

1. GOP presidential candidate Sen. John McCain this week painted a happy picture of the world at the end of his first term: Iraq is a functioning democracy, America's combat role there has ended, most of our troops are home, Iran and North Korea have abandoned the bomb, our economy is growing robustly. Is this picture Good News, Bad News or No News?

2. Two weeks ago at the Kentucky Derby, a filly broke her ankles and was euthanized right on the track. This weekend, we're racing horses again at the Preakness. Is that Good News, Bad News or No News?

3. There's a new way to dispose of human bodies that uses lye, heat and pressure to turn your corpse into some dry residue and some brownish syrupy liquid that can be poured down the drain. Does this sound like Good News, Bad News or No News?

More stories from our Good News, Bad News, No News series

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  • By Susan Trear

    From Lake Forest, CA, 05/20/2008

    I too was unfortunate enough to hear a puerile and shamelessly ignorant and insensitive rant on animals and animal rights defenders, of whom I am one. Though not a 23/7 NPR fan, it was shockingly not how I see NPR, which carries many segments of deep sensitivity. The absolutely ignorant rant by these 3 bespeaks something we are all too familiar with in animal advocacy, and that is the depraved indifference of those who narcissistically see animal-based entertainment as a right they have to enjoyment. That Eight Belles was "a little hurt," was thankfully (but the only) question the commentator dragged out in defense of her terrible death. One cannot expect that everyone knows about the unspeakable abuse of animals in entertainment and other settings every day, but basic human kindness and the ability to empathize when a living being is horribly injured to the point of death is something we always hope for, but seldom find. The gentleman who thinks that we want to take away his right to enjoyment is completely correct in these instances. Horse and dog racing, circuses, roadside zoos, puppymills, backyard breeders, animal bordellos, bullfights, agribusiness and hundreds of other even worse practices are things we fight against 24/7. Personally, I would venture to say that the man who described the tragic death of Eight Belles as “a little hurt,” has some very real problems, the kind we see every day in abuse cases. Unfortunate that NPR’s representative could not peek out a little farther from cover with an obvious rebuttal, and thumbs down to all that this ended up “No News.” Appalling.

    By John Hocutt

    From Redondo Beach, CA, 05/17/2008

    I'm repulsed by the juvenile attitude of the "commentator" who attempted dismiss out of hand the position of people who value the humane treatment of animals. Our goal isn't "to throw a wet blanket" over other people's fun time but to speak out for the animals who have no say in how they are used to amuse humans, especially the ones who are amused by dog or cock fighting, bear-baiting, bull fighting, etc. This bloviater, who by brushing off Eight Belles� fatal injury as a �little bruising� tries to trivialize the harm done to animals in the name of entertaining humans, is either ignorant or disingenuous. Even more pathetic was the laughter of the moderator and the other guests. All in all, one of the most thoughtless, insensitive offerings I�ve heard from this marginal public radio program.

    By John Vandenberg

    From Portland, OR, 05/17/2008

    Ms. Cummings is right on. The speaker calling a fatal injury to a horse's leg a "little thing" and comparing it to a sprain to a basketball player is guilty of extreme ignorance. But the host who allowed him to continue and tried to laugh it off is more guilty as he knew better. Like a little kid afraid to speak up when his buddy harms another. They've abused the privilege of being on the air. Shameful indeed.

    By Donna Cummings

    From Lebanon, PA, 05/17/2008

    My husband and I are NPR addicts, and for the first time ever, we turned your program off because of the commentary regarding Eight Belles, the filly who had to be euthanized at the Kentucky Derby. We found the comments to be in poor taste, without humor, and certainly insensitive to any listener who does care for animals. Sharing an opinion is one matter; spouting insulting comments is quite another. We are very disappointed to help fund this kind of programming and feel an apology should be forthcoming. Shame on you!

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