FNC/FBN’s John Stossel writes on Reason.com about his upcoming “Blackfish” fisking. I’ve never been a fan of Stossel’s penchant for attacking something while at the same time sticking his head in the sand regarding the issue being raised…
I don’t presume to know if it’s moral to keep animals in captivity. But I do know that the activists distort the truth.
I’ve always considered that a big time dodge by Stossel. I also think if he’s going to do a proper fisking he should point out what, if anything, the people behind “Blackfish” are accurate about. He always seems too caught up in nailing the other side moreso than doing a proper analysis of the issue at hand.
That all said, his article here raises enough questions in my mind that I’m going to watch this special. I never had any interest in watching Blackfish in the first place. But I do care about accuracy in reporting and if there’s weight to be found in Stossel’s reporting, it puts CNN in a difficult position of defending airing a special its own people did zero reporting for; something that is an inherent risk for airing agenda TV without explaining in advance what the vetting process was, if any. (via J$)
I was most disturbed by a Blackfish scene that plays the mournful cry of a mother whale whose baby was taken from her. But it turns out the “baby” was an adult with kids of her own. Blackfish faked the scene by adding “sound effects that aren’t even appropriate to a killer whale.”
Blackfish also claims captive whales’ droopy dorsal fins indicate that the whales are miserable. But whale expert Ingrid Visser says killer whales in the wild have collapsed dorsal fins, too.
The director of Blackfish and others who appear in the film would not talk to me, but biologist Lori Marino, who’d said that “all whales in captivity have a bad life,” did.
I pointed out that life in the wild is rough, too—there’s competition for food, sex, life itself. She answered, “these animals evolved over millions of years to be adapted to the challenges of the wild, not with living in a concrete tank… They need space… and a social life.”
SeaWorld claims its whales are “happy.” But as Blackfish points out, “we can’t ask the whales.”
Dold replied, “While I may not know what my dog is thinking, I certainly know that he’s happy and that we have a good relationship.”
There have been moments when that human-whale relationship wasn’t good. One whale drowned a SeaWorld trainer. But Clark says there’s no evidence that the whale’s behavior meant that he was frustrated because he lives in a tank.
Finally, Blackfish claims that captive whales die young. But Dold points out, “We have a 50-year-old whale living at SeaWorld… Our whales’ life parameters are the same as whales in the wild.” Government research confirms this.