Saturday, September 04, 2010

Miami Herald celebrates 40 years of animal cruelty

The Miami Herald, which executive editor Anders Gyllenhaal has single-handedly destroyed in his short tenure, printed one of its most shameful puff pieces ever today, and in the process gave the Miami Seaquarium tens of thousands of dollars worth of free advertising.

"Lolita's greatest feat may be surviving at Miami Seaquarium for 40 years," read the headline on Saturday's story about the Miami Seaquarium's killer whale Lolita.

For the record, Lolita swims "in the smallest killer whale tank in North America." A tank that's "about one-tenth the size of those at SeaWorld [animal parks."]

But Herald writer Robert Samuels barely touches on that issue in his story; an issue that has angered animal rights activists for years.

Instead he quotes Seaquarium curator Robert Rose: ``This is her home. It's the only home she's known for 40 years.''

Well, that makes it alright, I guess.

Back in February, it was Rose who insisted that Lolita was "happy."

Samuels does try to balance his piece with quotes from those who say that Lolita should be released, but the overall tone of his story pushes the notion is that the animal is "happy." "

"Lolita swims still, in this same tank, never giving a clue that she'd want anything else," writes Samuels, who like curator Rose, is apparently able to read Lolita's mind.

And Samuels never mentions that the Miami Seaquarium is one of the lowest rated tourist attractions in South Florida.

To be fair, the Herald has addressed Lolita's captivity over the years.

But until someone at the Seaquarium decides that it's time to end the cruelty, Lolita will continue to be exploited. And the Miami Herald - until it gets a new editor with a spine - will continue to be the Seaquarium's most enthusiastic and willing accomplice in perpetuating that cruelty.

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