Earlier a friend sent me a link to an article which he thought indicated a distinct anti-pit-bull bias.

Boy, was he not kidding. It turns out that the mayor of an Arizona town had several dogs which got into a fight, and when she and her husband intervened, the aggressive dog killed the mayor’s husband, and injured her. The attacking dog was not a pit bull, yet the news reports tried to report that it was.

I was driving all day, so I didn’t get home to click on the link until tonight. By the time I did, all references to “pit bull” had been scrubbed, and the story read this way:

A former mayor of Bullhead City was hospitalized and her husband died after they were attacked by their pet dogs, according to the current mayor.

Former Mayor Diane Vick and her husband, Tom, tried to intervene after one of their six dogs, a boxer, attacked another, a cocker spaniel, Mayor Jack Hakim said. They were flown to a hospital in Las Vegas.

The boxer attacked the couple.

Tom Vick, 64, who taught social studies at Mohave High School, died of his injuries Sunday, Hakim said. Diane Vick “was pretty well beat up,” but Hakim didn’t believe her injuries were critical.

Hakim called the incident “pretty devastating.”

“We’ve had dog bites before but never something like this,” he said. “It’s very sad for us in Bullhead City. She was former mayor and he was a prominent high school teacher at Mohave High School. … We’re just grateful that at least one of them was able to survive.”

The dogs are being held at the Bullhead City Animal Control facility.

Nothing at all about any alleged “pit bull.”

Knowing my friend wouldn’t hallucinate the references to a pit bull, I searched, and soon learned that there had been kneejerk reporting of this as a pit bull attack — even by the sainted UPI, which at least had the decency to acknowledge misreporting:

Dec. 30 (UPI) — Former Bullhead City, Ariz., mayor Diane Vick was hurt and her husband was killedwhen they were attacked by their pet dogs on Saturday.

According to current Mayor Jack Hakim, Vick and her husband Tom got in the way when boxer attacked a cocker spaniel. During the incident, the dogs turned on their owners and began attacking them.

[…]
[CORRECTION: The boxer was previously misreported as a pit bull.]

Still, curious, I kept searching until I found the original article quoted here:

Bullhead City former mayor, husband attacked by dogs

The Republic [Arizona], by Jackee Coe

Original Article

Posted By:BaseballFan, 12/30/2013 10:10:24 AM

A former mayor of Bullhead City was hospitalized and her husband died after they were attacked by their pet dogs, according to the current mayor. Former Mayor Diane Vick and her husband, Tom, tried to intervene after one of their pit bulls attacked one of their smaller dogs, but the dogs attacked them, Mayor Jack Hakim said. They were flown to a hospital in Las Vegas. Tom Vick, who taught social studies at Mohave High School, died of his injuries on Sunday morning, Hakim said. Diane Vick “was pretty well beat up,” but Hakim didn’t think her injuries were critical.

Comments:
Current Bullhead City mayor refers to “dog bites”. Bit of an understatement if you ask me. Gruesome.

There are of course more comments typically carrying on about evil pit bulls.

It’s quite obvious that there are a lot of people out there who hate or fear pit bulls, and because of the well known phenomenon of confirmation bias they can’t wait to believe anything bad about them, without caring much whether it is true.

Sometimes I wonder whether the pit bulls have become a proxy for a certain other hatred that is no longer allowed. (When I was a kid, I assure you that no one would have bothered to hate pit bulls.)

But people have to hate something, and who or what are you allowed to hate anymore?