WSB-TV Aftermath: The Knives Are Out At HSUS

It has been an interesting weekend since the May 14th release of the WSB-TV investigation of the Humane Society of the United States’ fundraising practises and the use of those funds. The reaction of the Humane Society of the United States executive team and employees has been dramatic, if not over the top.

Apparently the HSUS executive has not been content to stop with the rumored unleashing the HSUS legal team on WSB-TV. This is a rumor supported by the swift removal of both the text, viewer comments and video from the WSB-TV website by the afternoon of Friday, May 15th and the subsequent removal of the text article from Google’s cache system by Saturday, May 16th. The speed of this has been startling considering that images in Google’s cache can linger for days, weeks and even years in some cases. This process can be accelerated by website owner request.

Since May 14th, the number of personal attacks by both the HSUS executive and employees has been escalating and even some of their own supporters have not been safe from the spatter. Consider the following:

  • The article posted on “Civil Eats” by the Senior Director of the HSUS factory farming campaign, Paul Shapiro. Aptly titled, “Lose Pretty or Win Ugly”, Mr. Shapiro proceeds to launch a series of attacks that could as easily describe HSUS tactics as the opponents named in the article. The comment, “When it comes to campaigning, CCF isn’t exactly known for its fidelity to the truth.” is particularly ironic after the admissions of HSUS Georgia Director Cheryl McAuliffe that most of her job entails activist planning and lobbying. With her further admission that all finances are controlled from Washington headquarters, it seems unlikely that Georgia is the only state with this proportion of political activity. It is even more ironic considering the HSUS ran an online fundraising campaign using the following soliciting statement beside the donation check box
    • Yes! I want to make a special gift to help The Humane Society of the United States care for the dogs seized in the Michael Vick case and to support other vital animal protection programs. (Click here to see the image) As I have written before, HSUS was not the agency caring for the dogs but instead it was the organization Bad Rap in association with the ASPCA, while HSUS was recommending the Michael Vick dogs be euthanized.
  • HSUS Chief Operating Officer Michael Markarian and HSUS Internet Brand Manager Carie Lewis were actively forwarding the article “CCF Continues to Decieve Journalists, Public” from the blog, Digging Through The Dirt through the social networks via Twitter (pdf of image available in case Twitter post disappears) yet never acknowledge that the CCF statistics are independently confirmed through this website. This raises the question, if the CCF data is accurate (which it is) then why does HSUS continue to claim deception? The “Digging Through the Dirt” Blog even accused CCF of attacking HSUS with Craigslist postings. However, there is one problem with this accusation. Its not CCF, which I know for a fact. No, it isn’t me either but I’m going to leave it at that for now.
  • HSUS CEO Wayne Pacelle has attacked the Center for Consumer Freedom’s status as a 501(c) 3 tax-exempt charity despite the evidence provided by WSB-TV which throws the HSUS’ own 501(c) 3 tax-exempt staus into doubt.
  • Andy Vance and I were called the “Limbaugh and Coulter of the meat industry” by HSUS employee Barbara Henderson. This was by far the mildest and most entertaining of the attacks to date for a couple of reasons. (1) I’m not certain that the meat industry really knows or cares much about either AR-HR.com or myself. (2) Didn’t Rush Limbaugh just do a couple of public service announcements for the Humane Society of the United States that he has taken ALOT of heat for? It probably isn’t good policy to use a celebrity supporter’s name as an insult attempt, even in jest.

WSB-TV may have pulled their very brave report from public viewing, but the awareness this story has raised has certainly struck a nerve up to the highest levels of the Humane Society of the United States. If there was nothing to the story or the questions it has raised, why are they waging a war of personal attacks instead of simply laying out the numbers and the data? Equally interesting is the question, “Why are the HSUS executive leveling accusations that match the HSUS as closely, if not more closely, than those they are attacking?”

Copyright 2009 by Erica Saunders http://AR-HR.com
All rights reserved

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Tags: Animal Rights, ASPCA, ccf, Center for Consumer Freedom, Civil Eats, factory farming, farm, fundraising campaign, google, HSUS, Humane Society, mcauliffe, michael vick, paul shapiro, twitter, Wayne Pacelle, wsb tv