It’s always interesting to me to see the fall out of today’s massive media consolidations. More and more people are getting their news from fewer and fewer sources. That gives a small circle large power to affect our society by making their views seem more widespread than they are. When newspapers and magazines are taken over there is always a scramble by the staff to try and save their jobs, a natural reaction. Sometimes ethics goes by the wayside in this fight to stay employed in the continuing down economy. In Minnesota, earlier this year a small urban newspaper named City Pages, focusing on their audience of over-privileged extreme left wing members of the millennial generation, was taken over by the competition. As you can expect some lost their jobs. Still others seem willing to publish just about anything to generate outrage and readership to prop up their careers and avoid a layoff. One such person is reporter Cory Zurowski, known locally as being “edgy” at the paper known to have an “attitude” as if that’s something to brag about when reporting the news. Walter Cronkite is probably spinning in his grave at what passes for reporting these days. But is it “edgy” to defame a farmer and destroy a family? Is it “edgy” to write a story filled with unsupported, fraudulent details passed off as facts, calling a business you know nothing about a “puppy mill” and then standing aside to let the outraged readers of your propaganda take over and destroy a rural family just to sell papers and make a career?
Zurowski has done just that, recently running a series of articles defaming the rural Haag family farm. The Haag’s run the Amaze’n Farmyard, a small educational petting zoo for families and school children. What is more Midwestern and wholesome than a family farm and its animals? But to Zurowski, he speculates that this beautiful family farm is hiding some deadly secret just because the Haag family won’t allow him to visit their property. Why should they after he has written such slander about them? To rile up urbanites who know nothing about farming, Zurowski speculates that as many as 900 dogs may live at this farm at the adjoining dog kennel. Since he has never been there, he wouldn’t know how many dogs are there. Joining him in defaming a Minnesota family is urban privileged stay-at-home mom Lindsay M. Holiday from Blaine, Minnesota. Blaine, a suburb of the Twin Cities, is full of million dollar homes and other high-end housing. Holiday took it upon herself to conduct some sort of undercover private vigilante investigation when she, herself, is not law enforcement. Holiday bases her investigation on fraudulent reports slandering the Haag’s from the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the largest animal rights group in America run by a vegan CEO who has famously stated he doesn’t want to see another cat or dog born ever again. You know, because Holiday had nothing better to do with her time than stalk a rural farmer. Zurowski brags that Holiday is a brand new first time mother as if that has anything to do with her credentials as a fake law enforcement agent or doggie detective as he calls her.
Just like Joshua Rockwood, a small time farmer in New York, the Haag family and all of their kennel employees are seeing a concerted attack to destroy their way of life by people who know nothing of farming or dog breeding. Urbanities think nothing of embarrassing this family in front of their neighbors. They think nothing of harassing them and humiliating them on the Internet with false allegations about their farm. They think nothing of causing all of the kennel workers to lose their jobs in an economy where they won’t find another one soon and will end up on unemployment until it runs out. Ignorant do-gooders like Holiday make ludicrous charges and then just melt away to leave the damage in the pages of newspapers and on social media. Enflamed by the City Pages coverage of her illegal actions, Holliday plans a August 15th protest against the Haag farm during one of their busiest days to cause them a business loss claiming she’s against “inhumane capitalism.” The Haag farm is defended by The Cavalry Group, a member-based company working to legally protect the constitutional and private property rights of animal owners and animal related businesses across America.
“This is another example of bully tactics from animal rights groups,” Patterson says. “These people are doing nothing wrong. They are operating a commercial breeding kennel that regularly undergoes inspections from both federal and state regulators.”
It remains to be seen how Zurowski will cover the protest. Will he invoke his inner Cronkite and simply report the honest and unbiased facts, or will he run another terrorist apologizing rant to continue to destroy a rural Minnesota family and their employees?
Katharine Dokken is a Public Affairs Specialist at The Cavalry Group and the author of a new book, The Art of Terror: Inside the Animal Rights Movement, available on Amazon.
Follow Katharine and The Cavalry Group on Twitter: @KatharineDokken @TheCavalryGroup