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“You sound like a fucking bitch”

November 6, 2013

Vickery Eckhoff

Grand OpeningI have a new post today on Forbes.com: Grand Opening of Horse Slaughter Plants Foiled Again. You can read it here.

The topic may seem obscure, but it’s probably my most important writing to date: exposing false reporting by the Associated Press in 16 different articles (as of this writing) that have, for a year and a half, made their way into every mainstream media organization in the U.S., misleading the public on critical facts about horse slaughter just as two and possibly three plants get closer to opening in America’s heartland.

I started tracking these errors across the media landscape in June, 2012 as they started appearing in a variety of mainstream news sites. As of yesterday, I picked up these same recurring errors in two new AP stories that have appeared on all the networks, in The Christian Science Monitor, Bloomberg, Huffington Post, Reuters, and countless online news sites. I’ve also picked up false reports in The New York Times, on NPR, and other news organizations that have a high standard of accuracy. The AP’s stamp was on all of them.

I approached the AP back in June of 2012, then again in April, and steadily from May onward, inquiring about errors I found and seeking correction.

The first person I spoke to was the AP reporter who has become the voice for Valley Meat for the American Press—Jeri Clausing. I called her again 10 months later.

Ms. Clausing did not take kindly to my inquiries. On my second call, during which I politely inquired as to her source for figures on horse overpopulation that I knew to be incorrect, she wouldn’t let me get a word in.  She kept repeating, “you’re a horse advocate, you’re a horse advocate” despite my having offered my credentials as a journalist who had published extensively on Forbes.com and the Huffington Post (I have since been published in Newsweek), on the topic of horse slaughter.

Upon my strong objection to being spoken to in such a rude manner, Ms. Clausing responded: “You sound like a fucking bitch.”

So I reached out to Ms. Clausing’s news editor, Linda Ashton. I explained my concerns and she requested I write up my credentials and the errors I found in Ms. Clausing’s articles, along with links proving what was wrong and why.

I did so. I spent a month poring over seven articles:

As part of that, I reread each of the articles referenced above, researched Ms. Clausing’s sources in greater depth and reread materials referenced numerous times within her storyline (specifically, the June 2011 GAO Report).

What I found confirms my impression of bias throughout the seven articles favoring proponents of Valley Meat and their point of view, along with related errors.

2013-11-06_08-32-58

Table I shows proponents enjoying a 69.4% share of voice compared to just 12.7% for opponents in the AP’s coverage.  The figures were determined by doing word counts for groupings of similar text (talking points, reference materials, editorial commentary, photo captions, etc.). Neutral text (such as legislation and quotes from people without a discernible point of view), accounts for the difference between the two column totals (on the right) and the total word count (on the left).

Table II shows proponents and opponents represented in roughly equal numbers with regard to the individuals, organizations and constituencies (ranchers, horse rescues, public officials, livestock associations, etc.) named in the text. Where they diverge is the total number of mentions and talking time they get.

  • Eight individual proponents get mentioned 46 times (5.75 mentions per individual).
  • Six individual opponents get mentioned 18 times (3 mentions per individual).
  • The same holds true for organizations and constituents named in the text. If they’re proponents, they get more frequent mentions and longer quotes.

There were five recurring errors I highlighted in my letter to Ms. Ashton. The most egregious appeared in six of the seven articles I reviewed. It stated the following:

A June 2011 report from the federal Government Accountability Office shows cases of horse abuse and abandonment on a steady rise since Congress effectively banned horse slaughter by cutting funding for USDA inspection programs in 2006.”

This quote gives credence to Ms. Clausing’s frequent mentions of “abused,” “abandoned” “neglected,” “starved” and “unwanted” horses (24 mentions in her first article alone) despite a GAO acknowledgement that “national data is lacking.” This admission appears on page two of the 2011 report and is briefly mentioned in Ms. Clausing’s first article, but is otherwise absent, along with any discussion about the lack of national and almost complete lack of state data.

A worse problem, however is her getting the events wrong that shut down the slaughter plants and when that occurred. This is the main topic of my Forbes.com article today.

In any event, Ms. Ashton repeated that the AP’s reporting was both factual and balanced, and started knocking my professional credentials to request a correction. She said, “I’ve looked at your articles, and I think they’re biased.”

Let me address that. It’s a valid point.

I don’t quote Rick de los Santos in my articles, though I do mention him in one. I have interviewed him, though, back in March when that video of his employee, Tim Sappington, came out shooting a horse in the head while swearing at animal rights activists.

The interview with Mr. De Los Santos was long and uneventful—so much so he gave me his cellphone number and asked me not to share it. The next day, however, his attorney, A. Blair Dunn, sent me the following note:

“You are receiving this correspondence because you communicated to a person associated with Valley Meat Company, LLC a degratory, defamatory or threatening statement or aided in deciminating the information necessary to conspire to do the same.  As legal counsel for for Valley Meat Company this email shoud serve as notice I do not represent Tim Sappington, nor is he associated with Valley Meat Company in any capacity.

Because of the statements you have made it is my reccomendation that you retain your own legal counsel.  At this time any communications you made that threaten or harass any person associated with Valley Meat Company will be referred to the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security for investigation and prosecution under the Animal Enterprise Terroism Act (SEE BELOW).  Neither Valley Meat nor the Law Office of A. Blair Dunn will tolerate threatening or defamatory statements and will contemplate civil action against any individuals or groups that persist in that type of activity.

Thank you for your consideration.”

Mr. Dunn’s spelling errors and threats notwithstanding, I reached out to Mr. De Los Santos a second time, and got more harassing notes from Mr. Dunn.

I also reached out to several other individuals in Ms. Clausing’s articles to get quotes. None called me back. That’s not a result of bias on my part; it’s a result of bias on theirs. They don’t mind speaking to Ms. Clausing because she seems to take everything they say at face value. That’s not my orientation.

But back, again, to my correspondence with Ms. Ashton. Having gotten nowhere with my request for corrections, I decided to take my concerns up the chain at the AP.

I next wrote to the AP’s corrections line. I called, too. When I finally got someone on the phone, they wouldn’t direct me to an actual editor and told me to email them again. When I told them I’d done that already, they hung up on me. So I emailed them again. Again, no one got back to me.

So I contacted a very attentive editor named Stephanie Siek. She asked me to do a write up on what I found and vowed to send it on to the appropriate editor at the AP. Several weeks later, I was in correspondence with Traci Carl, whose title is West Editor. She oversees 13 different regions for the AP, including Albuquerque, Ms. Clausing’s base.

Ms. Carl’s response to my inquiry was pretty much what I expected:

“Stephanie Siek brought your concerns to my attention, as I oversee news for 13 Western states, including New Mexico. The Associated Press takes all potential errors seriously, and I’ve reviewed our stories and the facts called into question. At this time, I don’t see a need for a corrective. As you state, and as we reported, Congress cut the funding for inspection programs in 2006. And I reviewed the GAO report and found that it did cite a rise in horse abuse and abandonment, as stated in our article. Thanks again for your concern and interest.” 

I responded:

“Thank you for getting back to me about the errors in Ms. Clausing’s reporting.

The point being made isn’t when Congress cut funding (2006), as you suggest. It is about Ms. Clausing stating that the removal of funding effectively shut the plants down in 2006 when that didn’t happen until 2007 (they were kept in operation by fee-for-service inspections, which the court found illegal, shutting the plants down). The closure of plants and the stated correlation with an alleged rise in abuse and abandonment in 2006 are central features of all Ms. Clausing’s coverage. This correlation falls apart given the true date of closing.

In fact, that abuse and neglect went up for a year prior to the plants’ closing proves the two are not correlated.  That abuse and neglect figures declined after the plants closed also proves that point.

The AP’s coverage makes the case that keeping horse slaughter plants open is a more humane option and uses the wrong date of closing to prove that point. Please explain why 14 articles and hundreds of spin-off articles based on a false date and a false correlation do not require correction.

I’ve been writing articles on this subject for two years. I’ve been writing letters on this to the AP since May seeking correction. May I please have the courtesy of speaking to you about what is admittedly a very complex topic in person.”

Ms. Carl’s next response was more promising:

“Again, thank you for your enthusiasm and interest in this story. We do want to get it right.

I have to admit that I’ve gone through the story and your emails several times, and I’m still struggling to understand the errors as reported by the AP. The concerns you raise seem like they should be directed at the GAO and their report.

Please let me know if I’m not understanding the situation. If you raise a specific error in our reporting, I will vet it and correct it for the record.”

So I wrote back with the following:

“Thanks for looking at this further and for your assurances that the AP wants to get this right. I appreciate your question about whether you understand this. The answer is no — it’s way more complicated than you or the AP reporter, Jeri Clausing (or most people) understand. So let me lay out what happened in detail, and what Ms. Clausing misstates in 15 different articles, specifically:

  • That Congress defunded inspections in 2006
  • that this effectively caused the plants to close in 2006
  • that the GAO report showed a corresponding rise in horse abuse and abandonment”

To that, I appended a very long timeline (a feature of today’s Forbes.com post) detailing all the events that occurred between when Congress voted to defund horse slaughter inspections (in 2005) and when the plants actually shut down (on account of state bans in TX and IL) in 2007.

Clearly, I expected that this would prove my point. The AP had screwed up the dates as well as which events led to what outcome. What I got back from Ms. Carl showed otherwise:

“I’ve reviewed our coverage, and we are clear that the vote to cut funding came in 2005, and that Congress’ intention was to effectively ban horse slaughter with that vote. You are right that we don’t mention efforts by Illinois and Texas to get around that vote, but it doesn’t change Congress’ intent, which was at the heart of the horse slaughter debate. I don’t see a need for correction or clarification on that point.

As for the Colorado data, by your own reporting and facts below, cases did rise after funding was pulled in 2006, so I don’t see a need for a correction or clarification on that point. Again, thanks for your passion and interest in this topic.”

I responded:

“I am a bit perplexed by your message. 

Nowhere in any of the (now) 15 articles does Ms. Clausing state the vote to cut funding came in 2005. I have aggregated all the text for all 15 articles into one word doc and there is only one mention of “2005” in all of them, and it has nothing to do with Congress. Further, I only find three mentions of “intent” and none have to do with Congress.

What I find repeatedly—and have pointed out in all my correspondence to you—is Ms. Clausing saying Congress “effectively” banned slaughter in 2006. This is factually and demonstrably incorrect. Congress intent to defund it and Congress actually defunding it did not close the plants and it is the “effective” closing of them that Ms. Clausing is correlating with a “consistent increase and abuse and neglect”. This also did not happen, either, as the data shows abuse going up while plants were still open and going down after they closed.

Again, it was state laws that closed the plants in 2007, a full year after Ms. Clausing said they closed. I don’t know how I can be any more clear in proving this point to you.

Can you please address these specific errors? Thank you!”

The answer to that was: silence. I sent an email asking who I could talk to since she wasn’t willing to take it further. She said: “I’m the person you should talk to at AP, and I believe I’ve addressed your questions.”

The AP, as of today, has now put out 17 articles, 16 of which carry the error I described above. The other article has different problems with it. The entire series is riddled with them. Yet I chose the most easy-to-spot error— a false date—to prove the need for a correction.

How many meaningless corrections are made to news stories that are date-related (getting a birthdate wrong) while significant errors go uncorrected, simply because a news organization has sunk its credibility into some really unfactual coverage, and doesn’t want to come clean?

It’s easy to talk about wanting to get things right. But 17 articles riddled with errors that go uncorrected isn’t “getting things right.” It’s covering your ass.

This is having a profound impact on how the public is responding to what could soon be plants opening in New Mexico and possibly Missouri and Iowa. Essentially, the majority of Americans are against horse slaughter, but there are still people making up their minds about whether or not this is a good or bad idea. And a lot of false information from the AP and other generally credible news sources doesn’t help them do that. The news keeps changing: the plants are opening; the plants aren’t opening; restaurants are gearing up to serve horse meat. The news cycle feeds off the crazy factor—none of it with a basis in reality.

If this matters to you, here’s what you do:

  1. Write to the Associated Press and every news source that’s picked up the AP’s coverage. Tell them your concerns. Give them a link to my Forbes article and ask them for a correction.
  2. Keep asking. Then, start demanding.

I’ve done my part. I’ve put the story out there. It’s your turn, now to raise hell. But be polite. If anyone speaks to an editor the way that AP reporter spoke to me, your concern will go nowhere.

There’s power in your words and most importantly, provable facts. Use them!

61 Comments

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  1. November 6, 2013

    You inspire me Vickery!!!!! Yes, Yes Yes!!!! Call it like you see it.
    You are my hero.

    • Kim Michels #
      November 6, 2013

      Amen to that Paula! Go Vickery go!

  2. Kim Michels #
    November 6, 2013

    “You sound like a fucking bitch”- hmm… sounds like “ignorance” couldn’t come up with an intelligent or respectable statement when confronted with the truth. Keep ‘em squirming Vickery!

  3. cynthia #
    November 6, 2013

    You sound like a fucking bitch is what pro slaughter says to keep people scared, cowereing, shaking. Guess what? I DONT shake! I am farm raised, feet on the ground whoop some ass while being a lady cowgirl attitude, I am not an activists……I just wear SPURS. I would love to show her what a bitch.really is because.she evidently hasnt met ONE!

    • November 8, 2013

      Way to go Cynthia!!! Yipee ki yi ya!!!!!!!

  4. Kelly Traynor #
    November 6, 2013

    Funny, that’s exactly what I thought each time I met you : )

    As usual, much respect for your fair-minded approach to dealing with the uninformed and those uninterested in accuracy.

  5. November 6, 2013

    I love a person of ethics and morals that demands the truth and justice this very serious and heart-felt issue deserves. In every situation where the pro-slaughter people are confronted, they are the ones that use negative and stand-offish attacks at us. And with such obvious lack of merit and class as well. I don’t think I have ever seen a scarier guy than De Los Santos. He is so creepy and cold it’s mind-blowing! And misery sure does love company, i.e. Attorney Dunn. He sure did try to threaten you in an attempt to cover De Los Santos’ sorry, lying ass! I just can’t believe that these plants will ever open. And for the love of our horses, I sure hope that I am right!! Thanks again Vickery. Please keep up the good work!!

    • November 6, 2013

      Is it even legal for a lawyer to call a Reporter and threaten, as Dunn did? Back in June, I went into the Santa Fe New Mexican (our local paper) and asked where is the reporting on the horse issue? It is a local issue here in New Mexico. The woman at the desk told me that it has to come through AP !

      • November 8, 2013

        Shamefully, the Santa Fe Reporter is not doing any better.Here is my take on the issue as a horse person:
        http://saraannon.wordpress.com/2013/08/13/lies-damn-lies-statistics-and-horse-slaughter-3/
        People can only profit from regarding horses as disposable products that should ‘discarded’ and replaced long before they are even mature when they can kill off their mistakes and surplus, Slaughter makes investing time and money in training and conditioning horses so they have long healthy productive lives unprofitable which is bad news for all reputable breeders, owners, and trainers as well as for the horses.

  6. KellyM #
    November 6, 2013

    Vickery: FYI Only Re Link Above – I just now clicked on the forbes.com link to your “Grand Opening…” article and it brings me to a “4-0-Forbes…can’t find the page you requested….”

    Correct URL: http://www.forbes.com/sites/vickeryeckhoff/2013/11/06/grand-opening-of-horse-slaughter-plants-foiled-again/

    Thank you for all your work to help our wild horses and stop horse slaughter!

    • November 6, 2013

      Thanks, I’ve been told the link wasn’t working, but it’s been working for me. I will keep checking, to make sure. If you check later and it still isn’t working, please give a shout!

      • November 8, 2013

        The link at the top your your article, where the text reads “here”, also gives me a 404 error. If I copy that url and paste it into a text editor, I see:
        http://www.forbes.com/sites/vickeryeckhoff/2013/11/06/grand-opening-%E2%80%A6s-foiled-again/

        The sequence %E2%80%A6 in that link is the hexadecimal encoding of the three-byte UTF-8 character for horizontal ellipsis. And indeed if I look at the html source for the page, the link displays as:
        href=”http://www.forbes.com/sites/vickeryeckhoff/2013/11/06/grand-opening-…s-foiled-again/”

        The corrected link posted by KellyM works fine. If the link as contained in the article does work for you, it might be either because of some browser setting you have or maybe it works for you within WordPress because of some sort of automatic shortening that WordPress does (I don’t know, I don’t use WordPress). At any rate, if you want people to be able to follow the link, you should change it to what KellyM suggests.

  7. November 6, 2013

    You go girl….we have your back!!

    • November 6, 2013

      Thanks! I need it!

      • Ronnie #
        November 7, 2013

        Dear Vickery ~ We get by with a little help from our friends ~ but you sure can stand on your own two feet & sock-it-to-’em…with dignity, class, intelligence…& a :) Thank you so much!

  8. Terri Russell #
    November 6, 2013

    Thank You Vickery. i Was Involved In It Back TheN All The Way Until Cavel Closed It’s Doors. I will Support Your Statements 100%. They Are The Truth.

  9. November 7, 2013

    Whenever a life style built on lies & deceit are threatened the reactions are always HOSTILE. You go girl…you got their attention.

  10. DRob #
    November 7, 2013

    Thank you for your tireless work in reporting honest and accurate information of the horrors and nothing but horrors of horse slaughter. I find it that the ones using lies that do the name calling.. Must be doing something right!! Thank you again!! Keep it up!!

  11. Suzanne Moore #
    November 7, 2013

    I will begin sharing this, your FORBES article and harassing AP immediately. I just LOVE doing things like that, especially to an organization that has fallen as far as this one.

    Thanks for all this wonderful ammo!

  12. November 7, 2013

    Hope this is not too stupid, but how do we contact AP? I haven’t a clue.

    And thank you for all that detailed and I suspect boring research.

    The link I have for your Forbes article that appears to work is

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/vickeryeckhoff/2013/11/06/grand-opening-of-horse-slaughter-plants-foiled-again/

  13. November 7, 2013

    Love ya, Vic, ya calls um like ya sees um!!!!

  14. Denise #
    November 7, 2013

    Very well done, Ms Eckhoff.

    Now to the job of demanding retractions.

    Thank you.

    • Denise #
      November 7, 2013

      Ooops….”demanding corrections.”

  15. sharon #
    November 7, 2013

    in the long run, truth and facts will always win. thank you for pointing out the truth and facts!

  16. November 7, 2013

    This is about our Wild Horses and Burros. As we are seeing, there IS an ominous connection:

    http://prophoto7journal.wordpress.com/2012/03/28/431/
    Activists, Government, Wild Horse Herds and Responsibility

    Being an activist, or taking a vigorous and sometimes aggressive action in pursuing a political or social end, is a strange and often difficult task for most common folks. Some activists are termed anarchists, or somebody who believes that governments should be changed or abolished. This is not the roll of most activists, and those that remain active against Wild Horse Herd Roundups remain synonymous with positive attributes.

    Change is Inevitable and Positive Change is not an Easy Task

    Demonizing Activists
    The other and more significant problem is demonizing the activist, so popular and used by politicians loosely in today’s media. Some Journalists fall under this situation quite a bit, especially describing the opposition or those views contrary to the politician’s. But when needed for their votes, suddenly activists become a popular necessity, and in reality can and often do sway results.

    These terms are used by those who believe “hate” is acceptable in our culture. One must wonder if politician’s consultants tell them that’s what a politician should do, or behave like, in today’s social environment; this compared to simply confronting and to actually resolve a problem or controversial situation. Then activists would not be needed. No, hate is not acceptable!

    Rights to All Americans

    Americans have Rights upheld by the CONSTITUTION and within the BILL OF RIGHTS. There is no confusion within either document, that is, until our government agencies, and their employees attempt to persuade us toward confusion, especially when caught doing something contradictory toward either document

    Common Folks and Activism

    Often the way our civil servants, who are responsible for safeguarding, for example taxpayer lands and wildlife, do so in a questionable or disrespectful manner toward those who actually own, in this case, our lands and wildlife and owned/managed by the government body, defined as American ownership, as the government is made up . . .FOR THE PEOPLE AND THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

    Open Debate is Good for the Country

    An Open-Debate platform, having correct information is good for our country, good for our freedoms of speech, our freedoms of daily movement and activities, and the very foundation good decisions are made upon.

    • November 8, 2013

      Louie, John Cox just told the world one of of best NM anti-slaughter advocates works for the Oklahoma Ag Department and is a pro slaughter activist. Our own and my friend, Linda H. I hope you will stop quoting this man as he is slandering good people. I wish I knew why. I believe it is because some very brave anti-slaughter folks are always in dialogues with slaughter proponents and attempting to get them to neutralize their opinions if the anti slaughter folks can find ways that solve the slaughter issue by completely avoiding slaughter as an alternative entirely. Linda has a report on this. I will try to get it to you and to Vickery. It takes a lot of courage and energy to stand up to the slaughter side and ask them to suspend their attacks and their goals to have slaughter returned. I think John Cox just does not understand this approach and he owes Linda H. an apology.

      Thank you Vickery for being persistent and for showing folks what we have been up against for years; misleading information that confuses people and keeps this off kiltered debate going on inaccuracy and lack of a desire to present the truth.MKW

  17. November 7, 2013

    Thank you for reporting on this issue. I will be using this along with your other work. This is valuable for all of us who are trying to get the truth out re this horrific scam. Please keep up your great work.

    I have found that threats are used only by the most desperate and the most cowardly. They also tend to be people of low IQ.
    There is nothing more enjoyable than making threats and intimidation useless. When people are dumb enough to write and send their threats and insults, you have what you need. Verbal threats are handy but not as convenient. I have found this to be the case in business.
    Petty criminals are simply stupid and vicious.They can’t do anything else.

  18. Mary Ceglia #
    November 8, 2013

    Lady . . you are hands down, no kidding, got my attention, doing my little Snoopy dance, my numero uno hero of the month. I am officially celebrating this day as “Fucking Bitch Day”!!!! That makes me a “fucking bitch” too and I can’t be (sob, hiccough) prouder. I am behind you 1000 percent. That’s a 100% exponentiation in case the Dunns and Clausings of this world don’t know math either. Dunn is an illiterate tool and Clausing is an AP whore who does not know how to do research. I’ve seen the same “blurbs” in almost all articles reporting on the slaughter issue. Kuddos to you for calling her out. Love seeing these media mannequins uncomfortable. Kill shot. Love it.
    Can I be president of your fan club?

    • November 11, 2013

      Yes! Thanks for your enthusiasm—and everyone’s comments.

      It takes a village to make corrections, apparently. This will be accomplished. It has to be.

      • Mary Ceglia #
        November 12, 2013

        What is great is that you give a verbal one-two punch like no one I’ve followed in a long time. Classy and eloquent you cut ‘em off at the knees. It is your gift for intense scrutiny of the written word that so clearly displays the inaccuracies of the rote reporting that has my admiration. For “them” to resort to bottom-feeder responses only shows they need some learnin’ on reporting with integrity, honesty, and voracity. The AP et.al. bunch need to understand that they are shamefully neglecting their journalistic integrity when they report half truths. Disgraceful when they present unbalanced, biased articles that give false perceptions.

        Need you out front.

        This junk-yard-dog has got your back.

  19. November 8, 2013

    AP CONTACTS:
    Call AP headquarters at 212.621.1500 or email info@ap.org for general inquiries.

  20. November 8, 2013

    You sound like someone to believe. sources, references, facts.
    My kinda person.

  21. November 8, 2013

    Also please take look at writing an article on the AQHA. The registry is not only pro-slaughter, the fraudulent GAO report was done by a firm with close ties to the AQHA, they are the most prolific over breeders registering between 80,000-165,000 foals each year and the vast majority, 70%, of slaughter horses are Quarter Horses.

  22. November 8, 2013

    You are amazing! I wish I was half as smart and as determined as you!

    Where do we write to the AP?

  23. Stephanie #
    November 8, 2013

    Ah Vickery! The muck you must shovel your way through just to get folks to do their job! Jeesh! Folks these days can’t seem to take old style journalism. Meaning they have forgotten what RESEARCH and telling the FACTS entails. Doh!

  24. IcySpots #
    November 8, 2013

    Ms. Vickery, you well deserve a medal for your patriotism here, exemplified by thoroughness and persistence, and unblinking, unbiased reportage. Thank you.

    I never thought I could admire a “F-ing B*****” but hats off to you.

    And lest we forget, a most special nod of approval to FORBES for having the cojones to print real journalism (an endangered species in our world today). BRAVO FORBES.

    And I must add:

    VICTORY FOR VICKERY (and ultimately for our country)!

  25. November 8, 2013

    Again, I don’t use WordPress or know anything about it or what version of it you might be using. But a quick google turned up this article:
    http://wordpress.stackexchange.com/questions/40401/prevent-wordpress-from-abbreviating-long-slugs-in-the-admin

    While it is talking about slugs, which I believe affect only the appearance of links rather than the actual href attribute, it does show that WordPress “likes” to shorten urls by replacing parts of long ones with an ellipsis.

    • November 9, 2013

      I see the link is now fixed, so you can delete this as well as the comment to which it’s replying – unless you think your readers are fascinated by UTF-8 and/or WordPress technical nits. :-)

  26. Theresa Nolet #
    November 8, 2013

    First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.

    Mahatma Gandhi

    The truth will always surface no matter how much B.S. they try to hide it under. You go girl!

  27. November 9, 2013

    Mar, that is disturbing to hear. We need a united front now more than ever.

  28. November 10, 2013

    I posted a comment Vickery, but it is still in the moderation box and I don’t know that they will publish it.

    http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=20783995
    Federal Appeals Court Halts Horse Slaughterhouses
    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. November 5, 2013 (AP)
    By JERI CLAUSING Associated Press

  29. November 10, 2013

    This is interesting.

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120419/02423518554/meltwater-response-to-associated-press-lawsuit-ap-is-misusing-copyright-law.shtml
    Meltwater Response To Associated Press Lawsuit: AP Is MisusingCopyright Law

    We were somewhat surprised by the Associated Press’ decision to sue news search engine Meltwater, because we couldn’t see how the AP — even with its absurdist interpretation of copyright law — had any case.

    Either way, Meltwater has hit back with a response (embedded below) that pushes back on all of these points, explains pretty clearly how it doesn’t actually infringe… and also claims that the AP’s arguments amount to “copyright misuse”:

    Plaintiff’s claims are barred in whole or in part by the doctrine of copyright misuse. Through this Complaint and through other means, Plaintiff seeks to misuse its limited copyright monopoly to extend its control over the Internet search market more generally, thereby improperly expanding the protections afforded by U.S. copyright law. Among other things, AP has misused its copyright monopoly by demanding that third parties take licenses for search results, which do not require a license under U.S. copyright law, and AP has also formed a consortium (called NewsRight) with the purpose of further misusing its copyright monopoly to extract licensing fees that exceed what the law allows.

  30. November 11, 2013

    I posted TWO comments on this article (CBS). They were simply comments that showed the other side of the issue. One was a video of our Wild Horses in the wild, where they belong.
    They did NOT let those comments show either. WHAT goes with our new media? WHO controls the content and WHY?

    Sacramento County Inmates Will Help Break In Wild Horses
    http://sacramento.cbslocal.com/2013/11/06/sacramento-county-inmates-will-help-
    break-in-wild-horses/

  31. J. D. Forbes #
    November 11, 2013

    When you can’t beat ‘em, throw an ad hominem at ‘em! Seems to me this wench, Jeri Clausing, was looking in a mirror when she called you an e’ffing bitch.
    People can’t stand it when you call them out. The more full of shit they are, the more shit they spew.
    Thank you, and keep up the good work. Horse lovers everywhere need your journalistic integrity to help them win this fight and we WILL win, because we must win…for every horse that’s been slaughtered, for every horse that lives and for every horse yet born.

  32. November 12, 2013

    I posted this TWICE on the ABC site and they will NOT show it.
    http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=20783995

    Federal Appeals Court Halts Horse Slaughterhouses
    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. November 5, 2013 (AP)
    By JERI CLAUSING Associated Press

  33. November 12, 2013

    Correction
    I posted the Forbes article TWICE…
    GRAND OPENING OF HORSE SLAUGHTER PLANTS FOILED AGAIN
    on this ABC site and it stays in the moderation box. They still won’t show it.

    http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=20783995
    Federal Appeals Court Halts Horse Slaughterhouses
    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. November 5, 2013 (AP)
    By JERI CLAUSING Associated Press

  34. November 15, 2013

    I tried to post this on Forbes, but the “log in” function isn’t working.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/11/14/princess-anne-says-we-should-eat-horses.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+thedailybeast%2Farticles+%28The+Daily+Beast+-+Latest+Articles%29
    Princess Anne Says We Should Eat Horses!
    by Tom Sykes Nov 14, 2013 10:19 AM EST
    Princess Anne waded into controversy today when she suggested there was no problem serving up horsemeat for dinner
    Speaking at the World Horse Welfare Organisation annual meeting she made the comments when discussing the horse meat scandal which spread across Europe this year, when hundreds of beef products were found to be made with up to 100% horse meat.

    • November 16, 2013

      Most people with experience around horses know that this attempt to defend horse slaughter is idiocy.

      I found an interesting little bio on a page, “The Ulysses S. Grant Homepage”. This page is copyrighted and I will not put a quote here. Use the link http://www.granthomepage.com/grantequestrian.htm

      Read about Kangaroo and the value Grant put on a found Thoroughbred. This is how most people value a horse: every single equine has value for all of us. Anyone who tries to excuse the tax ripoff and torture of horse slaughter is completely uninformed and has no business commenting.

      The Princess shows a complete lack of comprehension of this issue and her comments about “welfare” are ironic. What has the Princess ever contributed to her own country? It appears that her famed snobbery and arrogance is the most important fact we still know about her.

      Like the US Hunt Jump Association and other industry members, some in the horse world try to excuse the abuse and killing of equines. The presence of these ignorant and arrogant horse industry members assists the petty criminal kill buyers and corrupt politicians who get paid for harming all of us through horse slaughter.

      As long as the value of an innocent life is determined by lies for fast cash, no living creature is ever safe from abuse and killing. If we never knew this before, we should know it now.

      Please tell friends who will act to go to http://www.USA.gov to pressure Congress to pass bills HB1094 and S541 now.

      • November 16, 2013

        Thank you so much, Mary, for that comment and the link. Ulysses S. Grant happens to be a distant relative so I will be happy to visit the site and read about Kangaroo.

        And yes, the Princess seems particularly out of touch. She doesn’t medicate her own horses. She doesn’t groom them. When they are no longer suitable to her, does she know what happens to them?

        Typical mindless comments treated with authority. But people who shovel their own horses’ manure know better.

      • November 16, 2013

        Kangaroo tells me everything I need to know about U S Grant. He came from New Richmond, Ohio which is a little river town near Cincinnati and sits about 45 minutes away from where I live now.
        Apparently he was working with horse teams and customers at the age of 10 or younger. From there to West point to the Presidency and yet the story of Kangaroo is the most relevant story. He must have been that good.
        Experience speaks and U S Grant got it right. That shows good judgment and sense. Seeing the value and worth of any equine especially in that setting is an education for the rest of us. Whatever else history records, I can tell anyone that the Kangaroo story defines a real horseman: you have to know and enforce fairness and justice for the horse.
        Calling anyone a real horseman the highest compliment I would give anybody. It is rare. I have been lucky to meet a few and take instruction from one who spent her life around the horses. I have known her for over 40 years. She emphasized compassion and discipline when we started in the late 1960′s.
        Sidenote: when Grant was a student at West Point, apparently he did an exhibition for other students at West Point and made a 6 foot jump on his mount. That is Rolex level. This young Ohio guy was riding at that level, that early. You should be proud of your connection to U S Grant.

  35. November 16, 2013

    The people of Great Britain have made it abundantly clear that they do NOT want Horse slaughter and they are NOT going to eat Horses. Horse slaughter is as repulsive to them as it is to Americans.

    The timing of this article seems rather odd, especially in light of the article done in October, telling about the Princess adopting a Horse In need.

    http://blogs.equisearch.com/horsehealth/2013/10/07/royal-family-fairy-tale-as-britains-princess-anne-adopts-a-horse-in-need/
    Royal Family Fairy Tale as Britain’s Princess Anne Adopts a Horse in Need
    October 7, 2013

  36. December 14, 2013

    Vickery, you amaze me with your tenacity! I am so very grateful for you standing for the truth and fighting to protect our horses. As crazy busy as you must be, have you seen any articles on the horse “roping” events being held in Utah? They are using very young horses and it is so abusive. It’s been suggested that they might be using the young mustangs that the BLM doesn’t “count”. It would be good for someone like you to look into this, as they are planning another event in January. Here are links, though you will have to copy and paste.Warning – the video is very disturbing, I couldn’t watch it – makes me nauseous. I found this on the Habitat For Horses website.

    http://www.utahequine.blogspot.com
    http://www.theutahtrotter.com/2013/12controversial-horse-roping-event-held.html

    Thanks for all your hard work!!!

  37. Matt #
    January 6, 2014

    I just sent an e-mail to the associated press asking them to make corrections to the articles and linking to your article on Forbes.com I do not consider myself a horse advocate; however, the public cannot make informed decisions when its news organizations willfully misreport the truth.

    I heard this story originally on NPR and thought to myself “stupid typical gov’t sticking their nose in things they don’t understand” but in fact the whole basis of the story about reopening the plants is based on a false pretext, that horse abuse is higher than it should be because of the closing of horse slaughter plants. And even NPR bought into it.

    • January 6, 2014

      You go, Matt! The Associated Press will be hearing a lot more about this until they do what they’re supposed to do: get their facts straight, and be responsible for correcting their errors, so the public can be rightly informed.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. “You Sound Like a F**king Bitch!” | Straight from the Horse's Heart
  2. Grand Opening Of Horse Slaughter Plants Foiled Again | Habitat For Horses
  3. “You sound like a fucking bitch” | Pass the SAFE Act!
  4. Lies, Damn Lies, Statistics, and Horse Slaughter… | sara annon

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