The National Canine Research Council (NCRC) said the media outlets are guilty of creating the news instead of reporting the news about Ving Rhames’ dogs.
The NCRC explained that the media was quick to release hundreds of speculative, inaccurate and sensationalized stories proclaiming Jacob Adams was “killed” or “mauled to death” by the dogs. The council said that even some in the media now shamelessly insinuate that Rhames, the owner of the dogs, is being injudicious in his released statement containing his condolences to the family of Adams and the preliminary findings of the Los Angeles Coroner’s Office.
“Normally, this kind of media-driven character assassination and irresponsible reporting of dog attacks has been concentrated on the Pit bull,” said Karen Delise of NCRC.
The NCRC added that the Pit Bull Paparazzi is not terribly discriminating, as other breeds of dogs are also becoming a target for sensationalism. In their haste to report the story, Rhames’ dogs were alternately identified in the media to be: Mastiffs, Bullmastiffs, Fila Brasileiro, English Bulldog, Bulldog and, of course, Pit bull. Many of the initial reports about this alleged “dog attack” arbitrarily chose one of these breeds as the “attacker” and went on to detail the “aggressive traits” of that breed.
Here is the timeline of the events that NCRC detailed in the Rhames’ dog incident:
August 3, 2007
On August 3rd, 40-year-old Jacob Adams was found dead on the Brentwood property of actor Ving Rhames with four of Rhames’ dogs nearby.
August 3 - 6, 2007
Over the next four days 400+ media sources covered this story. Over 300 sources reported as fact that the man was either “killed” or “mauled to death” by the dogs. Less than one quarter of the media sources were responsible enough to report that the dogs were “suspected” of killing Adams.
August 7, 2007
An autopsy was performed by the Los Angeles County Coroner. The preliminary results of the autopsy found that the dogs did not cause the death of Adams. The Coroner’s Office revealed that although Adams sustained bite and claw marks on his extremities, the injuries were determined to be “superficial” and not sufficient to cause his death.
August 8, 2007
Prior to the autopsy 300+ media sources reported the dogs caused the death of Adams; yet, only two newspapers, The LA Canyon and The Globe and Mail, reported the results of the autopsy that determined the initial media-reported cause of death was not accurate and Adams was not killed by the dogs.
August 9 - 13, 2007
The fact that Ving Rhames’ dogs did not cause the death of Mr. Adams continues to be a non-event and no media sources report the Coroner’s findings in the week following the release of the preliminary autopsy report.
August 14, 2007
Ving Rhames releases a respectful and factual statement as to the death of his friend and the alleged involvement of his dogs. Rhames quotes the preliminary autopsy findings that the dogs were not responsible for the death and offers his condolences to the family of Adams.
Approximately 34 media sources reported Rhames’ statement. Despite the fact that the August 7th autopsy disproves virtually all 300+ news stories claiming the dogs killed Adams, the media persists in not reporting the autopsy results. Even more astounding is the accusation by some in the media that Rhames’ statement is imprudent or speculative as demonstrated by the following headlines:
Ving Rhames Clears Dogs Before Officials
Ving Rhames Assumes His Dogs are Innocent
Ving Rhames Solves Dogs Attack Case Before Official Report
Ving Jumps to Conclusions in Dog Attack Case
The NCRC said that there is not much that can be done about the media’s irresponsible reporting. But they recommend for the public to know what is truth and what is fictional “entertainment”.
UPDATE: Rhames told People magazine that his dogs are back home.
Source: Press release
(Thanks John and menusux)