Council Says Media Attacked Rhames’ Dogs

Rhames dogsThe 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)

11 Responses to “Council Says Media Attacked Rhames’ Dogs”

  1. Sky Eyes Woman says:

    Boy, if there was ever a time I wish I could write to a celebrity and they’d actually read my letter, this is it!

    I’d like to tell Mr. Rhames there is at least one person out there who wasn’t so sure his dogs killed their caretaker despite the way several articles I’d read were worded. I have wondered since a day or two after I read about Jacob Adams’ death if he had not collapsed and died for another reason and the dogs nipped him in an effort to “wake him up”. As many dogs as I see on a daily basis at my job (dozens) and as much studying and talking with dog owners as I’ve done, I just never believed that his dogs suddenly decided one day to kill the person who cared for them for over two years. They don’t just snap for no reason.

    There wasn’t any mention in the article about whether or not Ving got his dogs back from the county. Anybody know the answer to that?

  2. Amanda says:

    Well said SKW. I too had said to my parents when the reports about the dogs mauling first came out that I bet he probably had a medical condition and they were trying to help him not attack him like the media was reporting.

    Both my parents were angry that the media immediately jumped onto the mauling story without proof of it.

  3. straybaby says:

    wow, that last round of headlines is pretty revealing. OY!

    i guess nobody will report the results of the further testing? sad . . . .

  4. elizabeth says:

    Why, oh why do so many in the media believe they can CREATE news to fit their personal agenda or bias, rather than investigate and report the facts? In this day of the internet they ALWAYS get caught and just look unprofessional and stupid. Rhames should sue!

  5. Radcliff, Allie, Luna, & Ozzie says:

    They don’t call it the “drive-by media” for nothing.

  6. Sharon says:

    Nothing that comes out of the media can be trusted to be accurate. Fact-checking appears to be a thing of the past. Austin received alot of negative publicity when a man was beaten to death when the car he was riding in hit a child and tried to leave the scene of the accident. Media all over the world made a race issue of it and called it a mob beating because it happened the day of a Juneteenth celebration on the East side of town. The media creates the news, it is designed to sell.

  7. Carol says:

    Not that it really matters, but I still have yet to see a factual report on just what breed of dog Mr Rhames owns. The footage I saw shows what seem to be Filas, but I know people who still swear they’re mastiffs. At this point, I’m just really curious as to what they are, because like most dog people, I hate not being able to play ‘name that breed’ accurately!

  8. wescott20 says:

    Yesterday there was an article saying the dogs’ role in the man’s death was “uncertain”. I guess that’s as much as a retraction as we’ll get. If one reads the article, it’s obvious that the medical examiner’s conclusion is that the dogs had nothing to do with any attack on the man….it is even stated in the article that the dog bites are superficial and not on the “attack” areas (neck. etc…). And the article also admits that Animal Control has already given Mr. Rhames his dogs back. Obviously it has been found that the dogs did not attack the man, so why is the headline stating now only that the dogs’ role was “uncertain”? Why can’t they come out with the truth that the dogs did not attack the man at all? I think the media is very dishonest and irresponsible to this end…I’ll bet that the large amount of sensationalized and embellished dog attack stories that the media is spewing out is largely responsible for the sweeping, discriminatory and unfair breed bans that are now in vogue in municipalities across the country.

  9. Lynne says:

    This story says more about the state of American mainstream media than anything else. They are no longer reporters of news.
    I remember an interview Wolf Blitzer had with President Clinton. At one point, Blitzer actually said, “I’m trying to make news here,” when he couldn’t get Clinton to answer a question the way he wanted. My first thought was, “No! Your job is to REPORT news not MAKE it.”
    But then, as singer John Mayer points out, “‘Cuz when they own the information, oh, they can bend it all they want.”

  10. anthony hedayat says:

    The media morons are the ones I hope get mauled and are left for dead after the internet takes over as the information and news source as provided by those who do not have a vested interest in creating hype for an automobile advertisment. Just think, if they are unwilling to get this type of story correct; how screwed up all the rest of their alleged reporting is.

    Thank you to those who remain faithful to integrity, truth and honor.

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