Is there nowhere that convicted dogfighting kingpin Michael Vick can be received with open arms?
Other than at the Humane Society of the United States, we mean.
It turns out that he still has a following of sorts. Color us shocked.
Is there any doubt that Michael Vick's social rehabilitation—and his resurgence as a pop-culture role model—is singularly due to the Humane Society of the United States? And is there anyone who actually believes this is a good thing?
In early March we wrote that there were basically three credible reasons why HSUS would take the lead in the PR push to save Michael Vick's legacy: fundraising, prestige, and combating the inner-city cachet of dogfighting.
It turns out the the fundraising was a bust. (HSUS over-promised, pledging to care for Vick's dogs when it didn't even have them.) And it should be clear by now that there's no PR value in hitching HSUS to a vicious dogfighter's wagon.
That leaves Door Number Three.
Has HSUS successfully leveraged Michael Vick's notoriety to prevent inner-city dogfighting?
Not so much.
In March, Philadelphia's KYW News reported that dogfighting cases increased "dramatically over the past year, and they cite a 'Michael Vick' factor." And in April, Philadelphia SPCA Director of Law Enforcement George Bengal told WHYY News that Vick's resurgence made dogfighting "cool" for a new generation of city kids.
But in the mean-time, animal rights activists complained, screamed, and wailed outside Gulfstream Park on Friday night. And good for them. If there's anyone on the planet who deserves to feel the point of a puppy-hugger's boot, it's the guy who abused, tortured, and executed a bunch of dogs. And no P.R. exercise is ever going to cover that up.