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In Defense of Horse Carriage Trade, NYC Papers Fabricate Lies

December 3, 2014 by Leave a Comment


The three major NYC newspapers (NY Times, Post, Daily News) are not only compromising their journalist integrity by consistently publishing biased news stories in support of the horse-drawn carriage trade, but they are also misrepresenting advocacy groups and fabricating outright lies to discredit the Mayor; marginalize the activists; and protect the trade.

Yellow journalism on the front page

Yellow journalism, the front page of the Daily News

The advocacy groups consistently describe the operation of horse-drawn carriages in NYC as “inhumane,” but the papers report that we describe it as “torture,” a strategy used to marginalize us as extremist and shift attention away from our valid arguments about the humane issues. In fact, in their lengthy articles about the issue, the papers omit any substantive explanation about the humane issues and state that the horses are treated well.

The advocates believe, for example, that depriving herd animals of a pasture for physical interaction and grazing is inhumane, but newspaper readers, most of whom wouldn’t think about the pasture issue on their own, only see “torture” and dismiss the humane issues altogether.


When horses aren’t pulling carriages in midtown Manhattan, they are kept in stalls.  NYC has no pasture where the horses can move freely.

The papers have also falsely reported that Steve Nislick, the founder of the animal advocacy group NYCLASS, is working to ban horse-drawn carriages so that he can buy the midtown stables. By using phrases like “land grab” and “back room deal,” they have convinced the public that Mr. Nislick is a developer masquerading as an animal advocate.

But would readers believe that fabrication if the papers actually spelled out what the are alleging — that Mr. Nislick went so far as to create a charity and hire a staff of animal advocates for the express purpose of shuttering the industry so that could buy their buildings, even though the owners would have no legal obligation to sell those buildings to Mr. Nislick and despite the fact that Mr. Nislick retired from real estate several years ago.

carriage stable

Carriage horses are kept on upper floors of this midtown building

By creating a campaign to “Save Our Horses” and by publishing front page stories denouncing the Mayor’s plan, one newspaper, the NY Daily News, has relinquished any claim to being an unbiased news organization.

One of many front page stories promoting horse-drawn carriages

One of many front page stories promoting horse-drawn carriages

The public is unaware of the motive behind the Daily News’ campaign, but many people speculate that it’s an easy way to discredit Mayor de Blasio, who the paper consistently attacked before the 2014 election in order to bolster his opponent in the race and the candidate they endorsed, Christine Quinn.

Horse-drawn carriages will eventually be taken off of the streets of midtown Manhattan, and NYC’s newspapers will be on the wrong side of history. Perhaps the owners and editorial board members are unconcerned about their unabashed promotion of horse-drawn carriages because, by the time history judges them for their regressive thinking and opposition to social justice advances, they will have long since left their posts.


In the future, our defense of the exploitation of animals will be added to graphics like this (Photo:

One thing is certain. If midtown Manhattan did not have horse-drawn carriages today and someone proposed to introduce them, the papers would unanimously oppose the idea on the grounds that the congested streets of NYC are no place for large flight animals to be pulling rickety 19th century carriages.

Your Turn

1. If you live in NYC, please join NY-CLASS in its efforts to rally support among lawmakers for the Mayor’s bill to ban horse-drawn carriages. If you live elsewhere, please sign their petition.

2. To learn more about the issue and keep apprised of news, subscribe to the weekly newsletter of the Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages by sending an email to

3. Watch the award-winning documentary film BLINDERS to see why people have been fighting for years to take the horses out of NYC:

4. Respond to the Wall Street Journal poll

Comments via Facebook Comments

  1. Ann Person says:

    These animal “rights” freaks will not be happy until horses are extinct, like so many species we have seen disappear off the planet in our lifetime. When children want to see a “horse” their parents will have to take them to the Natural History Museum where they will stare at taxodermied examples, behind the large plate glass windows. And these people purport to love “nature”…. “natural” foods, open spaces, animal “pets” …. will they go after dog owners next? Certainly the probably hundreds of thousands of dogs living in NYC apartments who have to stay home all day and wait for their owners to walk them don’t live nearly as well as the horses who get to walk around the park all day. I was raised on a farm in the midwest and our horse, though they worked in the summer at growing and harvesting crops and did a few chores during the winter because everything was frozen in Minnesota, loved us as much as we loved them. I wonder if a lot of the freakish Peta “cops” have ever been on a farm, rode a horse, gathered eggs in a chicken coop from laying hens, milked a cow or ever been near an animal. Farmers name their animals and talk to them as if they were precious friends. These nut jobs are probably all scared to death of farm animals.

    1. Donny Moss says:

      You are mistaken. The “freaks” to whom you refer are fighting tooth and nail to save wild horses and eliminate the inhumane treatment of domesticated horses. They have been arrested, sacrificing their own freedom and safety, to save the horses:

  2. Natasha Brenner says:

    I have cancelled the N.Y. Times.
    All the “pro” horse people talk about everything but conditions in the streets. Perhaps horses are happy pulling loads, but in traffic exhaust with horns blasting and vehicles speeding by? And who monitors the drivers in this “legal” business?

  3. Tom Neese says:

    Everyone wants the carriage horses to stay except for the animal “rights” extremists and other people who have never been around, have no experience with, and are ignorant about horses and misinformed by the extremists

  4. Amy says:

    You are the ones spreading the lies and fabrications (well, NYCLASS is, you are just perpetuating it). Every equine expert (veterinarians, trainers, farriers, grooms, riders) who has taken the time to tour the stables and witness the daily routine has had nothing but praise for the stellar care these animals receive. The statement in your article about them not being able to go out to pasture is also untrue. Carriage horses get mandatory minimum of 5 weeks of vacation time on farms where they have plenty of access to pasture. Sometimes even up to 3 months! (

    1. Donny Moss says:

      You lost me at “land grabbing mongers.” No one is in it for the land, but the industry and the media have convinced the public that the motive is real estate. The writing is on the wall. Horse-drawn carriages have no place in the streets of Manhattan, and they will be banned sooner or later.

  5. Elizabeth Forel says:

    Well thought out piece, Donny, and a great contribution to the truth. I have to also add Crain’s NY Business and the World Street Journal to the Yellow Journalism pile. The truth is simply not getting out there — from the number of people in their business to the amount of revenue they generate.

    I have been making my own contributions to the truth and I invite people to visit my blog

    I have written about the stables, the 5-week vacations, the Teamster lies and more.

    Please follow us on Facebook No Walk in the Park —

  6. Elinor Hawke-Szady says:

    This makes me so angry. The New York Times, New York Post, and New York Daily News should be ASHAMED of themselves. No journalistic integrity whatsoever attacking the Mayor or the animal rights’ activists trying to get this whole trade shut down. When are people going to wake up???!!! Horses don’t belong in major metropolitan areas where they have no access to pastures on a daily basis.

    1. Amy says:

      They are not biased. They are basing their reporting on FACTUAL EVIDENCE! Not made-up lies by land grabbing mongers and people who wouldn’t know good horse care if they stepped in it. Horses don’t NEED daily pasture. They need good feed, good care, and attention from people. Just like there are city folk and country folk, there are city horses and country horses. The “city horses” are attention-grabbers who thrive on the constant interaction. Many would become depressed if they were left to languish in a pasture. It’s a common phenomenon I have witnessed myself with show horses. They THRIVE on the work.

      1. Leula says:

        have you spent hours researching horses to rightfully claim that they THRIVE on hard work? Why don’t you see the right that every being has on this planet to be left alone. We all instincts that enable us to survive. Your argument is useless and apathetic.

  7. Animalover says:

    I continue to be appalled although no longer surprised, by how low a respected newspaper like the NYT has sunk in this “battle” to maintain support for the abusive, dying carriage horse industry. Shame, shame, shame on them! Newspapers like the NY Post and the Daily News, have become “models” of biased, yellow journalism, and lost any credibility among informed readers years ago. They have all discarded any interest in doing investgative journalism, in favor of “anything goes” catchy headlines, that appeal to the lowest common denominator. Is it any wonder that most New Yorkers no longer rely on these newspapers to get their news or find out what’s really going on?

    1. marzi says:

      You forgot Newsday . . . they want the horses to stay too.

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