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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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