Mink coverage: journalism or script writing?

“A minutes long orgy of bloodlust” is a phrase that would be right at home in a raunchy vampire novel, designed to excite and terrify readers at the same time. One wouldn’t expect to find it, however, describing wildlife in a national newspaper.

The irresponsible reporting, which came from The National Post’s coverage of a mink release, paints a picture of an evil and sinister species that is only allowing humans to live because we’ve confined them to wire-bottomed cages. But when they’re released by eco-terrorists, their rage knows no bounds.

The headline alone should be evidence of the ridiculousness of this article: With razor-toothed minks running wild in Ontario, fur farmers put up $100K to rein in ‘extremists’.

If the “orgy of bloodlust” phrase and headline weren’t enough, perhaps this story, which allegedly focuses on a small ranch in southwestern Ontario, also draws on a nearly 20-year-old incident from overseas.

“Freed mink have even been known to attack humans.”

That’s right. The National Postactually found a case of mink attacking a person – from 1998 in the UK. Surprisingly, they didn’t include this incident of a giraffe trampling a man to death in their coverage of the Toronto Zoo events, or the fact that mosquitoes kill more humans than any other animal in coverage of patio season in Vancouver.

Obviously, no mention of the horrific lives mink live while confined to tiny cages prior to being killed and skinned was in this article, either.

Irresponsible journalism has real ramifications – and hopefully the National Post will recognize this and have a long talk with their reporters about the role of a journalist versus a screen writer.

(Top photo of mink at a fur farm in Canada – not a random photo of a mink in Europe eating a fish to show their teeth.)

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