The exploitation of the “trampoline bear” by Studio B‘s Shepard Smith must come to an end. [Unfortunately, this almost seven-year-old video is shown periodically on not only Studio B but also other programs on both FNC (and CNN) ad nauseum–literally.] At the end of today’s broadcast, Shep aired a story about a Monrovia, CA, bear that had been tranquilized: subsequently, he joyfully ran the 2003 video of the Missoula, MT, black bear that was similarly tranquilized, fell from its tree, hit the trampoline underneath, and sprung back high into the air, and then crashed face first into the ground. Thereafter, Shep laughed uproariously and remarked, “Trampoline bear makes Monday even palatable.”*
Really, Shep? Running this story once as news on September 10, 2003 by news organizations is understandable but to air it continually thereafter seems inexplicable. It is almost as if you have a cross-species schadenfraude or perverse pleasure derived from the obvious pain of this black bear (albeit upon its awakening). Even if you and other TV news personalities have no subjective ill intent, you should reconsider your actions and remember the messages that you are sending to the children and to the general public.
Unfortunately, PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), apparently, has not yet uttered a word. It should. And, now.
Studio B – 06/07/10 (@3:57 p.m.)