Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Michael Bryant & Michael Vick - the power of public relations

Right now on my Facebook profile my "update status" says -

"Michael Bryant has killed a bicyclist with his car - will it take Toronto 2 days to kill him like it did the HRM to kill the pit bull here on the Prospect Road when the pit bull bit a bicyclist?"

I don't imagine that the Ontario Justice System will treat Michael Bryant - and in case anybody doesn't recognize his name - he's the former Attorney General of Ontario who was the architect of the current ban on pit bulls that has choked the life out of every person in Ontario who would possibly want to have some choice in a breed that in any way resembles a dog that has a wide forehead and short hair and a wide goofy smile - because those looks could possibly be construed as having the characteristics somewhat similar to what a pit bull type dog might look like - so instead of being able to enjoy a dog friendly lifestyle - they would have to live in fear from moment to moment that a government official was going to show up at their door to seize their canine life companion for immediate destruction because it might suddenly turn into a killing machine. But I digress.

It would seem that Michael Bryant got into an altercation with a person on a bicycle - and that person is now dead. Here is how the National Post described it -

Sheppard (the cyclist who is now dead) was a man with an alcohol problem, who'd fallen off the wagon and -- just an hour before his run-in with Bryant -- been ordered by police to leave his girlfriend's apartment and not come back, even though at least one onlooker thought he was too drunk to ride his bike. He took off down Bloor Street and somehow got into a minor collision with Bryant, who was out celebrating has wedding anniversary with his wife. The dispute quickly escalated and ended with Sheppard clinging to the car as Bryant careened down Bloor Street, screaming and bumping into objects until Sheppard was knocked off, fell under the wheels and was killed.

It is SO interesting - the villification of the cyclist has already begun. This was one of the top search results when I did a google search for Darcy Sheppard -

BREAKING NEWS: Warrant out for Darcy Allan Sheppard's arrest since July 2003
A clerk in the Edmonton courthouse confirmed to CFRB News that there was a province-wide warrant out for Darcy Allan Sheppard's arrest since July 2003.

Sheppard was wanted on 52 counts of fraud, uttering forged documents and possession of stolen property.

This guy never even got a chance - since leaving politics Mr. Bryant has been CEO of a group called "Invest Toronto" - which is basically just a public relations firm for the City of Toronto - so Bryant would know everyone in the public relations world, and is going to be able to spin his story to the public whatever way he wants.

Did anyone else notice that he went INTO the police department in a t-shirt but came out of the police department and into a scrum in a SUIT AND TIE? This is a man who knows how to present himself in public - so I have no doubt that he has people feeding the press with bad images of the person he killed, probably. Why not? He certainly did it to pit bulls, didn't he.

But anyway - that's my rambling on - I wonder if anyone WILL point out to Mr. Bryant about how some dogs do have a proclivity for chasing bicycles - and how some dogs die because they've chased bicycles - but probably not too many dogs have KILLED bicyclists - but a lot of DOGS have died for chasing bicyclists, and a great proportion of those dogs who died were pit bulls - not because they chased the bicycles - but because they were pit bulls.


And back to the title of this post - Michael Vick - I just found this out - and I bet not too many people know this - Michael Vick did NOT go to prison for 23 months for animal cruelty - he went to prison for racketeering. The charges of animal cruelty against him were all dropped in a plea agreement. I read about it in a post today at called "The Victimization of Vick" - and it's a really good post, it says in part -

"Mr. Vick "did his time" for "Federal Racketeering" and he served his prison sentence and paid his debt to society for "Federal Racketeering", only. His crimes, the heinous crimes of "Animal Cruelty" - Mr. Vick plead "Not Guilty". In a brokered Plea Agreement, the charges of Animal Cruelty were dismissed. Thus, unpunished were these crimes of inhumanity, by Mr. Vick."

Francis Battista, one of the co-founders of the Best Friend Animal Sanctuary (which I am hoping to visit when I go to Las Vegas next month!!) said - "To our knowledge, neither Vick, his handlers, nor the NFL has called to ask how the dogs are doing. And these very real, living victims of the crime are nowhere to be found in the continuing debate about Vick's rehabilitation."

Best Friends (as I'm sure you all know) - have 22 of the Vick dogs. That's a really interesting quote to me. You'd think if Vick had redeemed himself he would be wondering about the animals that were left behind.

When he gave his interview on 60 minutes, he said some really interesting things - you can watch the whole interview on their website at - - but in the section below he talks about the fact that there is no excuse for him not shutting the operation down before he got caught - and the reason he gives ISN'T because they were abusing and killing animals - it's because he didn't put his CAREER and his FAMILY first - he put his friendship with his friends first and he let them follow him around - and that's the biggest mistake he made - but it never had anything to do with animals - they never entered into the equation at all - so it makes complete sense that now that he's out of prison and embarking on his new post-prison life - they still don't enter into the equation.

And really - it makes sense that he's working the the HSUS - because at the top of that organization what they do has nothing to do with animals either - what Wayne Pacelle does is all about spin and about money making and about the attempt to extinguish the fancy of pet ownership - so really, Michael Vick is in the perfect spot. I'm sure when Michael Vick and Wayne Pacelle go out to dinner - the topic of animals never comes up - they have tons of other stuff to talk about that they both find much more interesting.

Watch CBS Videos Online


  1. Michael Vick has gotten his second chance with football.
    Would you like the see the second chances that the dogs that Atlanta Pitbull Rescue has saved.
    Please check out.

    Watch this preview for VICKtory to the Underdog

    VICKtory to the Underdog was Nominated for three awards.

    Best Soundtrack Feature,Best Documentary, and Best Social Commentary Award.

    VICKtory to the Underdog

    “Vicktory To The Underdog” takes an in depth look at world renowned tattoo artist “Brandon Bond” and his dog rescue efforts – particularly rescuing the infamous Michael Vick fighting dogs.
    Rather than focusing on the dog fighting problem, the movie sheds light on solutions leading to “Vicktory” for all the underdogs in the movie – tattoo people, pitbulls, parolees and all the other people in this world that society has turned their back on through ignorance and racism.
    The movie also examines the life of Brandon Bond and his struggle with balancing fame, fortune and the Rock-N-Roll tattoo lifestyle with a more fulfilling life that focuses on the betterment of both animals and society as a whole.
    Featuring celebrities like Debbie and Danny Trejo, Michael Berryman, Pixie Acia and Donal Logue, the movie takes you on an incredible journey you will never forget!

    Proceeds for this film will be going to Villa Lobos Pitbull Rescue.

  2. Thanks for posting your comment Nicole - when I first heard about this documentary on Facebook I immediately sent away and bought this DVD. I don't know if I received a very early edit of it, or if I misinterpreted what I watched, but I saw very little video about the Vick dogs and a lot of video of Brandon Bond talking to the camera about himself, him driving around and him and other people with guns and stuff, and thought I'd been sent an odd bill of goods - because nothing in the trailers was actually on the video I received - just like the trailer that you have a link to today - there's not one second of that in the dvd I have here in my house - so when I saw a link to an event on the Best Friends website - I posted as such - and was so completely blasted by Brandon Bond's friends - I just removed my posts and walked away - and Brandon Bond actually posted on the page - -

    "This film was not made for YOU digkisser, it was intended to reach a demographic that animal planet will never reach, breeders, criminals, dog fighters, gangsters, people that get tattooed and the same people that often mistreat or abuse their dogs.

    Animal Planet preaches to the converted.

    This film is preching to the "non-converted".

    And it is working, in droves. The response has been tremendous, with the sole exception of YOU.

    That is fine, we are not in any way offended. If you dont like it, give it away to someone who appreciates it."

    I really want to support anything that has to do with positivity about the Vick dogs. And I love Villalobos rescue - I think they do great things - I've heard about them in other places than Brandon Bond, so any money raised for them is super. But Brandon Bond himself - I just cannot figure out. I'd love to send the dvd I have to someone who's watched a dvd of the movie that they DO think is about the Vick dogs and see if they got the same version - because I don't think it is. The version I got seriously is a 2 hour masturbation session of a man who shaves his head for no discernible reason - because I think if he didn't, he'd look more like a human being and less like a looney tunes character.