Recently, an article hit the internet, causing a World-Wide backlash. The article accused me of “attacking” a certain dog breed.
While I am known as a public personality and things are negatively written about me all the time, based on my views, politics and even guests that appear on my syndicated radio show; this particular article really pierced my heart.
In this country, we have the right to exercise freedom of speech. However, sometimes with that freedom comes consequences.
Over my years in the public eye, I have become used to the fact that when Googled, anything may pop up. This happens to every public figure, from the low end of the totem pole to the very top, such as Howard Stern or Oprah Winfrey.
In this editorial, I am attempting to clear my name. Why? Because I have received a total of 17 death threats from various email addresses to my radio show’s email account, TheJoshuaPaulShow@Radio.FM
While recently broadcasting, the online feed of my show, which contains a chat room was also bombarded likely by the 1,000 people that gave a Facebook “thumbs up like” to the article that was published about me.
Alerted by the moderator of the chat room, I also learned that threats were coming in from the area of which I live. One threat stated “If I ever see you, my baseball bat is ready and I will and I promise to bash your face in.”
The damage that I have suffered from this press attention is not repairable. In fact, an attorney has advised me to obtain her services to set forth a defamation suit. It is not my intention to do so, as I hope that many of the individuals involved in threatening me will come to realize all of the good that I have done and that a retraction will be printed.
The article, which appeared online, contained a picture of a pit bull that appeared to be lying with other dead dogs. Upon closer examination, I could see that these were actually blankets. The picture was in no way related to me.
What caused the backlash? Just like any reporter or radio personality, sometimes we are fed misleading and/or false information. I was contacted by a woman claiming to be “Sandy McKee” from an activist group seeking to ban pit bulls and bully breeds entirely. Links were sent to me on various articles, and it appeared that every one of these articles were truthful. When in fact, it was a false lead by an anti-pit bull activist.
A quick internet search did reveal a short blurb that a man had been attacked by a pit bull. “Mc Kee” sent me additional information, claiming that the attack occurred in Athens, Illinois. Most likely due to the fact that there is actually an Athens, Illinois. In fact, later breaking news reports indicated that the attack had actually occurred in Athens County, Ohio.
Reacting to the information that I received, I quickly too my article down. However, the threats against me did not stop and continue to this very moment via my account on Twitter @joshuapaulshow as well as my personal Google+ page. In fact, I have also had to change my personal phone number as it was leaked to individuals calling with threats from blocked numbers.
I would like to attempt to clear my name. I am actually a lover and supporter of pit bulls. What this media frenzy due to the article published failed to report are the countless good things I have done to help end breed specific legislation.
I have also broadcast many shows over the airwaves about pit bulls. In addition, I helped one woman who was trying to start a non-profit to rescue such dogs raise money to file her paperwork and obtain a computer to start working on saving the breed, as well as countless other homeless and abused dogs.
This non-profit of which I helped along the way also received a computer from one of my caring radio listeners. It was a Mac computer, less than 3 years old. The computer was needed to start her non-profit.
I have donated my time to many local rescue groups, made personal appearances and offered items for fundraising events. The fund raising events were affiliated with many local rescue groups. While I do not know the totals brought in by the silent auctions, donated works of art, fashion design, radio show photos autographed and signed by me, among countless other items; I am told that the donations in material goods I have given exceed the amount of $20,000.
On my show, various donations were also given too many pit bull rescues, animal shelters and in one case, money to repair a broken air conditioner in the terrible heat of summer at a rescue group.
When I broadcast and when I report, I publish both the positive and negative stories. Why? Because they are news items.
With any breed, there are dog bites, right down to the toy poodle. It’s a fact, dogs do and can bite. Cats, parrots, rabbits, snakes and many other pets do as well.
In an attempt to clear my name from a national news article that was published and will forever appear on the internet in countless blogs, I am listing below just some of the positive articles that I have written and published- most of which have all been mentioned on my radio show that has now been running strong for over 2 years.
While checking my Twitter account, after the article was published, I lost over 4,000 followers. On Google+, I lost over 2,000. My show numbers also have declined since the article was published. One can only assume, including the attorney that I spoke to, that these losses stemmed directly from the article as they occurred just days after it was published.
Here are just some of the positive articles that I have written about pit bulls and bully breeds, even including some activist work I was involved with while the Michael Vick dog-fighting controversy ensued.
It should also be noted that I was brought to court in a lawsuit over my activist efforts to help save the breed.
And of course, my retraction: