News and Media
Best Stepping In It
Dan Rodricks’ anti-pit bull column
Published: September 19, 2012
Turns out there is something more dangerous thing than pissing off a pit bull: pissing off pit bull lovers. Sun columnist Dan Rodricks surely knew this before he sat down to write his anti-pit bull column, “Pit bulls: Own them at your own risk,” so maybe he did it simply to raise a ruckus that would prompt the hit-counts to mount at baltimoresun.com as reader comments flooded in. They sure did—18 page-jumps of them on The Sun’s web site, as of mid-September. Some are pretty funny (“Bad, Rodricks! BAD!”); some take his side; some take legitimate issue with his reporting by smartly deconstructing his flawed analysis; and many of them take vicious swipes at the guy, sounding very much like people standing up to a bully. Among the bad facts Rodricks tapped was that “pit bull jaws are three times stronger than those of a German Shepherd,” when, in truth, the bites of German Shepherds and Rottweilers have more force than those of pits. Perhaps the best thing Rodricks could’ve done in this situation is write another column, trying to clear the air by confronting the myths he’d mistakenly relied on—an exercise that still would’ve allowed him to hold to his anti-pit views, but more intelligently so. He didn’t. Instead, having stepped squarely onto a pile of crap, he did nothing to scrape it off his shoes.