Saturday, March 7, 2009

Tantillo makes the news

Check out this article from the NY Times on a boy in PA who was an avid hunter, and later killed his father's pregnant girlfriend. Look at who is quoted!

4 comments:

Eowyn Connolly-Brown said...

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2009/03/07/us/AP-Pregnant-Woman-Killed.html

Sorry, this is the link.

Eric Nuse said...

Did they call you ref this incident and pick out that quote? It seems totaly out of place...

Jim Tantillo said...

As discussed in class this morning, the reporter (Ramit Masti) and I were discussing vegetarianism, not homicide.

The actual quote was, and I have recited this statement almost verbatim in every talk I've given and every hunting-related publication I've written for the past ten years :

"Alfred North Whitehead wrote [in Process and Reality] that 'all life is robbery.' Life exists at the expense of other life. You have to kill in order to live, whether you are pulling carrots or pulling the trigger on a deer."

In contrast to fossil fuel vegetarianism, "There's just something very honest about owning the responsibility for the life you take [in hunting]. When you pull the trigger, you know that something's going to die."

To me this is a clear-cut case of being quoted out of context, almost criminally so. I am seeking a correction/retraction from the Associated Press and a written apology as well.

Jim Tantillo said...

Post script to this story:

The reporter has apologized for what she claims was an omission of a paragraph immediately preceding my quote.

"Hi Dr. Tantillo,
Below is the clarification that was published on Monday, March 9. After looking at the story that went out on the wire and the one that I had sent, I realized that a paragraph that preceded your quote had been removed in editing, leading to the missing context. I apologize for the editing mishap.
Thanks for your help,
Ramit"


I'll include the clarification below in the hopes that it will prevent me from getting future hate mail from people who stumble upon the story in future internet searches:

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Clarification: Pregnant Woman Killed story

Eds: Editors who used BC-NA--US-Pregnant Woman Killed, sent March 7 under a Wampum, Pennsylvania, dateline, may wish to use the following, which explains wording in a headline and the context of a quote.

03-09-2009 17:45

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^BC-NA--US-Pregnant Woman Killed, CLARIFICATION,0215<

^Clarification: Pregnant Woman Killed story<

^Eds: Editors who used BC-NA--US-Pregnant Woman Killed, sent March 7 under a Wampum, Pennsylvania, dateline, may wish to use the following, which explains wording in a headline and the context of a quote.<

WAMPUM, Pennsylvania (AP) _ In a story March 7, The Associated Press described the popularity of recreational hunting in western Pennsylvania, where an 11-year-old boy is charged with fatally shooting his father's pregnant fiancee with a shotgun.

The story headline referred imprecisely to the boy as an "avid hunter." Instead, the boy had practiced hunting procedures and had participated in a turkey shooting contest, as noted in the text.

The story quoted Jim Tantillo, a hunter and environmental philosophy professor at Cornell University, saying:

"Life exists at the expense of other life. You have to kill in order to live," he said. "There's just something very honest about owning the responsibility for the life you take. When you pull that trigger, you know something's going to die." The reference should have made clear that Tantillo was speaking about hunting animals.