KGUN-TV’s Grey2K-driven March 10 report on greyhound injuries at Tucson Greyhound Park was one-sided and lacking in balance, according to a letter from AGC spokesman Gary Guccione to the station’s news department. Guccione said the story “failed to provide balancing facts or context for Grey2K’s hysterical claims.”
“If the reporter had done the most basic fact-checking, she would have learned that there were more than 15,300 greyhound race starts between June and December 2013. The 57 injuries represent three-thousandths of one percent of those starts. That means that 99.997 percent of all greyhound runs at Tucson proceeded without any injuries to the greyhounds.”
The letter continued, “In addition to skewed facts, the use of emotionally charged, inflammatory rhetoric reveals intent to prevent a biased, sensationalized picture instead of a balanced news report. For example, the reporter used the word “lethal” to describe a wide range of injuries from torn muscles to dislocated toes, none of which was lethal. In reality, most of these injuries were minor, and in many cases the greyhounds returned to active racing after treatment.
“The occurrence of fatal injuries to greyhounds is extremely rare, but any time such an incident happens, it is cause for concern. In response to these isolated incidents, the industry is developing new methods and technologies, including new safe lures that eliminate the risk of serious injury should a greyhound collide with the mechanism during a race.”
Guccione concluded, “We have grown accustomed to Grey2K’s exaggeration and misrepresentation of the facts, but we expect better from a respected broadcast news source. We hope you will take a more responsible approach in future reporting on greyhound racing in Tucson.”