Animal Defenders of Westchester

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We advocate on all animal protection and exploitation issues, including experimentation, factory farming, rodeos, breeders and traveling animal acts.

Animal Defenders of Westchester
P.O. Box 205
Yonkers, NY 10704


Good Morning America Gives Birth to New Stunt

Article published in NY Daily News re bullfighting demo we did:


New York Daily News. New York, N.Y.: Jan 31, 2001. pg. 78

In a sweeps stunt to end all others, ABC's "Good Morning America" is on a quest to air a live birth during its Feb. 6. telecast.

The date falls in the all-important February sweeps, a key ratings period used by stations around the country to set advertising rates.

To achieve the feat, ABC will have cameras going in three hospitals during the show's regular airtime of 7 a.m. to 9 a.m.

"We originally planned to do this a couple months ago," said "GMA" executive producer Shelley Ross. "We were all set and then the election story happened."

The idea came from last year's prime-time documentary "24/7," which followed a team of doctors. This piece, Ross said, will track the new generation of obstetricians and their patients.

The story will begin to unfold on today's telecast with an on- air countdown. Then on Tuesday, the show will have cameras ready at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas and Methodist Hospital in Baylor, Texas.

In the past, the morning shows have relied on trips around the country - and the world - to boost sweeps ratings. This time, "GMA" wanted to try something new, Ross said.

Ross realizes she's gambling that a baby will happen during the broadcast. "If there's no baby, there will be a baby the next day," she said.

ACTIVISTS CRY FOUL ABC's "The Mole" has animal-rights activists hopping mad.

Members of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and In Defense of Animals say a lesson in bullfighting last week on the game show was "cruel and unacceptable."

As part of an on-air test, contestants tried to replicate the moves of a Spanish matador by yanking a bull calf to the ground by its tail.

"They were dragging the calf around and yanking its tail and it's just unacceptable," said Kiley Blackman of the New York-based In Defense of Animals.

PETA's Amy Rhodes fired off a letter to "Mole" producers Stone Stanley Entertainment last Friday, saying the group was "dismayed that a notoriously cruel event like bullfighting was glorified on your show and that players were allowed to act inhumanely toward the animals."

Stone Stanley spokesman Matthew Marcus said that "no animal was harmed or injured" in last week's show and that "all precautions were taken by our company to insure the safety of the animals in the show."

In "The Mole," players travel to different cities and compete in challenges that pay off in cash and improve their positions. The catch is that one member of the group is a saboteur or "mole," who aims to scuttle the players' ability to advance.- Donna Petrozzello

REALITY WRAP-UP Comedian Kathy Griffin can't stop talking about reality shows and MTV viewers soon will be able to hear what she has to say on a new weekly series, "Kathy's So-Called Reality," starting Sunday, Feb. 4 at 10 p.m. Griffin will show clips from the week's reality fare and talk about it with an assorted cast of celebrities, friends and relatives.

"I'm such a reality freak, I even watched 'Big Brother,' which tells you that I'll watch almost anything that falls under reality," said Griffin, best known as Brooke Shields' acerbic co-worker on "Suddenly Susan."

"With the reality craze underway in full force, MTV feels like it's time to take a look at the shows out there and have a little fun dissecting the genre," said MTV programming president Brian Graden. -


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