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Anti-Wolf Propagandists use Rabidly Fuzzy Math

Letter in the Spokane Spokesman Review, May 2003

Dear Editor,

One can only hope that when hunters have killed all the elk, they will not start on children standing at school bus stops. Shocking? It’s far more likely than a similar statement made about wolves in “Wolf reintrodution harms elk, hunting and business” (May 2, 2003). While wolf attacks on humans are almost unheard of, the Justice Department estimates that predatory humans commit 4600 child abductions per year--621 ending in murder. The original milk carton child was a 6-year-old abducted in 1979 as he walked to his school bus stop in Manhattan, New York. The serial killer “Zodiac,” an avid hunter who graduated to preying on humans, stated: “School children make nice targets.” He threatened to shoot them as “they came bounding out” of a school bus.

The author of the anti-wolf diatribe employed hyperbolic, rabidly fuzzy math to promote the propaganda that wolves kill 9,000 elk annually (still only half the number hunters “harvest”) and will soon be after our children.

Huxley wrote that propagandists use:

(1) Repetition of catchwords,

(2) Suppression of facts the propagandist wants the public to ignore.

(3) Inflaming mass fear or other strong emotional reaction for the purpose of controlling public opinion and behavior.

Jim Robertson


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