Saturday, July 28, 2012

A FLY ON THE WALL


The inner workings of the {{{{ brains }}}}  of the NYC carriage drivers and their supporters.    

A playbook for a pro carriage horse trade campaign 

famous controversial driver giving the finger to activists
The NYC carriage trade was recently shaken up by a scandal involving a driver yelling homophobic, racist and sexist remarks to activists who were handing out literature against the carriage trade – it was captured on YouTube and in the media.     

Instead of taking total responsibility for this outrage, the carriage trade went on the defensive,   essentially saying that the activists deserved this because the driver was provoked.  They got someone at Rupert Murdoch’s NY Post to write a piece against the activists - again missing the point.  
But they never took responsibility for their bad behavior.  

Entering into the drama is  Chronicles of the Horse or COTH,  an open forum in which many carriage trade supporters participate.  The thread referenced here is called  Headsup---What will happen to the NY carriage horses?   This link comes through on Google Alerts for all to see. 

The discussion  quickly morphed into  what does one do with these awful people; these RARAS (radical animal rights activists); these extremists?    
 
horse very close to taxi in heavy traffic
Like the bullies they are, all of these COTH folks hide behind their true identities with made up screen names, making outrageous accusations about us; telling lie after lie that they want desperately to believe.  They listen to the NYC Carriage Queen, (screen name) MichaleenFlynn, who gives them their marching orders with the current threat that NYC activists are targeting the entire world.  We want to put an end to all working animals and rid the world of all animals, including cats and dogs.  For the record -- the Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriage is opposed to urban carriage horse businesses - like NYC, Rome, Atlanta, Charleston, Savannah - and so on.  This is our campaign.  Period.  

They delight in calling us “fanatics, rabid animal rights extremists, nut jobs, fruit bats and  loons“  They say things like “They're fanatics. There's little difference between them and people who fly planes into buildings.  They walk a fine line between activist and terrorist.”   

This is the extent of their argument.  It is never substantive.   They only deal with hyperbole. 

All of the comments below are copied and pasted from this forum.

One of the participants,  LauraKY from Kentucky,  said about the carriage association’s stance on this incidence,    “BTW, when an apology is followed by but or however, it's not an apology. You guys really need to work on your PR. You should have thrown him under the bus.”

Sounds reasonable?  Well we’ll get back to Laura in a minute.  She is preparing the playbook.   But in the meantime, these COTH members really believe the trade does not have the money to hire PR consultants.  The truth is that the carriage trade spends thousands on lobbyists each year and has hired PR consultants in the past.  They have money.  Believe it.  They are a cash only business. 

Lynwood, another participant,  actually believes this: “The horses are available for 24 hr inspection by the ASPCA , the Department of Parks , and the other multiple agencies that over see them.” 

Huh – not in my New York City.  The ASPCA is volunteer only and has only 14 agents for all of NYC and state.    The laws are either badly enforced or are inadequate.  24 hours?  Yes perhaps in her imagination.  . 

And this in response to criticism that activists use video cameras … “ …  the drivers are not filming because they are DRIVING. They are attempting to make a living around a group of close minded people hurtling insults and badgering their business away using false words like "abuse". "

News flash to Lynwood -- the drivers not only film but read and text while driving.   The Department of Health tried to stop this in 2010 with new proposed regulations.  The carriage trade intervened and the regulations were rescinded. 

And back to LauraKY who gives PR tips for the world to see.  My favorite is this one. 
  
“And while they're doing that they need to dig up any piece of dirt on the RARAs they can and make sure it gets publicity...make it personal, I'm talking about dirt on individuals, you want to discredit them...without letting them know they are behind it. Take a look at politics, that's all this is. That's how it's done. Pure negative campaigning rarely wins in the end.”

Really nasty stuff there, Ms. Laura.  This tells us a lot about you and the carriage trade.  This is why the world is in the state it's in. 

AlternetReality  says  about the drivers “They are threatened with sabotage and poison. Their homes are at risk, their families have been threatened by raras, and yet they have some of the best cared-for, nicest horses in the world, doing a job with horses in a city built by horses, carrying forward a tradition and trade over 5000 years old.

Frankly, if someone sat there berating me with lies, insults, and threats for as long they have, and using lies to smear my name and my career, I'd have lost my temper years ago and probably started swinging fists over it.”
 
Holy Molys,  Alternet – you really are in an altered reality.  Threats of sabotage?; threats of poison?    Invectives and comments - yes  – but in response to the drivers' nasty words    – but never threats.  And if you think for a minute that the carriage drivers do not do much of the provoking, then your choice of a screen name is quite accurate.  5,000 years?  Are you kidding?  Before Christ?  The carriage tourist trade only goes back to the late 1940s in NYC.  As  for the best cared for horses?  I would not be so quick to say that.  You are not here to witness the accidents – many of which are captured by random eyewitnesses; or the brutal force some of the drivers use on their horses when they pull them by the bit, or the fact that many get sent to auction or otherwise “disappear;” or the fact that many of the drivers violate the law by overloading and working when it is over 90 degrees. 

Then Goneriding 24 escalated this thread by saying   “Why isn't threatening murder and hurting families not hate speech? “  Threatening murder?!   Is she mad??  Who is threatening murder?!  Good grief.  These people have a bizarre imagination. 

Not to be left out of providing scenarios for PR, Alternet  also suggested this:   “...hire two actors (dressed as seniors from out of town...or on their honeymoon) and make sure one of the RaRa's who is hurling insults at them is close enough for a senior (the old gal) to take a swipe with her purse...make sure you have your cameras ready...THAT will make the news...and give it another kick start.  You want a u tube to go viral...against the rara's." 

 Some people have suggested that if I expose this, they will go undercover and we will no longer be able to witness their lunacy.    Whatever.  We know what they are like. 

And we'll continue to fight the good fight. 

In the meantime,  this Playbook is available for all to see.  Enjoy.  

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