Many that seek to set the record straight on Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) claim there is a strong media bias influencing public perception of certain breeds, which in turn influences legislators.
The following is an excerpt from a National Canine Research Council (NCRC) evaluation of news reports and pit bulls:
On June 4, 2008, at least 29 news articles were run on a story about a Los Angeles boy "mauled by a Pit bull." Some of the headlines were:"LA toddler hospitalized after being mauled by Pit bulls" - Fresno Bee"2-year-old stable after pit bull bites his face" - LA TimesThe Mercury News even reported that two Pit bulls attacked the child. Another article described the dog as the "family Pit bull." The Los Angeles Times reported the boy in "critical condition after he was bitten by a pit bull."Perhaps the media should not bear the brunt for this serious error, as the source of the breed mis-identification was found to have originated from the Los Angeles Police Department.The LAPD should not attempt to identify breeds of dogs or comment on canine behavior. The average police officer is no more skilled in breed identification than is the average reporter. Perhaps in the realization of this, the LAPD later referred all inquiries on the dog involved in this incident to the city's animal services department.The Los Angeles Department of Animal Services released a statement declaring the dog involved in the attack on the boy was "in fact a shepherd mix."Note: Acknowledgement is given to the Los Angeles Times for printing a "For the Record" remark on the erroneous breed identification of the dog in this incident. On June 7th the LA Times printed the following: "An article in Thursday's California section about a boy attacked by his family's dog quoted authorities as saying the dog was a pit bull. The Los Angeles Department of Animal Services said Friday that the animal that bit the toddler was a shepherd mix."However, this small retraction cannot possibly undo the damage that was done by the media. All the headlines run by the LA Times which initially identified this dog to be a Pit bull have not been pulled and can still be found in the LA Times archives.Additionally, more than one attorney website and dog bite "advocacy" website has picked up this "Pit bull attack" story and posted it on their website as additional "evidence" of the nature of Pit bulls.