Mark Halperin, a senior NBC political analyst known as a frequent defender of President Trump, has suffered his own Twitter-related embarrassment — and is taking some hits for the disrespect he seemed to show a therapy dog on a cross-country Delta flight
It all stems from a in-air tweet Halperin posted after finding himself seated next to a bow-tie wearing support dog named Charlie. Halperin posted a photo of the dog with the caption, “Seriously, @delta??!?”
Some took that to mean he was taking umbrage to his seating companion, and dog lovers — as is their way — commenced to deem him an apparent snob, asshole, douchebag or worse.
Halperin then — sincerely or not — went into damage control mode.
He tweeted that the main purpose of the original tweet was to show a photo of a cute dog:
“This dog is cute & service, companion & emotional support dogs=best souls on Earth.Point was,on long flt Delta sat dog apart from its owner.”
He elaborated the people were reacting incorrectly to his original tweet, and that he was trying to do too much good at once — delighting followers with photos of a cute dog while pointing out a flaw in Delta’s procedures for not seating Charlie with his owner, a Delta employee who was seated across the aisle.
He said he offered to switch seats with the owner but that doing so was prohibited by “LAX traffic, TSA, redeye logistics & overhead bin issues.”
Then that pesky second side of the story came out.
The dog’s owner says Halperin made no such offer to switch seats.
Anthony Pisano, a Delta flight attendant who paid full fare for both his and Charlie’s seats, gave this account of what happened in first class.
“I had purchased 6A and 6B and Halperin was in 6C. The dog and I fly back and forth from California to NY 2–3 times a month. I am always aware to make sure to get the dog her own seat (she lays on the floor and sleeps) to ensure she doesn’t encroach anyone’s personal space. So I put Charlie (the dog) in 6A where she was great. She was in arms reach and everything was cool. Right before we took off the dog came and sat in between my legs for take off so she was secured. At this point halperin (I had no idea who he was) calls for a flight attendant and tells her that he refuses to sit next to a dog.
“Those were his exact words. At that point I noticed he took a picture of the dog which I just ignored. Next thing you know the lead flight attendant asked if I minded giving halperin 6A. It was so strange he wouldn’t even look or speak to me about it. If he would have asked me I would have obliged, no big deal. I couldn’t believe how rude this guy was carrying on as I sat right next to him. So I obliged, he moved into 6A and left his shoes and a mess in his little first class cubicle area. I politely brought him his shoes and belongings to which he literally looked the other way and that was that.”
(Except for a parting tweet on Pisano’s Twitter page:)
Apparently, Halperin (some call him a Trump lap dog) got the separation he desired from Charlie, the emotional support dog.
As for which version is the most accurate, I can’t say, but I will rank the believability of the subjects involved:
1. Charlie the dog
2. The flight attendant
3. The political pundit
(Photos: At top, Charlie, as pictured in Halperin’s tweet; lower, Charlie, in a parting tweet on Pisano’s Twitter page)
Posted by John Woestendiek April 25th, 2017 under Muttsblog.
Tags: analyst, animals, anthony pisano, charlie, defender, delta, dogs, emotional support dog, flight, flight attendant, lap dog, los angeles, mark halperin, nbc, new york, news, pets, political, politics, therapy dog, Trump, tweet, tweeting, twitter
I want to play it safe here, so let’s just say the size of the crowds taking part in the Women’s March on Washington, and its offshoots in other locations, numbered precisely somewhere between 5,000 and 10 million.
As for how many of those were “professional protesters,” there’s really no way of saying because — other than the exception above — they don’t commonly wear signs identifying themselves as such.
Dogs were represented at what’s being widely described as the largest protest in Washington’s history (some are being so bold to suggest more than 1 million people were in attendance, 2.6 million worldwide).
Here’s a look at some of them. You can find more at Bustle.com.
(Photo credits: From top to bottom, Mark Makela / Getty Images, Melanie Goldman / Twitter, Formation / Twitter, Katrin Pribyl / Twitter, Cooks Travels / Twitter, Avery Carnage / Twitter)
Posted by John Woestendiek January 24th, 2017 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, crowd, dog, dogs, estimate, pets, photographs, photos, politics, president, protest, protesters, signs, size, Trump, washington, womens march
Last month, while comparing the records of the two major presidential candidates when it comes to dog friendliness, we questioned whether Donald Trump, as some reports suggested, even had a dog.
We noted that he had reportedly tweeted about his dog undergoing surgery back in February.
While various media outlets would go on to make references to that dog — named Spinee — the tale turned out to have come from a fake Trump Twitter page.
Trump has no dog, according to a post on the Washington Post’s Animalia blog.
The Post post speculates his fear of germs might be the reason — and it goes on to say that, as president, he probably should have a dog, for political reasons alone.
“In the digital age, when interest in online animal content dwarfs interest in political news, the absence of a Trump pet amounts to a forfeiture of low-hanging political fruit,” the Post post says.
(This kiwi, for one, resents that last remark.)
The Post says every president except James K. Polk and Andrew Johnson has owned a pet (if you count horses) for at least part of his term in office, and that having one can serve to soften a politician’s image.
Trump seems to be a man who, though he might soften a stance or two, wants to keep his image hard-edged.
While there is not a single photo of Trump with a pet of his own on the Internet, he regularly invites the best in show winner to Trump Tower and poses for a photograph, which then makes its way onto social media.
What’s Trump’s motivation for that? I suspect it’s just his way of showing support for the show, as opposed to wanting to hitch a ride on their moment of fame.
Can we expect the next four winners to be invited to the White House — especially if and when those approval ratings (prone to falling once a president takes office) take a substantial dip? I wouldn’t be surprised.
Will he give the White House a new first dog? Doubtful. It’s probably safe to assume that, while he enjoys hobnobbing with purebreds (how he is with mutts is another question), he is not the kind of person who must have a dog.
Then again, maybe his son Baron will push for one at some point.
Trump, a self-identified “clean hands freak,” may be “averse to the microbes that come with a four-legged friend,” the Post speculated.
“While it is not known whether Trump enjoys the company of animals, he has been publicly criticized by the Humane Society of the United States for his close relationships with critics of animal welfare activists as well as for his sons’ passion for trophy hunting.”
It was exactly a year ago that ohmidog! declared Trump an Afghan hound — back when there were 12 Republicans vying for the candidacy, and we assigned a dog breed to each of them, based on looks, personality, and breed stereotypes.
In the years ahead, he could prove himself to be some other breed — maybe one that’s not so widely considered aloof, stubborn and slow to learn.
In the meantime we’ll just wait and see — among much else — how good a dog might be for him and, much more importantly, how good he is for dogs.
(Photos: From Facebook, at top, Trump with Banana Joe, an affenpinscher who won Westminster’s Best in Show in 2013; Trump posing with Malachy, the Pekingese who won best in show in 2012; Trump and Miss P., the beagle who won in 2015; and Trump with Foxcliffe Hickory Wind, the Scottish deerhound who won in 2011)
Posted by John Woestendiek December 1st, 2016 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, best in show, dog, dogs, donald trump, elect, first dog, first family, image, mutts, pedigree, pets, politics, presidency, president, presidential, presidential pets, purebreds, republican, spinee, trumps, westminster, white house, white house pets, winners
I doubt, at this particular point in this particular presidential election, that their records on animal welfare would be much of a factor in who you choose for president.
But let’s just dive in and do some documenting, anyway, here at the very last minute.
The Clintons have three dogs at present. Trump is believed to have one, but try to find a photo of Trump and Spinee together and you’re in for a long, and possibly fruitless, search.
Trump did tweet about his dog having surgery back in February of this year: “My dog Spinee needs your prayers. She just came out of a difficult surgery …. She is my beloved.”
It’s clear he is fan of purebreds, and we all know he likes winners.
Because he lacks any kind of voting record, never having served in office, it’s hard to predict what his presidency would mean to animals.
He did tweet his disappointment in Ringling Brothers for getting rid of their elephants, and he has been a vocal supporter of his sons and their big game hunting in Africa — which in turn led animal welfare groups to deem that he, as president, would be a threat to animals.
He has called for the Food and Drug Administration to stop regulating pet food — and that’s a scary proposition.
Then there were the diving horses of Atlantic City.
It was a show that began in the late 1920s at the Steel Pier and featured swimsuit-clad women on horses diving from a 40-foot platform. The show was discontinued after Resorts International purchased the pier in 1978.
In the summer of 1993, after Trump had bought the Steel Pier, the idea was revived by Anthony Catanoso who leased the property from him.
The new act would involve horses and mules, and no human riders, and it started back up amid protests by animal welfare advocates.
Some of those protesters would shout “Make Trump jump,” Catanoso recalls.
So , while he did shut it down, it also opened up and operated all summer while he owned the property.
Later, Catanoso bought the property from Trump, and a return of the show was announced in 2012.
Protests resumed and Catanoso opted not to pursue it further.
Hillary Clinton, meanwhile, has an entire page on her website about how she plans to “promote animal welfare and protect animals from cruelty and abuse.” She says she would make sure animal breeders, zoos, and research institutions create plans to protect the animals in their care; that she would strengthen regulations on puppy mills, and that she would support the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act.”
During her time in the Senate, Clinton co-sponsored the Animal Fighting Prohibition Enforcement Act of 2007, as well as a bill to amend the Horse Protection Act, according to PetMD.com
As for the veep candidates, Tim Kaine, got a fairly low rating of 38 percent from the Humane Society Legislative Fund (HSLF) while serving in the Senate. The Richmond SPCA, where he and his wife adopted their dog, says he is “a compassionate and unpretentious friend to animals.”
Trump’s running mate, Mike Pence, has a dog and two cats. He was given a 0 percent approval rating in the 2012 HSLF scorecard for taking anti-animal stances on both the Hunting in National Parks vote and the Emotional Support Animals vote.
(Photos: Hillary and Tallie, Instagram; Donald Trump with Westminster’s 2015 Best in Show, the beagle Miss P, Instagram; a diving horse at Atlantic City’s Steel Pier in the late 1930s, The Press of Atlantic City; a riderless horse dives from Trump-owned Atlantic City’s Steel Pier in 1993, AP Photo/ Charles Rex Arbogast)
Posted by John Woestendiek November 8th, 2016 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 2016, animal welfare, animals, breeding, campaign, clinton, diving horses, dogs, Donald J. Trump, donald trump, election, hillary clinton, horses, hunting, mike pence, pets, politics, presidency, president, presidential, ratings, records, research, tim kaine, Trump
As you sit breathlessly riveted to your TV screen for the Republican National Convention (now underway) and the Democratic National Convention (July 25-28) what’s your dog supposed to do for fun?
You could get him or her a presidential candidate to chew on.
A Vermont-based company is offering chew-worthy likenesses of Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and, though he’s out of the running, Bernie Sanders.
The canvas-covered, fiber-filled toys, designed by Sarah-Lee Terrat and Anne Lika of Fuzzu for Pets & You, come in three sizes: nine inches tall for cats, 17 inches for dogs, and a 27-inch jumbo size for cuddling, punching, berating or whatever else you might want a stuffed presidential candidate for.
They run $19.99 each.
And of course they squeak — they’re presidential candidates.
The cat-sized toys contain catnip, aimed at making your feline even more attracted to the candidate.
The Hillary doll wears a red pantsuit and pearls and campaign buttons reading “Pro-whatever” and “Anti-whatever.” On her back is a facsimile of a light switch to turn her smile on and off.
The Trump doll has a sourpuss look on its face, and hair that is swooped back, topped with golden plush. A pamphlet in his pocket is titled “Great Wall Building for Idiots.” On his back is a button that reads, “Push to inflate head.”
The Bernie doll, put on the market before he withdrew, has a button on the back that reads, “Push to activate the revolution.”
I can’t vouch for how safe any of the chew toys are — both the Trump and Sanders dolls look like they could cause hairballs, as both come equipped with fuzzy shocks of “hair” — but the company does have experience making dog toys.
According to Sevendaysvt.com, the Likas operated a pet toy company called Fat Cat for more than a decade before selling it in 2007.
They launched the new company recently with help from a Kickstarter campaign.
Anne Likas said she missed the dog toy business, and was happy to get back into it. “We love the humor around our toys,” she added, noting that other pet toys “don’t get edgy.”
Posted by John Woestendiek July 19th, 2016 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, bernie sanders, candidates, company, convention, dog, dog toys, dogs, dolls, donald, donald trump, fuzzu, fuzzutoys, hillary, hillary clinton, likas, pet products, pets, politics, president, presidential candidate toys, presidential candidates, products, squeak, squeaker, toys, vermont
Bryan Lewis is pretty sure his dog is a Democrat — certain enough, at least, to write a country song about it.
He premiered “I Think My Dog’s A Democrat” on radio station WTVN, and the YouTube video of the debut has garnered close to a half million views since early March.
Posted by John Woestendiek March 29th, 2016 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, bryan lewis, country song, democrat, democrats, dog, dogs, humor, i think my dog's a democrat, music, pets, politics, republicans, singer, song, video, wtvn
You’ve probably seen the hecklers that seem to be dogging Donald Trump at his campaign appearances — the ones who have the audacity to disagree with him, and go so far as to voice that disagreement.
Generally, he orders them to “shut up,” or “sit down,” and when that doesn’t work he calls for security to muzzle them.
Perhaps a better trained, more obedient audience, such as the one in this video, would be more to his liking.
Even though it’s not until the third “sit down” that the dogs heed The Donald’s edict, and even though only three out of four obey, we find it disheartening that dogs would listen to him at all.
We can only guess that these are Republican dogs — or that they haven’t yet figured out that Trump provides treats only to fellow fat cats.
Posted by John Woestendiek January 14th, 2016 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, command, dog, dogs, donald trump, obey, pets, politics, presidential campaign, republican dogs, republicans, television, video