From the Editor’s Desk: Reaction to BPI vs. ABC settlement
Andy Hanacek: Can we not use the word “settlement” anymore in conjunction with lawyers and trials, because it never really seem to settle anything?
Hey viewers, how are you? Good to see you again. We just had some big news come through. It’s the kind of news that reaches beyond the meat industry into the media world, and if you’ve watched my videos over time, you know that’s one of my favorite subjects. Obviously, I’m talking about the BPI-ABC News “pink slime” leanly fine textured beef case. The two parties involved reached a settlement, and yay for BPI! That’s great news for BPI.
However, this trial had the potential to really shed a good light on where the media is today in how it covers the food industry in general, not just the meat industry. A settlement doesn’t really solve anything in my opinion. Where does this settlement really put us compared to five, six, seven years ago. I contend it doesn’t really change much of anything.
Yes, BPI can go back to producing its products the way it intended to do all along, keeping people safe, supplying beef to the industry, but at the same time, ABC News and any up and coming journalist or current journalist out there can look at this trial settlement and say, “hey, no harm, no foul.” The rules didn’t change. The laws didn’t change. I can say whatever I want about the products that are out there. Now we all know you can’t say whatever you want, but the gamble is a lot less of a gamble with this settlement being out there. This settlement really does the industry no favors, and while that is not really BPI’s responsibility, I as a journalist who covers the industry directly in a fair and unbiased way was hoping that this trial would lead to something better in the industry. Again, not BPI’s responsibility, but there was a lot of hope in me that this would have led to more clarity about how the media should or should not skew things or cover things.
I’m not talking about censorship. I’m not talking about eliminating free speech. But what I am talking about is things like click bait, things like terminology like pink slime. Why do those things even exist? As a journalist, I know why, because I know people will click on them. I was hoping this BPI-ABC News case would bring some clarity to those “journalists” and media members who go all the way and don’t care and just want the clicks no matter what it costs. People joke all the time that if it bleeds, it leads. That really does it exist, but we try not to do that here, and I wish most of the media didn’t do it out there either.