Fox TV’s America’s Most
Wanted earned the wrath of animal rights activists for highlighting
two Animal Liberation Front terrorists on its February 6, 1999 show. The
show featured |Adam Peace| and |James Blackmon|, both of Utah, wanted
for their involvement in ALF bombings.
Peace, 21, allegedly participated
in the March 11, 1997 bombing of the Fur Breeders Co-Op in Salt Lake,
Utah, that caused over $700,000 in damage. Peace is one of the activists
apparently implicated by Josh Ellerman, who is currently serving 7 years
in jail for his role in that bombing.
Blackmon, 23, is also wanted for
allegedly participating in the Fur Breeders Co-op bombing. In addition,
Blackmon is wanted for a July 17, 1996, break-in at a mink farm in Utah
which did $200,000 in damage.
Animal rights activists were
none too happy with having their dirty laundry aired on national television.
New West Research‘s Patricia Wolff wrote a scathing article that was posted
to an animal rights list claiming the show “targeted two animal liberationists
… and in so doing, smeared the entire animal rights movement.” Of
course since such large segments of the animal rights movement seem so
enamored of this sort of direct action, it seems a bit odd to blame America’s
Most Wanted for the animal rights movement penchant for defending even
violent extremists in their midst.
After all, AMW didn’t
force PETA president Alex Pacheco to say, “Arson, property destruction,
burglary and theft are ‘acceptable crimes’ when used for the animal cause.”
Wolff also lamented that the
“real criminals” – those who profit from the fur industry –
weren’t profiled. She complained that while a fur industry spokesman denounced
the destruction of the Fur Breeders Co-op as a “very violent and
terrorist-type act” there was “no mention of the violence of
and terrorism the fur industry commits against animals.”
There were also the pseudo-conspiratorial
claims from Wolff that seem a bit too common among animal rights
activists. Not understanding that society has an interest in punishing
individuals who place pipe bombs at legitimate businesses, Wolff claimed
“their [AMW’s] report is clearly politically motivated” (this
mirrors the line taken by some anti-abortion extremists about coverage
of abortion-related violence) and wondered “what role did the fur
industry have in all this?”
Uh, Patricia, they were the
victims of the bombing.