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DogSport Fireworks and Freedom


As we celebrate our Nation's Independence, think about what freedom means in the dog world and how justice works – or doesn’t when it comes to slandering judges.


Dog Sport fireworks for 4th of JulyJune 2017 update |

Barbara "BJ" Andrews, Editor-In-Chief, SAAB


A story teller is rarely taken to task over proof. That is why a whisper campaign is so effective. The unreliability of spoken “facts” was proven a decade ago in the CBS debacle, Rather’s Resignation, and other slanted news broadcasts.  Now President Trump is setting off fireworks, further shaking faith in both print and telecast news. That’s why is careful.


We respect Freedom Of The Press but take exception to AKC news presented as “facts” when they are not. A classic example is dog show judge George Boulton's case. When someone says they “know” something, ask how they know it. It often turns out that they actually know less than you do! After all, you get TheDogPress <grin> which accurately reports news and limits editorial opinion to the section you are in now.


Accused of being critical of AKC. I plead guilty.  My defense is that I’ve been an AKC disciple and a reporter for over forty years.  I love what the American Kennel Club has done for and to the sport.  Ditto Judges. 


So I question why AKC has been so notably non-specific about exactly what Boulton did that warranted his suspension? His transgression appears to be the “damn fool” remark which was taken out of context and as proven in the Trial Board, was in response to a hypothetical question, not about his friend Frank Sabella as has been widely whispered.  Pondering the implications of Bolton's AKC suspension, a reasonable person must conclude that no one would make such derogatory comments on national television as alleged. Who among us would work so hard to become a group-level, BIS judge and then risk it all, repeatedly, on camera? For the record, I have never spoken with George Boulton and know him not. I am simply posing logical questions.


Media howling in ecstasyAKC can do laughably stupid things given that they have excellent legal advice and PR people.  In this instance, the charges against Boulton should have been added to the “stupid stuff" list.  Instead, AKC's mouth organs dutifully presented his suspension as a lesson to all judges who would dare to make a verbal misstep. One might envision the faithful panting over inevitable results they were forbidden to talk about until the Trial Board added its stamp of approval to that which AKC intended.


But unpredictably (and admirably!) instead of howling in ecstasy, insiders were left gasping in disbelief when the trial backfired!  Judges who would have been sternly warned “get out of line - get out of work” were strengthened instead of scared. What happened?


The simple fact is that George Boulton is NOT the fool he was portrayed to be. Had that been true, he would have bowed to the inevitable and accepted the consequences. Instead, an innocent man sought help. He hired a top notch lawyer who could not be intimidated. The fireworks crowd was worried. The story blew up and was ignited…


Now comes AKC's Damage Control. Imagine yourself in a situation wherein the only recourse is to either admit defeat (unheard of!) or dip into the black powder barrel and blow up that pesky decision. Someone suggests there might be “evidence” the trial board didn’t know about. A quick-thinking member of the brain-storming session says it wouldn’t be hard to leak the existence of “more evidence” and that favor-seekers would happily shoot off their mouths about it and effectively defuse the mess.


The decision is made to send the mindless minions out to convince people that what happened didn’t.  Count that mythical meeting as Fireworks Failed!!  In fact, the explosive boo-boo turned into a dud smoldering at both ends.


Either this guy AKC considered worthy of its ultimate stamp of approval turned into a blithering, loose-mouthed idiot or AKC’s judgment of judges is not to be trusted.  A decade later, thanks to the mainstream media, we know how the press can be aimed at people the current leaders want to destroy.  Yep, I thought about the AKC machine when watching press coverage of Donald Trump. 


Dog show judge George Bolton and Donald Trump both shared unfair, biased treatment by the press.  In Bolton's case, we're told the temporary lure of TV stardom made a successful judge throw away a lifetime of achievement for the opportunity to throw repeated insults at the sport and his fellow judges, week after week, episode after episode? Preposterous!  Judge Bolton is the same person AKC approved to represent the sport! 


That's like saying the most world's most famous deal-maker and business man is a fool. The people spoke pretty loud to the crooked media, electing Trump as President.  Sadly, dog show people, among the most opinionated groups in America, said nothing in defense of one of their own.


You remember the anti-Trump media campaign regardless of how you voted.  What about the AKC trying to prove someone they qualified to judge is a fool?  The fireworks started when word went out that Boulton signed a contract he didn’t read. We might assume that the TV producers were using a standard contract that hundreds of attorneys have haggled over and refined. So “foolish” Boulton signed the contract without reading – or understanding it.


There, that proves everything.


Makes you sizzle eh?  That is you and me they are talking about!  Every person who ever bought a car should forfeit it because we didn’t read what we believed to be a standard contract? Have we ever signed a contract we didn’t fully understand?  In fact, that is why they have attorneys and judges - to interpret complex, often sneaky contractual agreements?  Donald Trump might have dissected that TV contract.  George Bolton got snookered.


These political fireworks might be termed “judgment errors” but would cost a corporate exec his job if it ever got out to the stockholders. Stockholders are voters. We are the people who elect Delegates who represent us to the governing body. We are descendants of brave people who fought for justice.  Hey, that's why we celebrate our Declaration Of Independence.


For those who find the seat getting hard, the fireworks too long delayed and thunder rumbling, remember and be thankful you live in the United States Of America. When you celebrate next week, let it be about “Liberty and justice for all.”


Barbara "BJ" Andrews Bio

Think of these words from the The American’s Creed by William Tyler Page as printed in the April 13, 1918 Congressional Record “a Government of the people by the people, for the people, whose just powers are derived from the consent of the governed.”


George Boulton has filed an appeal.  Is it the end of the show, the "Grand Finale" or the beginning of more fireworks?  This was published June 28, 2006 but with a little update, we felt it was an appropriate reminder for July 2017! You've had the background, now read  AKC vs Boulton 1 - Trial and learn HOW there can be justice in the dog sport.



OR if you're feeling patriotic see displays below.  Or you can go back to the Editorial Index


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