As you know, the recent Court of Appeal decision around the Ontario dog ownership ban reversed the lower court's finding that two key provisions of the law were unconstitutional. 

The Court of Appeal upheld the law as 'reasonable' citing testimony by government expert witnesses.  The most prominent of these were a dog-catcher from Ohio and a Professor from Purdue (whose area of interest in unrelated to dog behaviour, genetics, training, breeding or much else that would be pertinent to the case).  The others were a couple of dog bite victims and rookie policemen.  None of the latter accurately identifed the banned purebreds and none identified the dogs they were shown in the same way.

These days it seems people can just make things up and they become true, with no need for any proof.

Prior to and after enactment of the law, the Attorney General frequently mentioned media reports as evidence that so-called 'pit bulls' (which don't exist) are a threat (rather than a statistically minute risk as all dogs are).  In court, the Crown mentioned news reports along with a few victim accounts as being the reason the government decided to act.

Nobody was verifying these news stories.  Nobody was able to accurately identify the dogs involved.  Details of what led to the incidents were scant to none.  It was all 'pit bulls' all the time because 'pit bulls' attract an audience and that's what news media are all about. 

Media enjoy some unique privileges.  They seem to be under no obligation to prove the truth of the statements they make.  They can broadcast utter nonsense, much of it inflammatory, and not have to retract their comments or even apologize for them.  For example, they can imply that all 'pit bull' owners are criminals or suggest that all 'pit bull' owners should be rounded up and shot without so much as a finger-wag from the Broadcast Standards Council.

Media seem to be able to say anything they want without any repercussions at all.

Since most news reports and columns about dogs in general and 'pit bulls' in particular are inaccurate to differing degrees, knowing that elected representatives would accept them as factual is very disturbing.

If media opinions, guesses and regurgitations of long-debunked myths about dogs are to be used as evidence in court to remove rights from citizens then we need to change the rules.  If erroneous reports (some of which are retracted) carry the same weight as scientific evidence or rigorously collected data, then to put it bluntly, we are all screwed.

Media, especially talk radio hosts, like to hide behind freedom of opinion.  While I fully support that right for everyone, if they wish to continue to produce obviously biased, unresearched, unverified stories - editorials - then we must stop accepting these stories as factual and see them for what they are - entertainment.  Why not use movie plots as factual evidence for a risk or threat?  It's not much of a stretch when you think about it.

I watched an interview with CBC journalist Melissa Fung who was kidnapped in Afghanistan.  She's quite a cool customer and not only feisty but charming.  One thing she said was that most of the news reports about her ordeal were inaccurate.  She said the article in the Globe and Mail didn't have anything right.  A journalist said that.  The Globe story was completely inaccurate.  Yet stories like that have been used as evidence that some dogs are more dangerous than others.

This decision by the Court gives an unprecedented amount of credibility to media.  As we have seen, that power can ruin peoples' lives, especially if it is used by careless, self-serving or just poorly informed legislators.  Media are not elected representatives, they are not scientists, they are not experts in anything but attracting an audience, which is their source of revenue.

Power without accountability is the recipe for tyranny.

It's time to demand that media outlets be held accountable in terms of accuracy and fair reporting if they are to be taken seriously.  Have your opinion, say it loud but base it on facts.

Anything else is unaccepable.

Now, about that breed, 'pit bull'...and those locking jaws...and that bite pressure...and the attacking without warning...and the 'friendly' retrievers...and the hypo-allergenic dogs...and the 4.7 million reported dog bites per year...and all the rest of it.

Got a source for that stuff, media outlets?  I mean a credible source, not just other media reports, which is what you usually use.