The Independent today reports that Arsenal majority stakeholder and American Rich Person Stan Kroenke has launched a television channel in the UK devoted to “ethical, fair chase hunts.”
According to the report, the channel, which will cost UK viewers £9.99 a month, will show “regular hunting programmes that includes killing elephants, lions and other vulnerable African species.” The report elaborates on this “ethical” programming:
One programme shows a presenter shooting a critically endangered African elephant before the bull turns and charges at him. Two more shots are heard before the animal falls to the ground and dies.
Whatever the “merits” of this programming and its ethical standing, it is bad optics for the super-rich owner of Arsenal, already be-hated of many of the club’s supporters, to involve himself in activity of this sort. That such a television channel can exist is also testament to our ever-fracturing media landscape, where programming devoted solely to the ugly pursuit of a few super-rich folks can get this kind of backing.
While the channel’s backers insist that big-game hunting is a conservationist effort, indeed, the ONLY conservationist effort, that’s just their view:
...that defence was rejected by Philippa King, the chief operating officer of the League Against Cruel Sports, and she claimed that large parts of the money generated by trophy hunting does not go towards the conservation of endangered species.
But maybe my feelings about this are wrong, and hell, maybe my feelings are wrong, period, for as one of the channel’s presenters says, “There’s no other feeling in the world quite like walking up on your bull elephant.”