The presidential campaign is the biggest news story in the country, and there was no way Ginger Julian, co-editor-publisher of the Lakeside-based Animal Press, was going to be shut out.
So she set out to determine how George Bush and Michael Dukakis feel about animals--not the hard-core stuff like vivisection and research, but rather what kinds of pets they have and how they treat them.
She called the campaign offices in San Diego. Nothing. She tried the L.A. (Bush) and Sacramento (Dukakis) offices. Nothing again.
She tried the Washington (Bush) and Boston (Dukakis) offices. Multiple phone calls. Deadline fast approaching for the October edition (free circulation: 55,000 throughout Southern California and Arizona). The candidates appear to have other things on their minds.
Finally, the White House releases an official photo of Bush, his wife, Barbara, and his dog, Millie. The Bush campaign rushes Julian a copy of the Republican National Platform, which includes a pledge to try to avoid using animals for testing of drugs and cosmetics.
State Sen. David Roberti (D-Los Angeles), a longtime pet lover, secures for Julian a photo from the Dukakis family album showing young Michael squeezing a cat. She also learns that Dukakis and his wife had a dog for many years.
The story and pictures (“Will Our Next President be Kind to Animals?”) are splashed on the front page. The story notes that Dukakis has a daughter who is a vegetarian, and that the Reagan-Bush Administration has done little to enforce the Animal Welfare Act.
Julian and her husband and co-editor-publisher, Bruno Novi, are pleased with their dogged pursuit of the animal issue. A president who doesn’t respect animals can hardly be expected to care much for the rest of us either, they reason.
Still, Animal Press will not endorse either candidate. “I don’t believe in throwing around my influence as a publisher,” Julian said. “Our readers are not a bunch of sheep.”
Phantom of the High-Rise
When San Diego Metropolitan, a downtown monthly, published a spoof story in April, 1987, about a ghost haunting the Great American Building in downtown San Diego, it received many calls from the gullible and the curious.
In fact, the story provoked the biggest reaction in the publication’s history. So, naturally, editors decided to reprint it this month as part of the third anniversary edition.
Within days of the edition hitting the stands, the 24-story building has been evacuated four times (including Thursday): a blackout, two electrical fires and a safety system failure. Once again, the Metropolitan staff is fielding calls.
“One person begged us never to run the ghost story again,” editor Timothy Ryland said. “She said we’ve made the ghost mad, and they can’t take any more chances.”
An election year can inflame the passions, so it shouldn’t be surprising when teen-agers get into the act. Teen-agers, of course, have a unique mode of discourse.
Just how unique became apparent when a Clairemont couple received a contrite letter from a 13-year-old boy, who had been debating with the couple’s daughters over the relative merits of Bush and Dukakis.
“Please excuse my behavior the other day. I regret using the foul language and harsh gestures. I am also very sorry about baring my bottom. . . . I was just exercising my right to express my political views. I got carried away and was very rude.”
The hand-scrawled missive continues: ". . . I deeply apologize. Please do not contact my parents.”