The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Dr. Walter Palmer, the Minnesota dentist who has sparked global fury after he hunted and killed the famous Cecil the Lion on a trip to Zimbabwe, is trying out a public relations tack: one half-apology for killing Cecil and one full-condemnation of the media and environmentalists for making a big stink of it.

In a statement given Wednesday to the local Fox station in the Twin Cities, Palmer says, in part:

I deeply regret that my pursuit of an activity I love and practice responsibly and legally resulted in the taking of this lion. That was never my intention. The media interest in this matter – along with a substantial number of comments and calls from people who are angered by this situation and by the practice of hunting in general – has disrupted our business and our ability to see our patients. For that disruption, I apologize profoundly for this inconvenience and promise you that we will do our best to resume normal operations as soon as possible. We are working to have patients with immediate needs referred to other dentists and will keep you informed of any additional developments. On behalf of all of us at River Bluff Dental, thank you for your support.

Palmer allegedly paid $50,000 to a pair of guides in Zimbabwe to help him lure Cecil out of the wildlife preserve before then killing the beloved animal. (And as a fun side note, it has also been reported that Palmer was a maxed-out donor to Mitt Romney in 2012.)

The people of Zimbabwe are understandably not very happy that a white man flew to their country for the purpose of killing an animal that had become the national mascot. But even in America, his actions have sparked a hearty round of public outrage, including protest signs and stuffed animal dolls being placed at his office.

But maybe Palmer really has an opportunity here to cultivate a political fanbase — among conservatives still nostalgic for colonialism and the Great White Hunter.

Photo via Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, University of Oxford.

Advertising

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

The privilege of beholding the corals of Belize, the second largest reef system on earth, is a complete marvel that can never be taken for granted. The school of nine squid in perfect alignment that stared at us like transparent sentinels ,the green barracuda that floated as if in suspended animation, looking for prey. Those moments of utter awe were soul transformative not only for a child, but also for parents nurturing a young human to the ultimate reason to exist on this earth, to care for life.

Over the next few years, a battle was waged between environmentalists and those who saw dollars in the form of oil extraction in the reef. Thankfully on December 1, 2015, right after the Cop21 Paris Climate Accord, Belize made the tremendous decision to ban drilling outright -- and is working hard to restore coral. The same cannot be said for many other fragile parts of the world particularly the warming Arctic, where Russia has a near stranglehold of more than half the Arctic Ocean.

Keep reading... Show less
Youtube Screenshot

The saturation of the ranks of our police forces with far-right extremists is one of the harsh realities of American life that bubbled up during the police brutality protests of 2020 and was laid bare by the January 6 insurrection. The presence of these extremists not only is a serious security and enforcement threat—particularly when it comes to dealing with far-right violence—but has created a toxic breach between our communities and the people they hire to protect and serve them. Too often, as in Portland, the resulting police culture has bred a hostility to their communities that expresses itself in biased enforcement and a stubborn unaccountability.

Much of this originates in police training, which are the foundations of cop culture. And a recent Reuters investigative report has found that police training in America is riddled with extremists: Their survey of police training firms—35 in all—that provide training to American police authorities found five of them employ (and in some cases, are operated by) men whose politics are unmistakably of the far-right extremist variety. And these five people alone are responsible for training hundreds of American cops every year.

Keep reading... Show less
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}