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Dr. Phil confronts a dog fighter

Love him or hate him, Dr. Phil did the right thing last night. At least in the eyes of the Dogtime editor.

Thursday March 31st, 2011

May 11, 2010

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Rob Rogers, face of animal abuse

Yesterday on The Dr. Phil Show: Dr. Phil confronts convicted and admitted dog fighter, Rob Rogers. Unlike Michael Vick, he never tried to hide his actions from the general public. Why? Because Rogers doesn't believe that dog fighting is immoral. Despite the images of maimed bodies and the sound clips of dogs literally screaming in terror, Rob Rogers claims it's a sport. The dogs, he says, like it.

Yes, it's sick and twisted and abhorrent. Does Rogers deserve even fifteen minutes of ridicule-laden fame? No. But I'm happy to expose him and his abject cruelty. Every job he tries to get, friend he tries to make, and most importantly, animal shelter or breeder he visits, people will know his face.

Rogers talked in circles about how good he is to his dogs and what great lives they have, outside the fighting ring. He claimed they like to fight and "choose" to do so. Dr. Phil, for his part, shot back with adjectives like "disgusting," "despicable," and "monstrous."

I figured if anyone could expose the ludicrousness of such a ridiculous argument, it would be Dr. Phil. I wanted him to ensnare Rogers with his own words until he had no way out of his twisted logic, forced to admit his barbarism. But ultimately for me, there was too much bluster and not enough intelligent hole-poking in Rogers's defense. Showmanship over substance.

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Also appeared on the show, and much easier to look at

Not that convincing Rogers he's a moron should be the goal. With people like him, no amount of logic, no matter how airtight, can penetrate such deep depravity. So my beef is not with Dr. Phil, and in fact, I'm deeply grateful he gave this issue the attention it so badly needs.

And I applaud him for inviting the guys from RescueInk.org to join Rogers on the stage. Rescue Ink is an in-your-face band of tough guys who couldn't be more committed to helping animals in need. The irony is that the image of the clean-cut Rogers contrasted starkly to the tattooed muscle heads, driving home the point that hero and criminal can arrive in any form. (In an embarrassingly satisfying Jerry Springer moment, one of the bikers, in effect, challenged Rogers to a brawl. The two men stood face to face, posturing, until show staff intervened.)

I will respectfully disagree with Dr. Phil on one point, though. He said he recognizes that Rogers is not a monster, just that dog fighting is a monstrous activity. My question is, What's the difference between one's actions and oneself? Answer: It doesn't matter.

- Leslie Smith

Did you tune in? If so, please post a comment letting us know your reaction.

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