An Open Letter to CNN and John Berman

Following the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, CNN’s John Berman and Alisyn Camerota spent a few moments on the show, and our letter (which follows) is in response. Watch the segment first:

To John Berman and CNN:

In the event that your ignorance of dog shows in general, and Poodles in particular is genuine, a few facts to enlighten you:

The uniquely shaved areas and pompons of hair on a Poodle are a direct result of the breed’s sporting heritage as a retriever, a job it can still perform today. Hair was left long over the Poodle’s joints, head and chest as a means to protect the brain and vital organs from cold water, while the hindquarter and face were shaved to enhance swimming through water by reducing resistance, and minimizing the chance of water debris getting tangled in the coat. Over the centuries, people embellished the coat to be more stylized because it’s what we humans seem to do, but the Poodle coat you ridiculed is rooted in purpose.

So are dog shows.

For at least two centuries, people have gathered in pubs, tents, and farm kitchens to evaluate each other’s dogs both for their ability to do the job for which their breed was created, and for their potential as breeding stock. From putting food on the table and protecting livestock, to herding sheep and ridding the farm of vermin, dogs have been helpmates to man. Over time, formal settings – namely, dog shows – were organized to assess these dogs. Dog shows have evolved to be social and spectator events, but their purpose has never changed: Appraise a dog’s adherence to its breed standard, and subsequently, its value in a breeding program to create the next generation of its breed.

As an alleged reporter who has covered stories from Iraq to Lebanon, you are presumed to have an insatiable desire to learn the truth and report facts, but your appalling coverage of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show smacks of an opinion rooted in ignorance, or worse, an indication that you have bought into the radical animal rights message, an agenda that will ultimately bring about the demise of the precious bond between humans and their dogs.

We challenge you to do your job the way it’s supposed to be done. Report on the work that purebred dogs are doing that help save endangered species, make life tolerable for a military veteran, or bring comfort to the sick. Learn why some beloved dog breeds are on the brink of extinction, and then shadow a heritage breeder to learn how these people are providing the next generation of purpose-bred dogs who make a difference in the lives of the people who need them. We think we can change your mind.



124 thoughts on “An Open Letter to CNN and John Berman”

  1. You go girl! Nicely said. Now if you’d read the Sports Illustrated article and do the same.

    • Carla, what Sports Illustrated article are you referring to? I would like to read it myself.

      • Oh Sports Illustrated called Poodles rats and reporter even said he was scared of dogs, but it was a horrible article

      • Thank you for educating CNN. Their lack of education in so many areas is why I changed from an CNN dedicated viewer to a more informed news channel.

    • Sad very …very sad! He knows nothing before sprouting his hack voice off!
      Mr Berman likely has a cockadoodle from the shelter! He likely used publicity when buying it….spending less on that dog than his morning coffee maker,
      He needs to ask two simple questions.
      1 why do we have so many dogs in shelters across America!
      2 where would mans best friend be without the dedicated craft of breeders and what does the future look like?!?

      • He also needs to observe the nature of dogs in a shelter – less than 10 per cent will be purebred dogs!

    • he would have been smarter to say that the poodle would not survive if it jumped into the water with the 12 cans of hair spay on it to retrieve something.

    • C’mon people! There are millions of animals getting slaughtered a day in the world, while another millions are abused. Get offended by that!

      • The dog fancy and dog community at large have a great capacity for understanding and lamenting animal suffering, Laura. In one way or another, we have found that our readers belong, contribute, or participate in charitable organizations, or are involved in rescue. The greater question is why heritage breeders, purebred dogs and the dog fancy are targets of animal rights groups when, as you say, millions of animals getting abused which should be the real focus of their wrath.

  2. CNN has lost it’s journalism credentials through its obvious bias and nasty rhetoric! We need a return of genuine

    • Janet Snoddy, CNN lost its journalism credentials long ago with its brand of sensationalism “news” reporting.

    • Here, here I’m so sick of reporters as a whole! Ones such as Mr Berman speaking out with no knowledge of what breeders go thru to be sure the lines are improved is just another shot of ignorance who forgot what was taught in school and think they are better because of being “on air”. He should be suspended until educated and then issues an apology for this horrible example of journalism!

  3. IF CNN wants to be valued for honest reporting then do just that! Not someone’s biased opinion. Learn the FACTS!

    • There was a day – the day of Charlie Caudill and Mark Leff and others. Unfortunately, that day is long gone.

  4. Who is John Berman? I never watch CNN, since they totally ignored the allies in the Gulf War in their coverage.

    Sounds like nothing has changed!

    • Excellent letter. The news is supposed to be factual, not loaded with ignorant opinions and rants. I was disgusted. The man needs to educate himself.

      • Bash CNN all you want, but they are more of a real news station than those professional liars trump has bought and paid for. I love the Westminster Dog Show, but their response is a bit smarmy, I expected a more classy response from W.D.S

        • There is always that one person who never misses a chance to infuse their political opinion into something utterly unrelated to politics. Our topic is a dog show and a Poodle. Our comment was addressed to a newscaster who shared a viewpoint that is now getting push back. And that’s pretty much it.

  5. Mr. Berman and CNN I am extremely disappointed with your inaccurate comments about the Dog Show which you clearly know nothing about. I have always felt our news reporters should accurately report the facts, not their options especially when they have no knowledge of the subject. If you do this with dog shows, what are you doing with the rest of the news?

  6. Elitist? Look in the mirror. Do a bit of research before you critique a sport of which you know nothing.

  7. Perfect. Lost total respect for CNN and John Berman , All their credibility for reporting is gone. Wont watch CNN ever again.

  8. Dear John
    Obviously you have no clue of which you speak. Those dogs are most pampered, Spending most of there day with there owner or handler. There handlers and breeders owners do a immense amount of health testing, feed them the best, dont go on vacation cause they dont want to leave them. These are not puppy mill dogs, not mutts. You know exactly what your getting with a purposely bred dog from a breeder whos been doing it for years. Pet quality or Show quality. And they stand behind there dogs for life.

    • Amen ! This ignorance is mind blowing! Goldens and labs are mutts? Im sorry your sadly mistaken. Just as much time, money and sacrifice into those breeds as any other at the show. These people have worked HARD to breed a dog worthy of Westminister. The health testing,trainning and grooming that goes into these dogs is probably more than you do with your children cnn. Your blatant disrespect of the breeders ,exhibitors ,judges and WINNERS is disgusting. People work on this their whole lives to have the PRIVILEGE of being invited to the superbowl of dog shows. How do u think your comments made that sweet KNOWLEDGEABLE, AND HIGHLY QUALIFIED judge feel? Or how about the poodles breeders and handler feel? To be disgraced like that on national t.v. you are supposed to be reputable CNN and now your just a disgraced joke. You poked a bear on this one. Im sure in any other sport you would show some respect when reporting. I really hope wkc openly comments on your poor reporting of what a dog show is all about. Heres a bit of knowledge for u, its not about a haircut and its not a popularity contest. Winners are chosen by who conforms best to their breed standard, movement and type. Research it, then the right thing to do is come out with a classier statement about how your apologizing for your ignorance. But its cnn so i guess you truly are the bottom of the barrel now.cnn will never be on in my house again. Smh

      • It used to be you needed to be in the top 5 or 10 in your breed to get an invitation to Westminster. Today, if you have the money for the entry, any dog can be entered. With all the professional handlers in the ring, it is very difficult for a breeder who shows their own dog to win. One judge, not at Westminster, was overheard telling a contestant who was not a pro handler that he would always put up a pro because “that’s how they earn their living”. I have been at a show where a judge who used to be a breeder of the breed she was judging, asked one of the handlers, which one of the dogs he was showing did he want her to put up. I reported this to the President of the club and got a nasty reply back from one of the club members. It may not be “fixed”, but the deck is stacked in favor of pro handlers.

        • Sheila, we hear this a lot, but we regard ourselves as the “poster child” for success in a nobody, and went pretty far not not being a professional handler (and certainly 20 years before we ever thought of NPDD). There are judges who not only will put up a ‘nobody,” but delight in discovering a great dog. That said, we don’t doubt for a minute the conversation that was overheard between a competitor and a show judge, and to us, that smacks of an “old school” judge, and an insecure one, at that. We admire you for reporting this to the club president, and hope everyone would do the same, but we’re disheartened to hear of the response you got. We live in times that are increasingly threatening to breeders, our dogs, and the fancy. It is probably the “Pollyanna” gene in us that won’t let us give up, but we truly believe that the day is coming when the shenanigans you report won’t be tolerated by anyone.

  9. John Berman you know not what you speak of, and until you do you shouldn’t say anything. This is a sport, you may not like who wins but that doesn’t mean they didn’t deserve it. You sound like you are brainwashed by AR movement. There won’t be any pet dogs or any animal if they have their way.

  10. Thank you well put, saying that I believe every dogs has a purpose even the ones that were so called mutts. I find that term offensive and every dogs deserves better…I hope CNN takes notice and retracts their comments Mr. Berman I do expect better from you as a professional.

  11. Many are dumbfounded by the brazenly uneducated & insensitive comments from this “news commentator.” Take the time to research your subject, instead of making it a dark comedy. Now, go put your nose in the corner – sit – stay until you’ve done your homework and can give an intelligent report.

  12. Very good!!! I am just sick of the ridicule dog shows, purposely bred dogs get all the time!! So many people have devoted their lives to the improvement of breeds that they love and to help educate the public. Yes, you can go to the shelter and save a dog, which is noble, but many times people need a dog for a specific purpose, or know that it definitely won’t shed (not so with doodles much of the time) and you should want to know your new dog/puppy background, parents, health etc….and if things do not work out for some reason, the responsible breeder will take the dog/puppy back and find it a new home or keep it. Pet shops, puppy mills, internet sales will not be helping you once the puppy is out of its hands and they have your money.

  13. Thank you for this detailed response to this dunce….his ignorant rant about Dog Shows and Poodles is unacceptable…

  14. Thank you, well written. His public opinion was extremely naive and hopefully he educates himself before he speaks. I also think he should apologize to all in the sport. The sport is arguably older than the super bowl and these dogs have been bred to standards for many many years.

    Being the cutest or a certain breed is not why makes you win! You need to fit the breed standard of the breed. The poodle had exemplary type. She was sooo poodle!! The golden is beautiful too, but one must ask; is that one of the best ones you have ever seen in the breed!? Because that is one of the best typey Poodles I have seen!!!

  15. I have been in Pure breed dogs for over 50 years. Retrievers for most of that time. The stylized grooming of poodles bears no resemblance to the original breed that was in fact a water retriever. Maybe the Breed club needs to be more concerned in maintaining the poodles original purpose and temperament rather than a ridiculous grooming style.

    • It’s hair, Jeanne. Just hair. And the Poodle Club of America routinely offers AKC Hunting Tests, Tracking Tests, Upland Certificates and WC/WCX Premiums. It doesn’t seem to us that they’ve forgotten their retrieving heritage.

      • There are trainers in both South Carolina and Georgia who train poodles exclusively for waterfowl hunters. See Garden & Gun for an article of a trainer who became totally converted to training poodles for both their brains and instinct!

    • Jeanne, If you would listen to announcers and talk to breeders about the show trims on Poodles, you would soon learn that the clip is described as an evolution of the utilitarian trims on the original hunting Poodles … the trims were an answer to the necessity to protect dogs from freezing water, and still keep him from becoming waterlogged and possibly drowning.

      I am becoming increasingly worn out with people who can do nothing but criticize those who’ve worked and invented innovative ways of preserving breeds which no longer have a utilitarian purpose in the “real world,” but which have so many desirable qualities as a breed, that they deserved to be preserved. We all need to learn to look at our sport from a wider, more universal point of view, rather than to be so narrowly critical of what others are doing to survive.

    • Jeanne, the poodle can be shown in a shorter historically correct continental cut, and many dogs have won and finished in one, but some people prefer the look of the longer topknot and ears. When at home they’re all just dogs though.

    • Jeanne I’ve seen standards with conformation championships, in full show coat, earn hunting titles and pass water tests. While the cuts are obviously highly stylized from that which existed many years ago – don’t confuse a haircut with the purpose and functionality of the dog because you would be wrong. A dog cannot do it’s job properly unless it can move properly and the bitch that won on Tuesday night can move as “properly” as anything I’ve every seen! A haircut does not define the animal. I can assure you that a tremendous amount of time and energy also went into the coats on the Havanese, the Sheltie, and the Golden but no one thinks less of them for it.

    • Jeanne the Golden was a very nice dog but does he fit the standard of 50 yrs ago or of the working Golden. He has a lot of hair and is groomed because he was in a dog show! Same with the Poodle!

  16. Sorry, but John is very ignorant on this subject. He had no business reporting on something he knows nothing about…it’s like a priest doing marriage counseling. Educate yourself John. I am not a fan of the show clip, but Standard Poodles are a fantastic, versatile breed of dog. Fact is, they really should be in the Sporting breed group for their strong ability in retrieving water fowl. They are also great therapy dogs.
    John, go home. Read a book on the Standard Poodle and the history of the breed before reporting such nonsense.

  17. I get where you were coming from, I too, think they look silly. But as it was explained to you their coat and the cut had/have a purpose. Unfortunately too many politically correct policemen are now on patrol. Just apologize and get on with your lives.

  18. That was awful on John Berman’s part!! I will not watch that show again because I don’t trust anything he says. Disgusted with him.

    • That is my feeling exactly…I will never believe any word coming out of his mouth nor will I watch his programming..Tell me lies won’t get the second chance..

  19. As a professional groomer for over two decades, I saw a beautiful, happy, well kept, healthy dog win.

    Also my MUTT is registered with the AKC Canine Partners and can absolutely compete in AKC sports.

    This man knows NOTHING about AKC or breeding.

    • Thanks for the input, Crystal.We suspect he didn’t know that about AKC Canine Partners.

  20. Do your due diligence as a journalist and actually attend a show and talk to: breeders, owners, handlers in the sport. What do you know about pedigrees, the difference between line-breeding and “inbreeding” which you so hatefully ranted about. I suspect this topic is much more complicated than you realize when you put your opinion out there, and while you might have pandered to a portion of the uneducated public who has never attended nor looked into this sport, I doubt your realized the power of the people who not only love and support this sport, but how many people are impacted, weekend after weekend by this sport. This is a FAMILY sport, loved my millions of people who love millions of dogs. Please go educated yourself before you speak about it. Come to a show. I’ll show you around. Elaine Berg, Doberman PInscher owner, show dogs. Evergreen, Colorado.

  21. An excellent reply. For all those people who seem to assume that we are elitists because we want to protect dogs as a species, in general, and think mixed breeds are ‘the best’: what you are saying is w you accept that irresponsible idiots who allow their dogs to r breed randomly, out of laziness or greed, should be able to choose your dog for YOU. That’s what they do. Worse, they’ve convinced a lot of do-gooders to demonize hobby breeders. The irony is those ‘backyard breeders’ filling our shelters, not hobby breeders or fanciers. If you continue to think the mindset of random breeding will produce a genetically more sound dog…LOL…soon, you will not be able to choose a dog by size, coat type, or temperament, use some sense and explore the facts.

  22. John Berman I wont be slamming you, but sir please do your research and learn about this purposely bred dog. I guarantee you once you learn about this amazing breed you also will look past the grooming and appreciate this very noble breed! and they are the most wonderful companion dogs!

  23. poodle elitist, my ass !! every dog/breed in that ring is just as elite and discreet as any poodle. we are proud to be purebred breeders and john needs to learn what he’s talking about from the people who do it.

  24. I watch CNN daily along with MSNBC. However after hearing such ignorant remarks made by John Berman regarding Siba, the gorgeous Standard Poodle that deservedly won the coveted Best in Show title, I will ONLY watch MSNBC. Mr Bergman’s remarks reflect his total ignorance regarding poodles, the value of
    dog shows and pure bred dogs. I wonder how many other remarks made by this TV anchor reflect such a lack of knowledge of the subject matter. Sorry Mr. Berman.. you appalled and shocked me by showing your true uninformed, opinionated, small minded person. You should rescind your remarks and apologize for having offended so many people involved in the world of pure bred dogs. Shame on you!!

  25. Hey CNN are you hiring? I know a ton of people who would love a job in broadcasting and it seems to me you don’t require yours to do their due diligence prior to airing on live TV. You should be more than embarrassed to have John Berman open his mouth in regards to the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show! If you aren’t then shame on your entire company because he did nothing less than make a complete fool of himself and CNN both by the words he spoke and his lack of knowledge and clear vision. It was blatantly obvious the man has ZERO knowledge of dogs, breeding nor the dog show circuit! I am a breeder. My dogs are happy & healthy, nothing short of it. One of the dogs I produced won the breed & went on to win a Terrier Group 3 in 2018. Another was shown there this year. Both are much more pleasant and happier than John Berman….I’m questioning if either of them actually couldn’t take his job!

  26. Jeanne, If you would listen to announcers and talk to breeders about the show trims on Poodles, you would soon learn that the clip is described as an evolution of the utilitarian trims on the original hunting Poodles … the trims were an answer to the necessity to protect dogs from freezing water, and still keep him from becoming waterlogged and possibly drowning.

    I am becoming increasingly worn out with people who can do nothing but criticize those who’ve worked and invented innovative ways of preserving breeds which no longer have a utilitarian purpose in the “real world,” but which have so many desirable qualities as a breed, that they deserved to be preserved. We all need to learn to look at our sport from a wider, more universal point of view, rather than to be so narrowly critical of what others are doing to survive.

  27. Thank you, thank you, thank you, National Purebred Dog Day! I was stunned, horrified and truly disgusted by Mr. Berman’s inexplicably unprofessional conduct on air. Honestly, I don’t usually complain about other professional’s bad conduct or demand retractions, etc. But I already sent CNN a complaint demanding that Mr. Berman apologize, and that, further, he be required to go and get himself an education. A real education. Scientists have already demonstrated conclusively that dogs are responsible for the survival of the homo sapien species (us!) and that they have co-evolved with us in ways that have changed each other’s brains, and even our economic institutions like agriculture. The human-dog relationship is ancient and sacred. Mr. Berman is clueless and an embarrassment. Please keep us posted as to the outcome of this wonderful open letter of yours. I am on the team of people willing to work, spend time, followup, and put some effort into getting a better outcome in this matter with CNN. Let me know how I can help. Seriously. Thank you.

  28. There are a lot of sins in the animal husbandry world Mr. Berman could go after and get full throated support, including irresponsible dog, cat, and pet breeders who are only out to make a buck, but dog shows run by and for reputable and responsible dog breeders and owners is not one of them. An apology is due.

  29. How ignorant and insensitive can John Berman be? Since the 1800’s breeders have worked tirelessly to make dogs the very best that they can be. And 144 Westminster shows later, they get this kind of inaccurate journalism from CNN? How disrespectful Mr. Berman is to this amazing institution that is so steeped in tradition. I have always trusted CNN. And now John Berman has tarnished it. The dog Show community is a huge and powerful entity. They will not give up on this. There is no humor in this very serious matter. Television personality’s have been let go for less. Please CNN, Let him go. Do the right thing.

  30. Wow! I have never once heard a reporter give such bias on any subject. I would hope that CNN reprimanded this reporter even before any responses could be written.
    Excellent letter back. Thank you!

      • As we are not Poodle fanciers, Diane, we can’t answer your question with any authority, and perhaps a Poodle person will chime in. Until then, to our knowledge, the topknot is created by brushing and teasing the head coat. The AKC stipulates that foreign substances are not allowed in a dog’s coat, and if hairspray is used, it suggests to us that the dog lacks proper coat texture. We were able to watch some of the grooming on “London,” the Poodle who won Best in Show at the 2011 AKC National Championship (and as it happens, he is the grandfather of “Siba,” the Poodle who just won Best in Show at Westminster). Grooming a Poodle to look like London and Siba is labor intensive, but we saw nothing to suggest any shenanigans insofar as a foreign substance or hairpiece being put into the dog’s coat. That said, does it happen? We have to suspect that there are Poodle individuals who probably cheat, but speaking for ourselves, we’ve not seen it.

  31. What horrible coverage they gave of the dog show. Imagine a CNN reporter showing their ignorance by being overly judgmental based on nothing rooted in fact, oh wait…

  32. John Berman – would you sit there in front of the camera in bib coveralls and a dirty shirt – fresh out of a day doing yardwork? I doubt it. If you were attending an awards banquet, having been nominated and hoping to win, would you go in your workout sweats? I doubt it. I’d be willing to bet you even put on a suit and tie to go to the ballet or opera – or even a nice restaurant!

    Of course those dog were meticulously groomed! That was the culmination of years of hard work just to get into the show, and to even be awarded a spot in the line-up is phenominal. It took far more dedication than you ever had to exert to get to where you are – simply learning to read the teleprompter and make lame attempts at dullard humor.

    And Alisyn Camerota – would you sit there without your hair done and make-up on? I doubt that, too. Did you really think you are rising to a higher level by laughing at Berman’s lame jokes, rather than to show you can appear far more intelligent by shutting him down?

    Every dog at that venue – and virtually ANY dog active in the sport – is judged with more scrutiny than a CNN reporter. You just proved it.

  33. John was repeating a viewers words not expressing his feelings. I saw the segment
    I don’t like the viewers comments but John did not mean it was his opinion.
    They should have mentioned positive viewers comments as well.

    • he admitted he feels that way and has said it is no secret he feels this way. i saw the clip , it was not a viewers comments, it was his own ignorant, uneducated, biased thoughts that had no place on the news.

  34. Mr. Berman,
    It would be nice if you, as a “reporter”, would do some research and give facts not opinions!! CNN you should be careful who you hire!! You will and have lost viewers since his entirely false and disgraceful non-reporting of a beautiful event.
    SHAME on BOTH you!
    A Democrat who has lost faith in you.

  35. Obviously John Berman is ignorant to purebred and well bred dogs and dog shows. The response letter was nicely said. How did such an ass get onto CNN?

  36. Why are reporters and news anchors allowed to use their programs as their personal bully pulpits? Jon is way off base on this, and his comments would be better served around the water cooler than on the air. As a dog fancier and owner of two show dogs, I can say without reservation, if a dog is not having fun, the breeder or handler will not show it. Show dogs enjoy the ring, they get attention and treats and they’ve been exposed to it for most of their lives. A little research before making uninformed comments would go a long way. Jon would never talk that way about political events, did he feel safe in attacking dog shows. Pompous? Elitist? I work for a living. Showing dogs is a personal hobby. I would like to see Jon make a public retraction for his negative comments. Everyone is entitled to their interests and dog show people/professional breeders should not be condemned because Jon doesn’t like them.

  37. Dear John, have you not heard? It is always better to stay quiet and have others think you are a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. What a disgraceful display of bona fide ignorance.

  38. I have had show Weimaraners for 20 Years. I have also been involved in Weimaraner Rescue for as many Years. Let me tell you John Bernman your ignorance is unbelievable. It is not the Preservation breeders that you need to belittle! Our dogs are cherished companions, not only in conformation shows but many compete in performance events from human scent tracking to Obedience and so much more. Instead of sitting in front of the TV watching the likes of you – we are out doing things. How about going after disgusting people such as Michael Vicks the dog fighter you would probably call him a celebrity. Shame on you you are not fit being a newscaster or whatever you call yourself.

  39. I have had show Weimaraners for 20 Years. I have also been involved in Weimaraner Rescue for as many Years. Let me tell you John Berman your ignorance is unbelievable. It is not the Preservation breeders that you need to belittle! Our dogs are cherished companions, not only in conformation shows but many compete in performance events from human scent tracking to Obedience and so much more. Instead of sitting in front of the TV watching the likes of you – we are out doing things. How about going after disgusting people such as Michael Vicks the dog fighter you would probably call him a celebrity. Shame on you – you are not fit being a newscaster or whatever you call yourself.

  40. John Berman I am disappointed in you. I look to CNN as a source of well researched information and we get this!!!
    As a preservation breeder of Irish Wolfhounds, you have not a clue of how we much sweat, tears and money it takes to produce healthy, socialized pups. Save your ignorant comments for the puppy mills😠

  41. Well John. Because you know nothing of dog shows, your “outrage” is shown to be ridiculous . On this subject, not only are you 100% incorrect on every count, you have shown that your reporting on everything must now be scrutinized for untruths. Try not being a total, uneducated ass for once. Or even better, just shut up when you’ve got nothing good to say.

    • Everyone has certainly expressed what is so true about this sport. I would like John to know that alot of youths participate in this sport. Does he have any idea the joy this sport brings to both children and dogs. The junior handlers are well educated in the breeds bone, and muscule structure, history of the breeds, how to bond and train their dogs in the most ethical way. They spend everyday having fun, caring, grooming and developing a bond with their dogs that most people will never experience. Why don’t you take the time to talk to the junior handlers and tell them how you feel. I’m sure they could educate you on a few thing. And I am sure if he saw these children work with their best friends, he would then know the dogs love being at shows as much as the people do. Thank you

  42. I love poodles and it is obvious you know nothing of the breed or the purpose of the show clip.
    Poodles are highly intelligent, fun and loving. I have had 4 miniatures and each one has been
    A jewel. Siba is a gorgeous standard poodle who is healthy and happy. You can tell she loved strutting her stuff at the show. Why don’t you research and ask questions before giving a negative report. Shame on you.

  43. #YouWishYouWereMyShowDog

    My comments to CNN – John Berman’s nasty and uneducated comments about the sport of showing dogs, are uncalled for. He needs to be educated! How about you educate him by sending him to Westminster with a guide so he can learn? I will volunteer to be that person next year!. In fact, if you could get him to the Louisville show in March, I will take him around and show him what it’s really like to own a show dog. I started showing dogs 10 years ago and it has only deepened my love for my breed and put me in direct connections with amazing friends that are more like family! My dogs are healthy, well cared for, groomed and spend time on the couch just like any other dogs, but they also show. In fact, I’m going to suggest you let him read this post by a fellow dog aficionado. It basically says everything that needs to be said.

    An apology is warranted.

    The entire dog fancy is waiting!

    • Shame on you, CNN! – This dialog of two poorly educated reporters about Westminster Dog Show is disrespectful and very unprofessional. They owe apologies.

  44. You Sir are Ignorant and uneducated . The work involved in this sport to get a dog ready, you wouldn’t have a clue about ! The efforts people go to and care take these breeds for future generations to come so that Mans best friend can keep going and keep breeding the things in which make that breed the way it is .We don’t all fit one box so we don’t all want the same breed. My guess is that you just made the people that own that Poodle feel down . Please step up and be a better human being .

  45. His ignorant opinion was totally out of line. They are there to report the news, this is not your personal Saturday Night Live sketch! More than an apology is needed here, you are an insult! I could care less about your “ Poodlephobia” ignorant doesn’t even begin to describe your knowledge on dog shows and purebred dogs

  46. Very well done letter. As a breeder, owner and exhibitor of purebred dogs for more than 25 years I am extremely offended by Mr. Berman’s comments. I cannot believe that CNN would condone this type of uneducated comment by a staff member go without ramifications. Until such time as there is acknowledgement by Mr. Berman AND CNN that this was a personal opinion which was unfounded and inaccurate, I also will no longer support CNN and will discourage others from supporting them. I sincerely hope Mr. Berman will do the right thing and take the time ” to learn the truth and report facts” as is expected of people in his chosen profession.

    • Thank you, Karen. The letter was a knee jerk reaction to what we saw as an unfair and uniformed characterization. Since Mr. Berman did the same thing a couple of years ago when Flynn, the Bichon Frise, won Best in Show at Westminster, we detect a trend that’s unlikely to change without a serious intervention. Perhaps this time, the deluge of posts, tweets, and emails protesting his action will work.

  47. Some should not make statements with such conviction on a subject they know nothing about. Standard poodles are amazing dogs and have higher intellect then these two idiots..

  48. Thank you for your well written “love Letter” to CNN!! You have reenforced the decision I made several years ago to stop watching their biased versions of the news! It was “silver for Siba” all the way…
    Thank you again!

  49. Glad I do not and will not watch CNN. John Bergman’s unprofessional comments are fodder for firing him. Shame on you. CNN, what the hell is wrong with you that you let this childish reporter represent your channel? His ignorance is profound.

  50. Hey John…
    I’ve been training, showing and breeding Flatcoated Retrievers for 30 years, and doing rescue for equally as long. Tell ya what… Come to a show, any show, and where ever you choose, I will fly there and be your guide for the day! Let me show you what goes on behind the scenes. I’ll introduce you to breeders who have put their blood, sweat and tears into their beloved dogs, teach you about pedigrees, and why we do what we do… You just let me know! Let’s get you educated!!
    (This reminds me of Betsy deVos being in charge of education. Another person who knows nothing about what she is speaking about.)

  51. And “they” wonder why they’re called FAKE NEWS!? Well this is why! Giving opinions instead of seeking facts prior to flapping their gums. Shame on them for name calling dogs for crying out loud, and making bullying remarks!

  52. Dear John,
    Your lack of knowledge is unbelievable! How dare CNN to allow you to write an article like that! Show dogs are healthy and by far better cared for then the average pet! Those shiny coats don’t happen over night! Those dogs are more socialized and trained then your average house pet! Breeders, handlers, trainers spend hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars to get one dog ready for this level of competition!
    A house pet couldn’t handle that situation. They be scared to death of the noises and action all around!
    The dogs love what they are doing!

  53. I used to be a reporter, but now it is all pushing an agenda. It looks like Mr. Bergman’s agenda is just to stir up a hornet’s nest of controversy. I have shown dogs for 30+ years and it is anything but elitist. There are people from all walks of life. People could take a page out of life of people who show dogs. You have Christians and gays, poor and rich, young and old, men and women all working to advance this one creature, call “dog”. It is not just about conformation shows as you saw on the broadcast, but also agility, obedience, tracking, scent work, herding, and hunting. I love dog shows because there is something for everyone and dogs get to have fun. Mr. Bergman actually needs to attend a dog show and see for himself, rather than pontificating on what he doesn’t know.

  54. My poor show dogs eat better, have better medical treatment and have more fun than I do! I just pay for it all! LOL. Does this look like the face of an abused, un-loved dog?

  55. Outrageous! Poodles are not mutts! Get your facts straight! Both of you should be fired! Your comments were completely uncalled for!
    You know nothing of showing! Conformation class is for purebred breed standards. Of course mutts are not allowed! But they can participate in Rally, Agility, Obedience, Fast Cat, Fly Ball, Barn Hunt and dock driving.

    Shame on you CNN for allowing this to be said about the dog show! Saying that a lap dog is a cat! Your a disgrace!

  56. Those remarks were ignorant and very disrespectful to those of us who have spent years striving to protect and make our bloodlines better. Not only that, but he should have done some research, a lot of research, about breeders. Does he know that dedicated show breeders are often among the first to assist animal control when they encounter a hoarding situation, or backyard breeders with dogs kept in small cages to do nothing but reproduce? It is breeders like us who take these dogs in, pay ourselves for medical care, socialize them (it can take many months, even years), all with the goal to one day place them with a loving family. Does he know that parent breed clubs donate thousands of dollars every year to causes like genetic research and rescue organizations (which most parent clubs have volunteers for). Did he pay attention as to how dogs are actually judged ( do with breed popularity). I watch & record New Day daily all the way through to Don Lemon daily. I respect the journalists, except john who has lost any credibility, his show I will no longer watch.

  57. I certainly hope CNN, and their ignorant employees, read this letter. Pathetic behavior from someone who is supposed to give unbiased and informative news. I’m done with CNN.

  58. I have no idea who John Berman is, but what an ignorant jerk. Judging from the small snippet, whining about mutts, I wouldn’t be able to withstand watching or listening to him for more than a minute.

  59. Done with CNN unless an apology and retraction are published. You have slandered an old, respected, sport and tradition and the people who love and participate in it. You, Sir, are an ass!!

  60. Hey John Berman you idiot…., open mouth, insert foot much? If you have no idea what you are talking about and haven’t done your fact-checking (oh, wait, sorry, I forgot you work for CNN) probably best to keep your closed-minded comments to yourself. Also, see pic attached of my “inbred, elitist Poodle” competing at Westminster….Yeah, she looks so unhappy to be there, doesn’t she……

    • A picture, as they say, is worth a 1,000 words! Thanks for sharing it, Diane!

  61. Berman needs to make a public apology to all involved!
    CNN has been my go to channel but that is easily changed. CNN needs control their staff and what goes out over the air. Ignorance and Insulting is not News! Facts! That is all we want!

  62. John Bergman owes an apology to the poodle, golden and everybody who participated in the show as well; perhaps they’re jealous the event did so nicely on another network.

    CNN owes it to every person who owns or likes a purebred dog a re-do special segment with a rep from Westminster. Someone who relates well on defending the purposeful purebred preservationist view… Perhaps Bill Shelton. Send them the facts about how many litters were born in the bottom 10 breeds and are in danger of becoming extinct, etc.
    I’m so outraged had I seen it live I would have been on the phone and on line. Other networks were so gracious to have Siba visit the studio.

    • Judging by the mail we’ve gotten and the comments we’ve heard, Mary Beth, there’s no shortage of people who can speak about purebred dogs and their heritage breeders, including you (see, we think every purebred dog owner is an ambassador). John Berman did this same thing a couple of years ago when the Bichon Frise won Best in Show at Westminster, and from this we conclude that it’s a “thing” with him. Perhaps this is the year he feels our wrath at his mischaracterization….

  63. Dog shows are abusive to animals? Nothing cold be further from the truth. You should be lucky enough to receive the love, care and health benefits of these dogs. Many of these same dogs leave the show ring and return to being therapy dogs, READ dogs, agility dogs, sniffer dogs, crisis response dogs, cadaver dogs, search and resist dogs and more. What all these dogs have in common is a human by their side who loves them and puts their welfare first. A good sample of this is the handler at Westminster this year whose dog made it all the way to the prestigious show, entered the show ring with his dog, and then chose to leave when it became clear that the dog wasn’t happy to be there that day
    Everyone who participates in any of these activities, including conformation shows and even family pet , will tell you that a human/dog bond must exist to do any of these things well, including being a pet. So all of these dogs at the shows and out there working are beloved creatures with an unparalleled level of trust between them and their people. How dare you announce to the world that these dogs are being mistreated. Go see them in their homes and daily lives, and you will want to retract your statement You should be muzzled.
    Attached: Training to deploy with the US Coast Guard

    • Marvelous picture, Aliza. As they say, one is worth a thousand words,

  64. Well, Mr Bergman, I do follow CNN and the news in general. Your total ignorance about Purebred dogs, Westminster, and in fact, dogs in general, show your total ignorance and lack of research in general. This makes me now question the truth in any stories you have reported on.

  65. I think one’s time would be better spent looking for a genuine news source (hint: you won’t find it on a television) than yelling at a “color commentator” on a questionnable “news” site. Nobody’s listening.

    • We hear you, Betsy, but if you look through the comments, you’ll find many people who have, in fact, listened to CNN, and many more we don’t know about. Wherever we find it, this kind of commentary needs to be challenged. What is it they say? The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing, but in case, it’s misinformed opinion.

  66. Just like the torture parents put their young daughters through at these abusive “beauty pageants” you do the same with these poor dogs.
    “Purpose” seriously, it’s a beauty pageant for dogs and their obsessive owners. It’s sad and you should all be ashamed of yourselves.
    You likely know nothing about John Berman, who by the way was making light (it’s called humour in case you wanted to try it) and his comments by no means warranted your over the top letter.

    • Sorry, Mary, you picked the wrong website on which to share your opinion, and certainly the wrong crowd with which to share it because you have revealed your ignorance among readers who know better. If we thought you would be honest with us, we’d be tempted to ask who the last heritage breeder was whom you visited to learn more about what they do. We’d ask about the last dog show you attended, and who walked with you to explain what you’re seeing. We’d inquire after the name of the last judge it was with whom you spoke who shared with you what they actually look for at a dog show. As it is, your comments are no more informed than Berman’s. But say, tell you what. The moment you decide you want to have an opinion rooted in fact, we’ll hook you up with someone who can show you the ropes, explain basic animal husbandry, take you to a dog show, and then let you cuddle with a litter of sound, health tested puppies who are the future of their breed. Say the word, we’ll make it happen.

    • That’s the problem with John Berman; he finds himself humorous. He and Alisyn Camerota crack each other up all the time. I don’t find them remotely funny.

  67. Bias in news reporting is a major problem in this country. I had thought CNN was one of the better news outlet but if you are producing news stories with this much slant I suspect I can’t trust you on other news.

  68. Unfortunately this is not the lamest thing to come out of John Berman’s mouth. His ignorance when it comes to dog breeds is just the iceberg tip. Just for kicks, I Googled “Idiot John Berman,” and up came this article. I wish there were more articles like it, pointing out his idiocy. He and Alisyn Camerota are two of the most annoying, amateurish anchors on TV, yet CNN continues to employ them. I watch New Day for the stories and guests. When Berman replaced Chris Cuomo on the show a couple years ago, I knew it would be a disaster. John is interruptive when guests are speaking, while bubble-headed Alisyn uses the same dull inflections; note how she inappropriately uses “thee,” instead of “the,” and she ends every guest interaction with a long, drawn-out “Thank. You. Very. Much….(for all that reporting).” They both seem to find each other hilarious. Hoping for the day when CNN smartens up and dumps this Punch and Judy act. That Best in Show Poodle could get behind that New Day desk and do a better job.

    • LOL, Kelly, the Best in Show Poodle could also probably be the stage manager and producer, as well as the talent! Can’t disagree with you about Berman and Camerota, but evidently, they belong to the school of thought that thinks even bad press is ok if it brings in ratings.

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