If you watched TV news after the killer whale incident last week, you probably saw celebrity animal expert Jack Hanna defending SeaWorld and the treatment of animals in captivity. What you might not have seen was a disclosure of his relationship with the theme park.
Busch Gardens, which owns SeaWorld, has advertised special events called “Jack Hanna Adventures,” and Hanna held regular events and breakfasts at both parks.
On “AC360,” Dr. Sanjay Gupta introduced Hanna as having “a long-standing relationship with SeaWorld, [and is] on its conservation board as well.” But many other CNN/HLN programs did not provide any information about the relationship.
A CNN spokesperson tells TVNewser, “Some of the shows did disclose the business connection, but we should have disclosed it consistently. We’re doing that now.”
Hanna also appeared on CBS’ “Early Show,” where he was interviewed by Maggie Rodriguez and again defended SeaWorld’s work. Rodriguez did not note the prior relationship, but Hanna did seem to make a roundabout mention, “I’ve done this for 40-something years, to bring the animal world to tens of millions of people through our zoo or through SeaWorld, whatever it might be.”
After the jump, Hanna and HLN’s Jane Velez-Mitchell have a heated discussion about the subject of whales in captivity.