"The seal is very easy to exploit as an image" - Paul Watson in a 1978 interview with Barbara Frum (audio clip interview)
Still today, media puts the onus on the sealing industry to be defensive rather than approach the story in a way that makes animal rights activist groups justify their methods of lying to the public to get millions in donations.
In a conversation I had with a DFO scientist who regularly goes to the seal hunt front to see observe it, the importance of the landmark Report of the Royal Commission on the Seal Hunt became evident. The report, still very valid, said that the hunt was done in a humane way. It was an extensive and comprehensive study with assessments from veterinarians and scientists, social analysts, and people involved in both sides of the issue. That was also at the time that the hakapik was used. There are plenty of other sources from veterinarian groups which also conclude that the hunt is humane.
CBC tv still uses images of the hakapik while doing stories on the hunt. For years just a small percentage of the hunt used this very humane method, and now it is not used at all. But media still chooses to use this image which is associated with the often fed image of a barbarian. That is one of the major images promoted by ARAs, in addition to the white seal pup, to lie to the public. The white coat seal has been illegal to hunt for 20 years. Still protestors will don white coat seal costumes to imply that these are the helpless animals being taken. The CBC will of course run that footage.
The Anna Nicole Smith channel (CNN) will do the same if they run out of sensational stories. CTV will probably do the same. Animal rights activists raise money through deception, and this type of story is Fifth Estate material, or W5. But the way in which major media broadcasts the annual seal hunt fundraiser/protest is just the way swindlers like Paul Watson, Ingrid Newkirk and their ilk like.