Wiseguys don’t faze Watson

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November 1994:

MARINA DEL REY, Calif.– –Kathleen Marquardt, chair of
the anti-animal rights group Putting People First, debuted October 3 as
host of Grassroots Radio, a daily two-hour talk show on the Talk America
Network, carried 4-6 p.m. EST. First-week guests, a who’s who of wise-
use wiseguys, included biomedical researcher Adrian Morrison, predator
restoration foe Troy Mader of Abundant Wildlife, and Ron Arnold, self-
designated founder of the “wise use” movement, whose funding reputedly
comes largely from Sun Myung Moon’s Unification Church.
The second week, Paul Watson of the Sea Shepherd
Conservation Society debated George Blichtfield of the pro-whaling High
North Alliance, whom he was to have debated on July 6 while en route to
protest whaling off the northern coast of Norway. That debate was can-
celled when the Norwegian patrol boat Andennes rammed Watson’s ves-
sel, the Whales Forever. “He asked me if it was true that I’d said some
day we will be able to communicate with whales and will regret what
we’ve done to them,” Watson chuckled. “I said ‘Yes. What’s your point,
George?’ He said, ‘That’s stupid,’ and then just lost it. Marquardt
seemed pretty timid––she hardly said a thing.”

Talk America claims to have 180 affiliates, but apparently under
a dozen stations had picked up Grassroots Radio when it first aired, none
west of the Mississippi, and only two in the top 50 U.S. radio markets.
After laughing off the wise-use wiseguys, Watson said he isn’t
concerned that Norway is trying to sue the Sea Shepherds for damage to
the Andennes. “We’ll just countersue,” Watson told ANIMAL PEOPLE,
“for damages to our ship.”
Added Orcaforce leader Lisa DiStefano, “This is great news for
us, because under Norwegian law, if their officials lie in court, they can
be jailed for perjury.”
Nor is Watson worried that Norway is reportedly trying to get
the International Maritime Organization to declare him a pirate. “I’m not
sure what that would mean,” he explained. “They can’t strip me of any-
thing that hasn’t already been stripped. They can’t take away my commer-
cial operator’s permit because I don’t have one. I’m a yachtsman, I sail
for pleasure, and a yachtsman who sails for pleasure doesn’t need a per-
mit. But it would be good for publicity,” Watson said. “There are good
pirates and bad pirates.” He cited the examples of Henry Morgan, the
pirate who ended piracy in the Caribbean; Jean Lafitte, a hero of the
American Revolution and ancestor of DiStefano; Frances Drake; and John
Paul Jones, founder of the U.S. Navy. “We’re the good pirates,” Watson
continued. “The bad pirates are the Norwegian whalers who are killing
whales in violation of international law.”
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