The Truth About Cats and Dogs on the Internet

A Giant Schnauzer and a cat check each other out
We’re dog people. Photo: PETER ENDIG/AFP

It has become a common shorthand, like scoffing at lazy bloggers in pajamas, to dismiss the inanity of the Internet by decrying everyone’s endless fascination with cats. It may be a reductive stereotype, sure, but it’s also somewhat accurate and can be extremely annoying for die-hard dog people (ahem) who just don’t see what the fuss is about. Perhaps in reaction, to right the equilibrium of the universe, some publications demonstrate a similar fawning for canines, fretting about their safety and cooing over their cuteness. The adorable animal obsession in media is rampant, and at Daily Intel we have decided it’s time to expose journalism’s creature biases for what they are.

One such animal-oriented media property is Rupert Murdoch’s iPad newspaper The Daily, which is currently celebrating its first birthday. While editor-in-chief Jesse Angelo insists to the New York Times today, “I don’t care about what people in a 20-block radius of our office say about this product,” we have been watching closely; we mostly remember the dogs.

In its first month of existence, Angelo urged his reporters in a memo, obtained by Daily Intel, to chase big stories. “Find me something new, different, exclusive and awesome,” he wrote. “Find me the oldest dog in America, or the richest man in South Dakota.” The troops took the dog order to heart, delivering “The Richest Dog in South Dakota,” followed by story after story about war dogs, dog shows, sick dogs, spoiled dogsdogs in danger, doggie fashion, and so on. In twelve short months, they may very well have become the preeminent place for puppy coverage, if not animals in general. Here are their top competitors:


Animal of Choice: Dogs

Let’s get this out of the way. We’re in the tank for dogs. Not just at Daily Intel, where we call cats “feline puppies” and babies “human puppies,” and refer to actual puppies with as many exclamation points as our content-management system and remaining shreds of dignity will allow. They’re barking up the right tree over on the print side, too.


Animal of Choice: Dogs

Last summer, Jill Abramson was selected as the new managing editor of the paper. Sure, she had a long and storied reportorial and management career, but she’s also been the paper’s leading puppy chronicler in recent memory. (Though she’s hardly alone in that endeavor.) Coincidence? We think not.


Animal of Choice: Cats

The site recently ran a post titled “Which Staffer’s Cat Reigns Supurrreme?” There were eleven animals (and one houseplant) pictured, which surely is one of the highest feline-to-staffer ratios of any publication employing more than three people. At least they’re being transparent about the source of their bias.


Animal of Choice: Cats

Listicle Without Commentary: Top Five Most Awl-esque Cat Posts

5) Is Imaginary Cat Imaginary Dead?
4) Judging the Cats (and People) of the Santa Monica Cat Show
3) The Thing About Cats And Dogs
2) Top Eleven Dumb Songs to Sing to Cats
1) Cats Nonplussed


Animal of Choice: Cats and Dogs

The site had one of its biggest traffic grabs ever with the viral hit Cats of War, but an often dog-centric column by Jon Katz (whose name is the opposite of an aptronym) has been running in the magazine for years.  Slate pitch: Cats and dogs can get along.


Animal of Choice: Cats

They pounce on the opportunity to use the word “catlike.“  They cover cat pee and cat poop and, just lately, worked very hard to turn “breaded” cats into a meme. Plus, how many Gawker posts have you read and thought, “meow!”


Animal of Choice: N/A

Not just dogs. Not just cats. ALL ANIMALS ALL THE TIME. Yes, this includes their new political reporting team.

The Truth About Cats and Dogs on the Internet