When Watson makes false claims like accusing Japanese whalers of shooting him in the chest or ramming his boat, it makes environmentalists look bad while muddling and polarizing the debate on how to actually save whales from untimely deaths both in countries that are predominantly against whaling, like the US, and in countries which support it. The truth, you see, is not irrelevant. The truth is that whale hunting continues unabated while Whale Wars, (Watson’s TV show) racks up ratings. That might only be a “small box” revelation, but it is an exceedingly important one.
Of course, Watson and Sea Shepherd, as well as some who support them recently made it clear that they don’t actually support any kind of debate concerning how to best deal with the issue of whaling. In a February article by Gabe McCauley and Sean Radich on the web site of Australia Surfing Life, the authors questioned Sea Shepherd’s approach to conservation and, citing numerous studies, proposed one alternative. The response of some supporters of Sea Shepherd was copious amounts of hate mail, anonymous threatening texts, and posting ASL’s web editor’s details online. In a written response Watson called it a “shoddily researched simplistic rant” although he didn’t give any evidence or site any studies to show how their article was poorly researched.