Opinion Brief

The $27,000 music video to fight dog poo

Did the Washington state government really need to produce such a clever clip to get people to scoop their dog's poop?

The video: A humorous music video encouraging Washington state residents to clean up after their dogs is creating a big stink. "Dog Doogity," a parody of the Blackstreet's mid-90s R&B hit "No Diggity," includes lyrics like, "Hey yo, let's keep this clean" and "I like the way you walk it, dog doogity, we've got to bag it up." In the background of the video by Puget Sound Starts Here, dancers with bare midriffs sassily twirl plastic bags. (See the video below.) The clip was produced for a reported $27,000, which came out of a $500,000 grant from the state Department of Ecology. Perhaps predictably, government watchdogs are barking over the cost. 

The reaction: "In this economic climate, it raises a question of priorities," says Jason Mercier, a budget watcher for the conservative think tank Washington Policy Center, as quoted by The Spokesman-Review. "It seems a questionable way of marketing the idea." But this is a serious issue, says Lynne Peeples in The Huffington Post. "Skipping scooping poses a public health hazard." Pet feces can introduce a host of deadly bacteria, viruses, and parasites into waterways, and this video is a "fresh approach to persuade people to pick up after their pets." Look, the state clearly shouldn't be spending this kind of money on "dog-poo videos," says The Stand. "But when corporate-funded right-wing think tanks make a big stink about it, the goal is not to save the state $27,000, it is to stir anger at government," and "perpetuate the lie that the state has plenty of money and can afford to cut its way out of the state revenue crisis." Check it out:

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