The book of SeaWorld's massive public relations circus has added another chapter this week - and it's a thick one.
The journalist Karl Taro Greenfeld published a comprehensive piece in Bloomberg Businessweek with the headline "Saving SeaWorld." The piece consists of a summary of the recent troubles facing the company after the release of the documentary "Blackfish," as well as a heretofore unseen look at the man behind it all: CEO Jim Atchison.
Greenfeld spent quite a lot of time with Atchison, going to morning meetings and even to an auditorium to see him speak to some 300 employees. The result is a comprehensive overview that includes quotes from animal advocates and scientists, but still skews heavily toward Atchison's persona as a "man against the world." Here are the best quotes from the piece:
1. Greenfeld says that SeaWorld cares for orcas in the real world. Atchison then supports this claim with rescues in Florida - though SeaWorld does not rescue orcas in Florida. There is also no mention in the piece of actual orca rescues carried out by SeaWorld.
Atchison adds that critics of SeaWorld fail to account for how toxic and dangerous the real world can be for orcas. "We cooperate with studies right off the coast of Florida, and we find that calf survival rates are down. They're consuming fish that have mercury, other pollutants, and those fish consumed other fish that had that."