Horse News

Cliven Bundy Ended My Forbes Gig

There is more to this story to tell!

Vickery Eckhoff

Stewart and Bundy So, the word is out.

On Friday, April 25, 2014, at 10:39 PM, after a great run publishing 23 articles and three photo galleries on horse slaughter, horse racing and wild horses on, the powers that be cut me loose.

Not quite sure why.

The timing was certainly odd, coming the night before I was a featured speaker at the American Equine Summit, along with Victoria McCullough, Frank Biden and Senator Joe Abruzzo, and too many other national experts to mention.

My topic for the summit: Disinformation in the Media. How’s that for irony?

I’d never gotten a word from Forbes editors that there were problems with any of my stories until Friday at 4:53 pm, when I was driving Jane Velez-Mitchell to the summit to be keynote speaker.

My editor, Jane Lee, who’s been very supportive and great, sent an email requesting some edits to a story—Federal…

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Categories: Horse News

25 replies »

  1. Sent a polite but firm email to Forbes, telling them that sending Vickery Eckhoff “down the trail” was a BIG mistake.


    • GG So did I! I think Forbes will find this was a mistake! Hopefully, Vickery will continue to “tell it like it is”. I, for one, will keep on the lookout for any articles by her.


  2. Foreign Buyers Eyeing Forbes Magazine, a Chronicler of the World’s Wealthiest

    MARCH 2, 2014

    “ The mix of buffoonery and greed that created the financial meltdown in 2008 dispelled the image of businesspeople as heroes. Forbes’s worldview — “Business was originated to produce happiness,” B. C. Forbes asserted — has been overtaken by the grimness of a new economy, one that still produces billionaires that end up on the Forbes list, but few jobs to go with them”



    “Forbes, which is working with Deutsche Bank AG on the sale, is seeking as much as $400 million, people with knowledge of the matter said in November. Final bids were due in February, people familiar with the situation said at the time.
    “Mia Carbonell, a spokeswoman for Forbes, declined to comment. Mayura Hooper, a spokeswoman for Deutsche Bank, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment outside of regular business hours. Representatives for Spice Global and
    Fosun weren’t immediately available for comment. AXEL SPRINGER, Spice and Fosun were the only bidders known to be interested in buying Forbes, the people familiar with the situation said.”

    Axel Springer Said to Work With Banks on Digital Unit IPO
    Axel Springer SE, Europe’s biggest newspaper publisher, is working with
    Chase & Co. and
    Citigroup Inc. on an initial public offering of its digital- classifieds business, people familiar with the matter said.


  4. I read this article when it was first published and am puzzled why this one – out of all the excellent hard fact hitting articles – preceded the door closing. There are a few glaring indisputably shocking sentences. Shocking to realize that the COST of the grazing program rises to 1 Billion per year illustrating the very real issue that the taxpayer is funding a social program that rivals the food stamp program, the health clinic program for inner city and reservation, and those who have fallen through the cracks of The Affordable Care Act. Getting that information out, taking a hard look at the subsistence reliance and the return is dangerous stuff. The ranchers have been beating their drum for years that they have a tradition of self-reliance, love of the land and a commitment to feed the world. Telling the truth makes all that look askew.

    Then Vickery rolled out a few more facts. No mistaking the rathole a couple more hundred million are going down a year. I sure hope the public cleans the sleep out of their eyes and reads it again.

    Forbes doesn’t know how good they had it. Vickery Eckhoff is one of the last real journalists.


  5. Vickery one famous quote says it all, “You cant handle the truth” and Forbes evidently couldnt handle it. They need to quit quivering and have a backbone and quit hacking up furballs instead of honesty. Vickery….tell Forbes….You, Just, Cant , handle, the , truth.


  6. So what happened to “truth”?? Who bought it off?? Now we KNOW that Vickery’s article was the real deal–and she paid for it. I want to shake her hand.


  7. I find it very odd that Cliven Bundy was widely ridiculed for speaking “truth to power” (whether you agree with him or not), and Vickery loses a gig for her honesty in speaking “truth to power ABOUT the situation Cliven Bundy brought to wider national attention. Is FORBES pro or anti Bundy, or both today?


    • Guess it depends on who not only decides “Constitution” rights, but who can be hurt by same…especially if opponent has ca$h.


      Don’t think Andrew Cohen is featured at The Atlantic either.

      The Roberts’ Court is just a shinning example of KA-RAP!!!! Just remember,..this is the same Court that screwed up everything from slavery to voting rights.


  8. Ok RT, where is the rest of the story ? It’s shockingly sinister and the truth about “why” hopefully will be revealed soon. . I hope everyone inundates Forbes mag with comments and/or cancels their subscriptions.


  9. BINGO

    Steve Forbes, cattle farmer
    Of Forbes’ top ten career patrons, six are Wall Street investment bankers, who earn the lion’s share of their income speculating in the stock market. All that income would be tax-free under Forbes’ flat-tax proposal.

    Middle class deductions disappear
    As for corporations, Forbes would slash their income tax rate from 35 to 17 percent. As with the flat tax for individuals, many deductions that are important to the middle class would disappear. For example, the write-offs that corporations can take for offering fringe benefits such as health insurance would disappear, which might tempt employers to stop offering medical coverage for their employees. Similarly, the share of Social Security and Medicare taxes that employers pay could no longer be written off.

    Why Forbes raises cattle
    To encourage family farms, federal tax law allows cattle farmers to enjoy substantial write-offs on their business expenses. On top of the federal tax break, New Jersey cattle farmers get a property tax break if they own at least five acres of land and generate at least $500 in revenue a year. Which helps explain why Steve Forbes is in the cattle business. His New Jersey farm meets the state’s revenue test, with about $5,500 in yearly income, and he gets the federal write-offs for raising cattle, too.

    Forbes raises three different breeds of show cows: Polled Herefords, Galloways and belted Galloways. “You don’t make money selling hamburger meat,” Forbes told Fortune magazine in 1996. “You make money breeding show cows; that’s the name of the game.”

    If Forbes did not stock his land with show cows, his property would be valued for tax purposes at $9 million, according to a local land assessor.


      • HMMmmmmmm….how much space (land) is he using in Congress and 501 c 3/4s and state houses????

        I assume the Supreme Court considers presence as land and similar to money as free speech.

        BTW, how much public land anywhere do you know he is using?


    • Forbes is a “corporate” cattle farmer. Way different than what average Americans know of ranching….not that many know squat about farming or ranching in the 21st century anyway. And that is the rub.


  10. Louie C comments below say Forbes is involved with cattle raising, so there you go. Vickery is a fantastic journalist and doesn’t need Forbes. Her voice cannot be silenced by this blip in the road. Can’t wait to see what comes next.


  11. Are we having fun yet !!!! Yee Haw !!! I encourage ALL of you to write FORBES – be polite – wear your spurs but don’t use them. Here is my letter :

    Dear Forbes,

    I am shocked and dismayed at the news of Vickery Eckhoff’s dismissal.  My husband, a 4th generation Colorado rancher and Oil &Gas and Natural Resources lawyer, and myself, have always held FORBES in very high regard.  We thought FORBES interest in this issue was very timely, because of the Bundy/BLM fiasco, and that it was prudent of FORBES to address and publish information about the economic reality of the Public Lands grazing program, the Wild Horse and Burro program and their respective costs to the American Taxpayer.  Here is a quote & link to a prior study evidencing that this program is in dire need of reform.
    Beyond the Grazing Fee: 

    An Agenda for Rangeland Reform

    by Karl Hess Jr. and Jerry L. Holechek

    Karl Hess Jr. is a senior fellow in environmental studies at the Cato Institute, and Jerry L. Holechek is a professor of rangeland science at New Mexico State University.

    “Public-land grazing is an American anomaly. In a culture and economy of free enterprise, it is the nation’s most conspicuous and extensive flirtation with socialism. Deeply regulated, like other sectors of the economy, it is an industry owned and operated by the U.S. government. The land and grass are federal property, planning and management are federal functions, and the workers–the 27,000 ranchers who own the livestock–are federally licensed, supervised, and subsidized. From the building of fences and watering holes to the setting of details of how, when, and where to graze, grazing on public lands is in every sense a command-and-control economy”

    Link to entire article:

    We currently live and operate a wildlife conservation ranch in Colorado, obviously in a ranching community, but we do not have access to Public grazing allotments because we are (former) bison producers and bison as a Native species are EXCLUDED from this privilege, although, ironically and in case you haven’t noticed, the DOI/BLM has a buffalo as its signature species on its insignia. However, we have many ranching neighbors who depend on this privilege, who are conscientious, considerate and law abiding.  However, the cost of the mis-management by BLM of the Public Lands with regard to all Stakeholders has affected and will continue to threaten the environment, the wildlife that live thereon, and the people that depend on the resources of Public Land to survive.  

    The consensus among ALL the Stakeholders is that reform is sorely needed.  I encourage FORBES to reconsider its agenda in this regard and to show some courage and ethical backbone for the sake of political and economic honesty.


  12. Vickery, I entered the wild horse advocacy domain without any prior knowledge and absolute, total political naiveté. I have learned a lot from your research and writing. I hope that it may be possible for you to meet with your editors and discuss their rationale.

    Looking at the article from the different political paradigms that exist, the biggest contrast between what you wrote and what I saw is that you portrayed the BLM dressed in riot gear carrying rifles as outnumbered even though were being assisted by snipers and other members of federal law enforcement.

    What I saw was a militarized BLM that contrasted sharply with the armed BLM agents that showed up to intimidate R.T. Laura, and Terri a few years ago when there were trucks after trucks of federal vehicles at the observation site where the four or five advocates were watching. The BLM appeared to be special forces SWAT teams.

    Another piece you may have missed is when you described the men on horseback with the flags as armed. I believe these men were intentionally unarmed when they were entering and leaving with carrying our flags—pretty hard to draw a gun while carrying a flag on a trotting or loping horse. Moreover, there were women and children there that were unarmed. So, what you saw was not what most viewers saw.

    I had never heard of Wild Earth Guardians until I started following the GLSA legislation a couple of years ago. There is a sense among land owners that they are behind other groups that are trying to end their ability to ranch or farm on public land.

    Another piece that the American people would object to is that you mentioned Senator Reid’s comments which were the most offensive toward the American people calling those at the Bundy ranch domestic terrorists within a week of calling sick Americans having problems with getting the services they need for treatment of special condiions their previous doctors were managing “liars” from the well of the Senate floor is an abuse of his office and the two statements coming so close to each other struck many of us as contemptuous of the American people.

    Contempt toward the American people from the Speaker of the US Senate is nothing that should be taken lightly, but since you gave Sean Hannity and Jon Stewart a hyperlink, and not Senator Reid—Whether it is your intent to treat him lightly or to endores his remarks by not providing a link to him when he is the one who needs scrutiny more than two media personalities makes it appear that you don’t have a problem with his characterizing the Bundys’ friends and supporters as domestic terrorists.

    I’ve done a lot of research into all kind of sources over the past four years; I would suggest you find a map of fossil fuel, precious metal, rare Earth elements, uranium, potasium and other depositions in the western states where there are wild horse herds and even Canada to find out what new companies have been established since 1995 or 2000 or which established companies have changed hands. You might even want to start with President Clinton’s sale of the US Navy Oil Reserves in 1995.
    You are a good researcher and unless there is a big hedge fund shake up in the next few days, you may get some valuable insight about what other people know, particularly Forbes readers, that you are not looking at. Of course, Senator Reid would prefer you just agree with him about who the devils is in all of this, but anyone who attempts to assasinate the characters of private citizens from the well of the US Senate is far too desperate to be trusted with anything.

    I do not intend this to be a personal attack on Vickery. I have also learned that some states and cities were targeted early on to believe that statements that were identified as consensus agreements were not to be questioned. What I found in this research is that this is how the IUCN is getting scientifically illiterate people to believe that claims that have never been tested through experiment or through studies represent “science”. This is the biggest evil of all.


    An Interview with Former Sen. Conrad Burns

    BURNS: Well, HARRY REID came to me and said, ‘I’ve got a problem in Nevada.’ And I said I said ‘What kind of a problem do you have?’ because we don’t have a problem up in Montana

    By Steven Long, Horseback Magazine (reprinted with permission)

    In the world of equine welfare there may be no person subject to derision than former Montana Sen. Conrad Burns. An ardent supporter of horses as a commodity to be sold for whatever reason their owner deems profitable, the former auctioneer lost his seat in the U.S. Senate to a farmer, Jon Tester, after passage of the Burns Amendment. The law was passed in the dead of night after it was attached to an appropriations bill nobody had read. For the first time, in an exclusive interview with Horseback Magazine, Burns how revocation of the law came about.

    HORSEBACK MAGAZINE: You’re a lobbyist now, right?
    CONRAD BURNS: Well, I’ve only got one client I lobby, but right now I’m doing a lot more international consulting.
    HORSEBACK: Well good for you. Who are you lobbying for?
    BURNS: The Quarter Horse Association.
    BURNS: Yep
    HORSEBACK: We support them in every way we can in our little magazine.
    BURNS: Yep, that’s right. How’re you doing?
    HORSEBACK: Old and fat Sir, old and fat.
    BURNS: I can relate to that.

    HORSEBACK: I’m working on this story that’s going on up in Montana with the Pryor Mountain wild horses. In my research I obviously ran across the Burns Amendment. Can you tell me how that came about and what prompted it?

    BURNS: Well, HARRY REID came to me and said, ‘I’ve got a problem in Nevada.’ And I said I said ‘What kind of a problem do you have?’ because we don’t have a problem up in Montana.

    HORSEBACK: So what happened then?

    BURNS: So he and I, up in his office, got together and we crafted that amendment because they’ve really got that problem of over grazing down there. That’s how that came about.
    HORSEBACK: It was actually Reid’s idea, huh?
    BURNS: Yeah, well it was his problem. I just helped him solve it, that’s all.
    HORSEBACK: Well, you did a pretty good job of it.
    BURNS: I don’t think they’ve sold any or anything like that. It wasn’t really designed for that. The premise of it was to take a strong look at how we manage our resources and how they affect the herd of the horses.

    HORSEBACK: One thing I can’t figure out with this BLM stuff for the life of me is if you have millions of acres of vacant land and there’s 100 miles between towns, why on earth can’t they put all those wild horses out there and nobody would ever care.

    BURNS: Well, you see, some of that country won’t sustain them year round. You’ve got spring growth, which is fine, but if you are a rancher, then you’ve got the dry season, and you’ve got to save some of your country for pasture and you’ve got to have supplemental feeding. And when you fly over that country and look down there, there’s something down there, you just don’t see it,, There’s sheep herds, and there’s also a few cattle run on that same country. They’re managed because you can’t just graze the whole thing off in the summer and then expect those animals to go through a very tough winter.
    HORSEBACK: One more question Senator. What do you think about this EU thing on the slaughter issue? That just kind of stopped everything dead in its tracks, didn’t it/
    BURNS: I don’t know a lot about it but I know one thing. We don’t have any slaughter plants here. That seems like that’s a problem Canada and Mexico are going to have to solve. I think they are still accepting horsemeat for human consumption.
    HORSEBACK: They are, until April when the EU says horses have to be in quarantine for six months.
    BURNS: I think we will probably have some science that will disprove that it takes that long for residue to dispel. I’m not sure, but I’m going to let the veterinarians and the folks who handle horses to make the decision. As you know, we’ve got lots of people who’ve got lots of ideas, but six months is a long time.
    HORSEBACK: Well thank you Senator. I’m glad to hear you’re doing well.

    BURNS: I’m still grazing the green side.


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