Wednesday, August 20 2008 @ 07:59 PM UTC
Contributed by: B' Spokes
[From the Bike Washington DC list:]
Please take action!
I wrote the ombudsman of the Washington Post to complain about the anti-cyclist bias apparent in its titling of the original letter to the editor ["Why Do Bicyclists Dice With Death?"] and this is the answer I received. Everything makes sense now. Poor little Deborah Howell drives on MacArthur Blvd ever morning and also feels victimized by nasty cyclists who won't get out of the way. Quote:
"Ms. Taylor, I drive daily on MacArthur Blvd. and it happens to me all the time. I don't disagree with Mr. Arundel. Deborah
Washington Post Ombudsman"
Below is the complaint I wrote to Ms. Howell:
"I am writing specifically about a letter to the editor titled "Why Do Bicyclists Dice With Death?" published on August 15. The author of this letter complains about bicyclists riding on MacArthur Blvd instead of on the [very terrible] side path. In my opinion, the author is an ignorant bully, but his attitude is unfortunately all too common amongst DC area drivers. However, my complaint tonight is not about this man's opinion so much as it is about the title given to his letter. By asserting that cyclists are doing something risky [when they are not], the _Post_ gives undue weight to this man's view and essentially blames the victim.
Mr. Arundel seems to assert that cyclists _force_ him to drive in an unsafe manner, when the responsibility is Mr. Arundel's alone. The inflammatory title to the letter endorses Mr. Arundel's absurd point of view.
Please try to tone down the anti-cyclist rhetoric.
I urge every one of you to write Ms. Howell [ombudsman AT washpost DOT com] and complain about her using her position as a soapbox for her own opinions.
In a follow up to Ms. Howell I asked her to explain exactly what IT is that happens to her and how it harms her. [She sees cyclists?]