Tuesday, May 19, 2009

media bias

"Boy critical after brother's ATV accidentally runs over him"

NO! He's in critical condition because his brother ran over him with his ATV! Why does our media insist on putting the blame on the machine and not the actor who actual caused (notice I'm not saying was necessarily at fault) the act?

And in this article today about two separate car - bicycle collisions here in SLC:

Notice how, when it's obvious that a cyclist is at fault, no one has a problem saying so. In the first incident, the cyclist ran a red light and ran into the driver's side of a car, unfortunately for the cyclist, receiving severe head trauma (no helmet.)

"Police are investigating to find exactly how fast the vehicle and bicycle were
traveling, among other details...Snyder said it appeared the bicyclist was at
fault, and police have not issued any citations in the accident."

Clear, right? Cyclist at fault. No argument.

In the second case:

"The bicyclist was heading westbound on 100 South when an eastbound vehicle
turned left directly in front of the bicyclist."

Clear, right? Driver at fault for an illegal turn in front of the cyclist.

"Snyder said the driver in that accident might have been temporarily blinded by
the sun. "

And? While this may explain why the driver made an illegal left turn, it in no way excuses the behavior, why are the police making statements justifying the driver's actions? We as a society are quick to make excuses for our behavior; quick to make the people who are like us or are doing the thing we do seem reasonable and not at fault when things go wrong. Why? I don't know, maybe it's a psychological need to feel like if the shoe was on the other foot, and we had been the one driving the car that pulled in front of the cyclist, we, too would have a convenient excuse. After all, we couldn't have been doing anything wrong, could we? Like, not paying enough attention? Not exercising extreme caution when our visibility was impeded by the sun? Not us. So not her, right?

Yes, it's all semantics. But everything is. Meaning is. Life is.

edited to add:

I forgot to mention that, on my way to my doctor appointment this morning, as I travelled down 800 South, there was a woman cyclist towing a baby trailer, I'm assuming with a baby safely ensconced inside. I followed her, and / or was able to see her in my rear view mirror, through three or four lights. I wasn't driving that slow, it's just that the lights here in SLC were timed by a sadistic brain damaged person, it doesn't matter what speed you drive, you will never make it more than two blocks without catching a red. But I digress.

The reason that I was able to witness so much of her ride is because she ran every red light. I've made my arguments against doing this as a cyclist. If it's not enough that it's illegal, just read the comments on the article I linked to above...readers are actually threatening to kill cyclist to "get rid of the whiners." So think about the situation you're creating for the rest of us.

But even more importantly, I can't think of a reason to consistently run lights myself, some may have arguments to do so. And if you're one of these, lady, and are willing to risk ending up like the fist story in the Tribune article above, fine. But to do so while towing your child? What kind of idiot are you? As far as I'm concerned, that's child endangerment. Motor vehicle drivers have a hard enough time figuring out what we, as cyclist, are on the road, much less what that thing is you're towing. Why the hell would you think getting anywhere was important enough to risk your child's life?

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