From the League of Michigan Bicyclists:
August 7, 2009 in LMB News
Detroit talk show hosts Jeff Deminski and Bill Doyle and Station Manager Doug Podell aired reprehensible comments by hosts and listeners encouraging violence against bicyclists.
Michigan made national biking news yesterday. Unfortunately it wasn’t for the right reason.
In their radio show on Greater Media-owned 94.7 WCSX hosts Deminiski and Doyle said, “How many of us drivers are disgusted with how bicyclists take to the road. … I’m sorry, they’re jerks. I doubt very much that any cyclist would have the gumption to call us, but how many of them have seen a bicyclist and would just LOVE to lob something at their heads? … God forbid we try to get by them! The guy on the bike is doing 19 m.p.h., they won’t get over, … and it is just flat-out arrogance. … OH GOD, you just want to go Grand Theft Auto on them. … Just move over. That’s all I’m saying. … I don’t see why they are so arrogant. They are riding something which against your 4,000 pound vehicle could launch them like an acorn.”
The tirade against bicyclists goes on for nearly eight minutes. The audio clip is still on their website at: http://tinyurl.com/lffvvs. It is also archived on LMB’s Facebook page at: http://tinyurl.com/n4z6l6. Curiously, all web comments contrary to the hostility expressed by the DJ’s and callers have been removed, while only further hate-ridden posts are viewable.
In addition to countless cyclists, both LMB and the League of American Bicyclists (LAB) have contacted the station and parent company to express their dismay at these reprehensible comments. The League of American Bicyclists have added Jeff Deminski, Bill Doyle and Station Manager Doug Podell to their Trash Talking Website. There you can read a response by LAB President Andy Clarke and find full contact info for Greater Media President and CEO Peter Smyth.
While apparently an apology was read on air at the wee hours of 6:00 a.m. the follow day, the closest thing to an apology General Manager Podell offered was, “Obviously, they are outspoken and have very strong opinions about their experience with cyclists in the Detroit Area, and those experiences have been negative. We welcome your comments and the debate that their remarks sparked.”
LMB has requested a written or audio transcript of today’s apology, but have not yet received one.
On a more uplifting journalist note, this excellent response by Sandra Svoboda appeared yesterday in the Detroit Metro Time’s blog: