ALERT: please spread the word

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:
http://www.metrotimes.com/blog/newsblawg.asp?perm=842

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3 responses to “ALERT: please spread the word

  1. That is the same arrogant bullcrap I absolutely loathe about people. While I’ve seen my fair share of other cyclists doing idiotic things and not obeying the rules of the road etc, vehicle drivers have absolutely no room to make any snide comments like that. Most car drivers I’ve been encountering are being more tolerable to it (or atleast to seeing me pass by alot) but it’s all about common courtesy. If the cyclists being irresponsible would straighten up and car drivers get their heads out of their rear ends we’d all get alone great.

    • I agree Cyclist, common courtesy and respect would go along way, and both sides have their share of work to do. Meanwhile, we all need to give as many positive shout outs to considerate drivers as do rants to the inconsiderate ones. Every time I pass someone at a driveway or cross street who has clearly waited for me, I make it a point to clearly indicate my appreciation by saying thanks or by giving them a nod or a wave. I almost always get an appreciative smile in return. I can’t help but to think that my doing so helps to ensure that those drivers will be all the more mindful of cyclists down the road.

  2. OUCH.

    I understand there are plenty of bicycling “jerks” out there — how many times have I seen someone cruising on the wrong side of the road, or not getting off onto the shoulder when there’s space to, or other things, but WOW.

    That comment was just… over the top. Sounds like he’s got a hefty case of road-rage there.

    I’d sure hate to be bicycling down his street…