Dorothy Rabinowitz vs. Veronica Moss: Which One Is Satire?


Again we have to hand it to the Wall Street Journal: They know link bait when they see it.

Having apparently decided that pageview count is more important than credibility, the Journal editorial staff is back for more. Watch as editorial board member and cyclist-hater Dorothy Rabinowitz, buoyed by a star turn on the “The Daily Show,” practically mugs for the camera while hurling one wild and demonstrably false claim after another. “Pathological” is the word that comes to mind.

This might be all in good fun, except we wonder if this member of the city’s media elite has any idea that two cyclists and a four-year-old child were run over and killed by motorists this week. Truly amazing how much contempt some in the press have for New York City and the people who live here.

Speaking of people with contempt for NYC, remember A.U.T.O. lobbyist Veronica Moss? Check out this Streetfilms flashback and tell us: Which one is satire?

  • The Wall Street Journal and the Post keep getting more and more indistinguishable under Murdoch’s ownership.

  • This woman is actually delusional. It would be kind of sad and pathetic if The Wall Street Journal weren’t giving her such a widely distributed platform.

  • Anonymous

    No, sorry, the Daily Show made my day. I’m not about to watch this video and have my day ruined.

  • Brad Aaron

    Good call.

  • Is it just me or does the WSJ anchor appear as if she’s being held hostage at gunpoint just off camera when conducting these “interviews”?

  • Anonymous

    Every lovely blue bike I see on the streets of the city is a victory flag in celebration of our triumph over this bitter lady’s outdated thinking. Ride on!

  • Let’s be clear: trolling for bike-related linkbait with tales of dangerous bike-lane-leaving cyclings in the days after a four-year-old girl was killed by a teenage driver is immoral.

    Brad is right. Our city deserves better than this.

  • Shaun

    She could be confused for a woman mumbling to herself on the Subway.

  • She comes across as smug and self-satisfied. She thinks its hilarious.

  • J

    I find it kind of sad that a woman of such prestige, a pulitzer prize winner, will now be best known as the crazy lady who hates bikes. But she did this to herself and then doubled down on the point, so I guess I don’t feel too bad.

  • True she does. But it looks like an act, she never REALLY challenges her subject. Then again she knows more people have watched her in the last week than at any time in her life. So smug away!

  • Jesse

    3:00: even the interviewer laughs when Rabinowitz raises the specter of the spooky “bike lobby”

  • J

    haha. I think the interviewer has caught wind of how ridiculous Rabinowitz seems. Her tone changed completely from the 1st to the 2nd interview.

  • Jesse

    I love those “little pretty royal blue-ass bikes”

  • J

    Nothing makes you seem normal like being yelled at by a crazy lady.

  • Clarke

    She is not very articulate in her points. What is this theory they’re talking about that cyclists will leave a bike lane for the sidewalk when it is obstructed or has a salmon? I have never seen anyone jump the curb mid-block to do such a thing…you just take the next lane over until the bike lane is clear again.

    I’d love to see her crossing the street in a crosswalk completely blocked by car traffic, forcing pedestrians to either swerve in between or walk in oncoming traffic to get across. No problems there!

  • You mean she is not?

  • moocow

    I haven’t watched the first one, bc I am afraid I will boil over. I have read a bunch about it though. I know I am just keeping my head in the sand. While I am at it I’ll admit I didn’t watch that confrontation on Bedford in Willburg either. That stuff already pisses me off so much…It will literally ruin my day, and I am pretty mellow guy.

  • Anonymous

    For all the talk of cyclists riding on the sidewalk, how often do you actually see it happen? I see cyclists running red lights all the time, or riding against traffic (although that’s usually delivery guys), but I hardly ever see anyone actually riding on the sidewalk.

  • Anonymous

    I see cycling on the sidewalk done pretty often (once a day, at least), almost always by delivery guys on scooters (“e-bikes”), but my sense is that it’s declined precipitously over the last few years–as has the percentage of people running lights in wildly self-endangering ways and salmoning, even if the number of people doing each has remained relatively constant.

  • Gerald Westerby

    I realize that this is all intended to create outrage, but I love Kissel’s use of the word ‘hysteria’ to describe the reaction to Rabinowitz’s rant; you know, the one in which she repeatedly used the word ‘totalitiarian’ to describe the government of New York City.

  • Gerald Westerby

    I realize that this is all intended to create outrage, but I love Kissel’s use of the word ‘hysteria’ to describe the reaction to Rabinowitz’s rant; you know, the one in which she repeatedly used the word ‘totalitiarian’ to describe the government of New York City.

  • Anxiously Awaiting Bikeshare

    Totalitarian: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Leap_Forward

    It isn’t a word that should just be thrown around until it loses its meaning.

  • Mike

    In the original segment (not in this post) I thought the interviewer looked worse than Rabinowitz. Egging on a crazy person is really unprofessional.

    In the one above, I like how Rabinowitz complains that the totalitarians didn’t work closely enough with the police.

  • Daphna

    33,616 people signed up for NYC Bikeshare just 11 days in (6 days of a previous week, and 5 days into the actual launch). A couple thousand are signing up for daily memberships each day. New Yorkers are taking about 16,000 citibike trips per day on non-rainy days. This is happening even with software problems and insufficient re-balancing. Biking makes sense in NYC as a method of transportation. Biking is going to expand both through bikeshare and through people on their own bikes. The whole discussion about bicyclist behavior will die down. Dorothy Rabinowitz is a laughing stock now and will become more so as time passes. As biking becomes more and more accepted and normal in NYC, her opinions will be even more regarded as ridiculous.

    She says that rather than involving the community in the discussion of bringing bikeshare, just the police should have been asked. She indicates that police know that bikes are the real danger. Well, if the NYPD can read their own statistics that they publish each month (although in the most unworkable format) then the police should know that motorists are the dangerous ones. Police get complaints about bikes from cranky ladies like her, so bikes are a problem to the police for the reason that they generate complaints, not because they cause any danger or collisions.

    Also, the interviewer mentioned 100 community meetings. It was 400 community meetings. I wish journalists could at least cite the proper number.

    The few times I go on the sidewalk it is because the road is totally impassible. The motorists are gridlocked and they have lined themselves up in such a way that a bike can not squeeze through. So I might go on the sidewalk for a few car lengths to pass the obstruction and then go in the street again. I go super-slow and am super courteous. Pedestrians do not get mad. I would suspect that other bicyclists are the same: they avoid sidewalks whenever possible and go slow and yield to pedestrians whenever they do use a sidewalk for a very limited distance. Dorothy Rabinowitz describes a fictional account when she days cyclists ride on the sidewalk in a careless way and give her the middle finger when she asks them to yield. I would like to see her get that on film. I bet she would be out on the sidewalk day in day out for months and never get a documented case of the behavior that she attributes as common among cyclists.

  • Anonymous

    Yes, I see delivery guys on scooters riding either on the sidewalk or going the wrong way in the middle of a street all the time. Their scooters keep getting more advanced too (from just a regular bike with a motor to an almost mini motorcycle). You can’t really call them bicyclists though. I don’t know why the cops don’t do anything about them.

  • Eric McClure

    The first one is actually so wack it comes off as hilarious. I say watch it.

  • Eric McClure

    Dorothy Rabinowitz, I salute you, and not with an extended middle finger. It takes a lot of chutzpah to double down on the unmitigated crazy, and damn the torpedo-like bikes, full speed ahead. Well played, madam.

  • Bronxite

    I wonder how this growth compares to other systems with similar populations? Like London.

  • KillMoto

    Jerry Seinfeld had the sense to quit while he was still relevant.

  • john

    Purposely misleading the public on important issues – that’s how the Wall Street Journal rolls under Murdoch. It’s not worth reading any more and now it’s referenced for satire. Pathetic.

  • Andrew

    I doubt she’s been on the subway in the past 40 years.

  • Guest

    Nail on the head!

    This quote from her second rant is priceless: “Community meetings? Who are they asking? Who is talking? The person you really have to talk to is the police man.”

    So… in the mind of Rabinowitz:
    Democracy = decisions by the police
    Totalitarianism = listening to members of the public who attend community meetings

    Got it!

  • Guest

    Somebody should combine her quotes from the two tirades:

    “Community meetings? Who are they asking? Who is talking?”

    and

    “I represent the majority of New Yorkers.”

  • Guest

    Surprising quote last night from a car service driver (in midtown Manhattan) about Citibike: “Its friendly. It makes driving around and everything friendlier.”

    Maybe professional drivers are relieved to have calmer streets? Maybe calmer streets take the edge off of a formerly highly competitive and adrenaline-fueled occupation?

    This guy obviously felt Citibikes were part of making streets calmer, and appreciated the result.

  • Anonymous

    Don’t use Veronica Moss against Rabinowitz. Use Lucette Gilbert!

    http://www.streetfilms.org/my-nyc-biking-story-lucette-gilbert/

  • Joe R.

    I think he’s one of the few drivers who realizes all the aggressive driving and idiotic jockeying for position doesn’t actually accomplish anything except to get to the next red light faster. Anyone who rides a bike already realizes this. It’s a good sign that someone who drives for a living caught on to this fact already. The only place you really can make up time by going fast is on highways. On local streets everyone trying to beat out everyone else just makes getting from point A to point B slower.

  • Walk Eagle Rock

    In the original clip she denies traffic collision data showing cars pose a bigger danger to New Yorkers then goes on to call Bloomberg a “classic denier.” I wish the interviewer had mentioned that in this follow-up interview.

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