Monday’s Headlines: One Big Frathouse Edition

The driver trying to kill the biker. Photo: Barstool Sports.
The driver trying to kill the biker. Photo: Barstool Sports.

Sometimes you can’t shake the idea that New York City’s law enforcement community is just one big frathouse, where corruption is countenanced as long as it’s committed by one of the boys: Placard abuse? The city’s first real crackdown last week came against a few criminals from the general public, rather than the thousands of NYPD, FDNY and other authorities who dump their cars wherever they want, thanks to 2 millimeters of plastic on the dash. An off-duty firefighter tries to kill a cyclist on the West Side Highway? Cops let him go, as Streetsblog reported on Friday (the Post covered on Sunday, following Gothamist’s exclusive ID’ing the driver). Hundreds of cops drive recklessly? The police commissioner doesn’t express any concern at all.

Then, NY1 reported on a repo man who found himself in handcuffs because he tried to impound the car of a cop who missed his payments. “The only reason why this happened was because this was a police officer’s car. That’s the only reason why,” the repo man said. Also over the weekend, the Post reported on a firefighter who allegedly pummeled a Queens man over a parking spot. He received a desk appearance ticket. And the Post and the News reported on a fight in Inwood that police declined to break up for some reason. Maybe they knew the participants?

And here’s a video of five cops pummeling a guy in a subway station for allegedly stealing $2.75. (Meera Nair via Twitter).

Makes you want to rewatch “When They See Us.” But until then, here’s the weekend roundup:

  • Gov. Cuomo is again slamming the MTA that he controls. (amNY)
  • Meet a Lyft driver with 17 license suspensions. (NY Post)
  • A police chase in Brooklyn sends two motorcyclists to the hospital. (NY Post)
  • Once again, there’s good evidence that bike lanes help local businesses. (CBC)
  • Flashback: We might have been a bit hasty in our initial praise of Times Student Journalism Institute reporter Kate Hidalgo Bellows’s story on road carnage — upon further review, the story engages in some blatant victim blaming. Now, we all know that the NYPD’s initial reports from crash sites frequently blame the victim (who’s not around to give his or her side of the story), but most reporters at least attribute the wrong information to the cops. But Bellows failed to attribute, which our old editor always says “is the ‘1’ in ‘Journalism 101.'”
  • Why can’t we have more tiny garbage trucks? (Transit Museum)
  • In case you missed it, CBS2 covered the Upper West Side “no free parking” issue, including great quotes from Community Board 7 member Howard Yaruss. (The full board vote, however, was put off until next month.) The West Side Rag also covered the tabled discussion, but the best part of the story was the comments section. Whoo-ee! One person wrote, “Only people who have cars should be allowed to vote on this issue because they are the only UWSiders who would be affected by the vote.” Um, wrong!
  • Somehow we missed that there’s now a Pizza Rat Pilsner from the Flagship Brewery on Staten Island. (amNY)
  • And, finally, the Women’s Ride in Queens was a complete success. Now, Mayor de Blasio should finish Queens Boulevard so that riders aren’t forced into traffic on the final leg.

  • Boeings+Bikes

    “Only people who have cars should be allowed to vote on this issue because they are the only UWSiders who would be affected by the vote.”

    I also believe that only the opinions of rapists should be considered when creating mandatory sentencing statutes for rapists, since they are the only ones affected by them.

  • Sassojr

    “I also believe that only the opinions of rapists should be considered when creating mandatory sentencing statutes for rapists, since they are the only ones affected by them.”

    Not only is this a shining example of a false equivalency, it’s in pretty poor taste, AND invalid because you’re saying victims aren’t affected by the outcomes of their cases. Congrats on hitting a triple.

  • qrt145

    I won’t argue the question of taste, but the rapist analogy follows the same template (which is not a “false equivalency”), and thus highlights the fallacy behind “only drivers should vote”. The argument is “only X should vote because only X is affected” but the premise “only X is affected” is false. Rape obviously affects rape victims. Car parking policy affects everyone, due to the negative externalities of cars: pollution, risk of injury, opportunity cost of using public space for car storage, etc.

  • Sassojr

    “The rapist analogy follows the same template (which is not a “false equivalency”)”

    It’s an analogy where the orders of magnitude are out of proportion. That’s pretty much a textbook example of a false equivalency. The reasons your analogy is “in poor taste” are the same reasons it doesn’t hold up as equal in magnitude.

  • qrt145

    I disagree that the concept of order of magnitude even applies here.

    Rape sentencing policy only affect rapists -> false.
    Parking policy only affects car owners -> false.

    One is not “orders of magnitude more false” than the other. Both are simply false. A truth value of zero.

  • Sassojr

    You are correct in saying one isn’t “orders of magnitude more false”… But that isn’t what I said.

    The situations are magnitudes of order different. If they weren’t, then you could stand behind your analogy as “good taste”. The very thing that makes it in poor taste, is the disparity between the two sides of your analogy.

    An example of better equivalency arguments: When we talk about genocide in a country, it could be appropriate to talk about an equally serious matter like the Holocaust. An analogy probably wouldn’t be in bad taste. I won’t even get into the many false equivalency analogies made using something as tragic.

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