Friday’s Headlines: The Bike Revolution Will Not Be Televised Edition

CBS's Marcia Kramer interviewed TransAlt Executive Director Danny Harris last week.
CBS's Marcia Kramer interviewed TransAlt Executive Director Danny Harris last week.

“Call it ‘helmet-gate”?!?

No, Marcia, let’s not call it “helmet-gate.” Let’s retire such hackneyed phrases.

Marcia Kramer’s day-two story on Mayor de Blasio’s Wednesday bikelash presser — where Hizzoner loosed that he’s pandering (um, sorry, pondering) helmet and license requirements for city cyclists — had all the usual Kramerian flourishes: The cliched lede; the man-on-the-street interviews; the “tribune of the people” interrogation of the feckless mayor; and the quizzical questioning of the exotic lobbyist — in this case, Transportation Alternatives Executive Director Danny Harris.

Harris delivered a soft, anti-car rejoinder to the mayor’s sally that sounded reasonable enough for TV news.

“It’s not about regulations, it’s about prioritizing people over cars through safety, through regulation, every element that takes away New York from cars,” he said.

Ho-hum.

Kramer’s old, cold and tedious package reminded us why network news sheds viewers every Nielsen period. It’s not some objective retelling of the day’s events. It’s a deeply biased medium that refuses to declare its allegiances or agenda — in this case, Kramer’s antipathy toward cycling.

Nope, the bike revolution “will not be televised,” to borrow Gil Scott-Heron’s phrase. It will be blogged.

In other news:

  • It’s a trend: After Buzzfeed News took down Amazon for its freight horror show that compromises safety and stresses workers, the Times and Propublica teamed for a similar expose on “The Human Cost of Amazon’s Fast, Free Shipping.”
  • Curbed chimed in on why more cycling regulations won’t make city streets safer.
  • AMNY goes for some news-you-can-use in a piece explaining how to use MTA WiFi safely.
  • Guse at the Newsuh aired complaints that the Department of Education failed to roll out promised electric yellow buses in time for the opening of school. (Local trivia: City school kids call the yellow buses “cheese buses” because they look like a log of Velveta.)
  • Guse also reported that TWU Local 100 slowed buses in Brooklyn yesterday on account of a contract dispute. Slowed buses? How could anyone tell?
  • Governor Cuomo (who, like the mayor, seldom sees the inside of a subway) called for a lifetime ban on subway perverts. (NYP)
  • In other MTA news, the authority’s inspector general has reaped a bounty of complaints after she began publicizing the results of investigations. (NYP)
  • Gothamist and some others  covered the hit-and-run crash in Brooklyn that left two in critical condition.
  • The City dug into data in order to analyze the surge of abandoned cars in East Brooklyn.
  • An op-ed in Gotham Gazette argued that the forthcoming Congestion Pricing Board must advocate for buses.
  • And, finally, a local-news reporter didn’t quite know what to make of New Jersey’s new Oonee pod: “A new parking lot has arrived at the Journal Square PATH station in Jersey City — but it’s only for bikes,” she sighed. Imagine!

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