Prejudiced Journalist?



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Michael Macclan

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Robert Crampton, writing in the Times Magazine 18th January, finished an otherwise excellent article
about the recent winter weather with the words:

"A cyclist coming toward me said "thank you" when I stepped aside for him. That's unheard of: snow
really does do strange things to people, doesn't it?"

I don't think he meant that it was strange for him to step aside for a cyclist. Perhaps he thinks
that all cyclists are bastards. ;-)

Comments to: [email protected]

--
Michael MacClancy
 
M

Mr [email protected] \ -Lsqco

Guest
In news:[email protected],

Michael MacClancy <[email protected]> typed:

< typical hack's rantings (the journo, *not* Michael!) snipped>

> I don't think he meant that it was strange for him to step aside for a cyclist. Perhaps he thinks
> that all cyclists are bastards. ;-)
>
> Comments to: [email protected]

I think being prejudiced or continually focusing on the negative is one of the required
qualifications for being a journalist or working in the media these days; they are all focused on
achieving a certain readership, with their own prejudices, and select their hacks accordingly.

If you wanted to be a conspiracy theorist you could perhaps even argue that the papers *want* more
friction between groups in society as this leads to incidents that make good stories!

IMO most newspapers are more useful for preventing the ground from being contaminated by solvents
and lubricants when working on a bike than reading for their news content. Even the broadsheets,
which just express the same prejudices as the tabloids in a more articulate form!

Even if they aren't *trying* to put across an opinion (such as the various positions concerning the
planned war) the media is *always* being negative.

For instance Guy posted up the report from the Reading Chronic about the old chap of 91 still
cycling. I tried to find it on the on-line Chronic - but all I saw were rapes, murders, racist
attacks etc.

Now I know you shouldn't *hide* bad news and these things *should* be reported on (for one thing it
may make someone come forward to the Police with useful information); it surely wouldn't have hurt
(or cost too much extra) to put *one* "good news" story on the website?

Alex
 
P

Paul

Guest
You are absolutely right Alex.. sadly though, the vast majority of people love reading about other
people's misfortunes. Just watch how newpaper and magazine circulations plus TV ratings soar when
someone important or well known dies or suffers some kind of personal tragedy. People can't get
enough of it. Remember Diana? Good news stories just fill up the gaps on a ``quiet'' news day. Paul

--
Drop Your Pants for a personal reply Mr [email protected] (2.3 zulu-alpha) [comms room 2] wrote in message
>In news:[email protected],
>
>Michael MacClancy <[email protected]> typed:
>
>< typical hack's rantings (the journo, *not* Michael!) snipped>
Now I know you shouldn't *hide* bad news and these things *should* be
>reported on (for one thing it may make someone come forward to the Police with useful
>information); it surely wouldn't have hurt (or cost too much extra) to put *one* "good news" story
>on the website?
>
>Alex
 
B

Brandy

Guest
Unfortunately, I missed that particular article but I know from reading Mr Crampton's pieces before
that he's actually a cyclist himself. Maybe he's an ignorant cyclist and therefore expects all
others to be too!

"Michael MacClancy" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
> Robert Crampton, writing in the Times Magazine 18th January, finished an otherwise excellent
> article about the recent winter weather with the
words:
>
> "A cyclist coming toward me said "thank you" when I stepped aside for him. That's unheard of: snow
> really does do strange things to people, doesn't it?"
>
> I don't think he meant that it was strange for him to step aside for a cyclist. Perhaps he thinks
> that all cyclists are bastards. ;-)
>
> Comments to: [email protected]
>
> --
> Michael MacClancy
 
S

Scott

Guest
"Michael MacClancy" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:<[email protected]>...
> Robert Crampton, writing in the Times Magazine 18th January, finished an otherwise excellent
> article about the recent winter weather with the words:
>
> "A cyclist coming toward me said "thank you" when I stepped aside for him. That's unheard of: snow
> really does do strange things to people, doesn't it?"
>
> I don't think he meant that it was strange for him to step aside for a cyclist. Perhaps he thinks
> that all cyclists are bastards. ;-)
>
> Comments to: [email protected]

Thanks for that. Guess I know where to find him now.
http://www.bikereader.com/BikeReader/contributors/misc/codewords.html
 
M

Michael Macclan

Guest
Scott wrote:
> "Michael MacClancy" <[email protected]> wrote in message
> news:<[email protected]>...
>> Robert Crampton, writing in the Times Magazine 18th January, finished an otherwise excellent
>> article about the recent winter weather with the words:
>>
>> "A cyclist coming toward me said "thank you" when I stepped aside for him. That's unheard of:
>> snow really does do strange things to people, doesn't it?"
>>
>> I don't think he meant that it was strange for him to step aside for a cyclist. Perhaps he thinks
>> that all cyclists are bastards. ;-)
>>
>> Comments to: [email protected]
>
> Thanks for that. Guess I know where to find him now.
> http://www.bikereader.com/BikeReader/contributors/misc/codewords.html

Interesting. Contrasting the two articles would seem to confirm a belief that many journalists
don't have any principles, merely an eye for a good story. (Well, there's probably nothing 'mere'
about that.)
--
Michael MacClancy
 
S

Scott

Guest
"Michael MacClancy" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:<[email protected]>...
> Scott wrote:
> > "Michael MacClancy" <[email protected]> wrote in message
> > news:<[email protected]>...
> >> Robert Crampton, writing in the Times Magazine 18th January, finished an otherwise excellent
> >> article about the recent winter weather with the words:
> >>
> >> "A cyclist coming toward me said "thank you" when I stepped aside for him. That's unheard of:
> >> snow really does do strange things to people, doesn't it?"
> >>
> >
> > Thanks for that. Guess I know where to find him now.
> > http://www.bikereader.com/BikeReader/contributors/misc/codewords.html
>
> Interesting. Contrasting the two articles would seem to confirm a belief that many journalists
> don't have any principles, merely an eye for a good story. (Well, there's probably nothing 'mere'
> about that.)

I haven't read the Times piece, but often a story leaves a bad taste in my mouth, too, due to
seemingly offhand comments about cyclists (and vegetarians, for that matter - another oft-maligned
minority).
 
M

Mr [email protected] \ -Lsqco

Guest
In news:[email protected], Scott <[email protected]> typed:
>
>> Well it's *obvious* innit - all cyclists are hairy-toed Jesus sandle wearing lefties who eat
>> bunny food and broccoli quiche cos' they aren't real men. Obvious, innit ;-)
>
> Probably not a dream demographic..

Well I don't fit into *any*of these categories (well I'm maybe a *bit* of a hippy/leftie).

> As for Robert Crampton, I wouldn't be so hard on him. He's a journo first and a cyclist second -
> but he is a cyclist, and seems pleasant enough. Now, writing for the Times - that's harder to
> forgive (showing my prejudices and extreme leftie bias here).

Hmm - to me its a bit like a *real* black person taking part in a an old style minstrel show. (if
you read Lenny Henry's autobiography you'll see how quickly he dropped *that* role when he got the
chance) Cramptons articles may pay the rent, but at the expense of stitching up your group? Just
sounds like hipocrisy to me.

I don't like journalism which is laughing *at* a section of the community rather than *with* them
(for iinstance Ken Kifer has written excellent humorous pieces on "what constitutes a real
cyclist"). I feel people have a responsibility for the image they put across, especially if they
have the power of the press (or even on Usenet).

A few years ago, I had an argument with a local DJ - he was playing this music called "UK Garage".
He seemed to think the music and associated scene was fine, but I said that whilst the music is
good, there was a very violent, misogynistic and fashion-orientated culture developing alongside
which even championed the carrying and use of firearms, and that if it proliferated in about 5 years
time the entire dance scene would be in trouble as escalating violence would make clubs and raves
unsafe places.

Eventually, it would end up with shootings, stabbings and rapes at events and the Police busting as
many raves as they could just (at least in the eyes of the authorities) to stop people getting
killed! And look at that scene *now*........

There is quite enough negative publicity about cyclists as it is. If people believed what is in the
media, you would think we were all loutish lads and ladettes, clad in bibsh*rts whilst riding on the
pavements to deliberately run down the elderly, and injecting copious quantities of "pot belge" into
our buttocks. And worse still, some of the so-called *cycling* press seems to champion that sort of
behaviour (MBUK et al).

Yet I can remember in the late 1970s when cycling was thought of as a good healthy pastime, which
*helped* the environment and community (and of course still does).

Perhaps its time for people to redress the balance?

Alex
 
S

Scott

Guest
"Mr [email protected] \(2.3 zulu-alpha\) [comms room 2]" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:<[email protected]>...

> Cramptons articles may pay the rent, but at the expense of stitching up your group? Just sounds
> like hipocrisy to me.
>
> I don't like journalism which is laughing *at* a section of the community rather than *with* them
> (for iinstance Ken Kifer has written excellent humorous pieces on "what constitutes a real
> cyclist"). I feel people have a responsibility for the image they put across, especially if they
> have the power of the press (or even on Usenet).
>
Well... at this point I rather think a mountain is being made out of a molehill. I don't know R.
Crampton and am not familiar with anything that he's written other than the story I put on BR.
Judging by the quote that kicked off this thread 'hypocrisy' and 'stitching up your group' sound a
little harsh, though.

Ken Kifer has put together an excellent site and I salute him for all that he's done to spread the
word, but I don't turn to him for amusement. (That's just me! I'm glad you like him. Viv la
difference.)
 
M

Mr [email protected] \ -Lsqco

Guest
> "Mr [email protected] \(2.3 zulu-alpha\) [comms room 2]" <[email protected]> wrote in message Well... at
> this point I rather think a mountain is being made out of a molehill. I don't know R. Crampton
> and am not familiar with anything that he's written other than the story I put on BR. Judging by
> the quote that kicked off this thread 'hypocrisy' and 'stitching up your group' sound a little
> harsh, though.

I didn't think much of the BR piece either - it seemed no better than MBUK's outpourings but using
bigger words and more mature language. I also saw a post here *by yourself* implying that *he* had
written other stuff with "offhand comments against cyclists and vegetarians", although perhaps you
may have been referring to the paper as a whole. In which case perhaps his article is just as bad;
as he is reinforcing prejudice in order to line his pocket.....Michael made a good point regarding
"principles"

Prejudice against cyclists, vegetarians, ethnic minorities or any other *harmless* section of the
community *deserves* harsh words - and its only words, its not as if I'm calling for him to be
stoned at the next Critical Mass! [1]

OK, maybe it "*is* because I is Asian ;)" [2] and have experienced prejudice from an early age, and
it is perhaps unfair to single out Crampton when there are worse hacks about, but it *is*
disappointing to see a /cyclist/ writing this ****. To me this sort of journalism seems like he is
*apologising* for being a cyclist - there is no need to do so! Even Boris Johnson [3] doesn't write
rubbish like this.

> Ken Kifer has put together an excellent site and I salute him for all that he's done to spread the
> word, but I don't turn to him for amusement. (That's just me! I'm glad you like him. Viv la
> difference.)

You've not read the "Humor" section then? I thought it was good, for an American (I hope that's not
being prejudiced - just stating they have a differently threaded sense of humour across the pond) ;)

Alex

[1] Indeed no. Trying to manipulate rizlas with one hand whilst riding with the other is a traffic
hazard (the traffic offence is now a worse offence than .smoking ganja though!)
[1] (A) Ali G / Sacha-Baron Cohen. Not to be confused with Marco Pantani
[2] A cyclist. Not to be confused with Chris Tarrant.
 
S

Scott

Guest
"Mr [email protected] \(2.3 zulu-alpha\) [comms room 2]" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:<[email protected]>...

> I didn't think much of the BR piece either - it seemed no better than MBUK's outpourings but using
> bigger words and more mature language.

Hopefully you saw other things you liked, if you looked around. Can't please everybody.

> I also saw a post here *by yourself* implying that *he* had written other stuff with "offhand
> comments against cyclists and vegetarians", although perhaps you may have been referring to the
> paper as a whole.

No, I was just referring to little nuggets of bias in general. I don't often read the Times. (That
may have something to do with my bias against Rupert Murdoch.)

> OK, maybe it "*is* because I is Asian ;)" [2] and have experienced prejudice from an early age

My wife is a minority and is no stranger to prejudice herself. I am a minority only in the sense
that I'm an American living in Britain, but people assume all sorts of nasty things about me the
moment I open my mouth. (Of course, I leave them in no doubt when I actually say something ; ) )

> To me this sort of journalism seems like he is *apologising* for being a cyclist - there is no
> need to do so! Even Boris Johnson doesn't write rubbish like this.

Boris is also on the site. If you really want to be insulted as a cyclist, read the piece by
PJ O'Rourke.

> You've not read the "Humor" section then? I thought it was good, for an American (I hope that's
> not being prejudiced - just stating they have a differently threaded sense of humour across the
> pond) ;)

Sure, I've read it. It just isn't my cup of tea. For that matter I'm well informed that what *I*
write is an acquired taste.
 
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