Belmont Bike Fight – This is News?

Yesterday, the main headline in the New York Times read “Senate Approves Bill to Broaden Wiretap Powers”. Pretty important story involving the government expanding surveillance powers against citizens and simultaneously granting telecoms immunity from civil suits initiated by said citizens. Here in Portland the main headline read “Cyclist Clubs Driver With His Bike”. Really? With all the stuff that happened on Wednesday, the Oregonian editorial staff thought this was the most important story of the day?

Truth be told, the story has generated a lot of discussion – hundreds of comments on both the Oregonian and Bike Portland. Some comments were amazingly poignant, some were jaw-droppingly stupid. Still, putting the story above the fold on the front page strikes me as a depressingly sensationalistic move by the “O” (and judging by what I’ve read on other sites, I’m not alone). I’m not going to go into the details of the story itself, those have already been talked to death elsewhere. What I am going to say is that Wednesday was a pretty busy news day, and the fact that the Oregonian chose to run this story above all others illustrates why people like me look elsewhere for my news.

2 Comments so far

  1. clevergirl on July 11th, 2008 @ 6:59 pm

    Funny thing – I actually just wrote up a little post saying pretty much the same thing while I was just out at the park. I come back, and here you’ve done it for me! Well, I guess that just gives me a little bit more space to write about other things… :)

  2. guestron on July 28th, 2008 @ 1:13 pm

    This [Oregonian coverage] confuses the real issue of this being an incident of violence. There is really no point in raising it to a ‘higher level’. The bikes versus cars issue is not going to be solved by random acts of violence, it will be solved through stricter road laws and safer and more mindful operation of transportation vehicles by Portland citizens. I think that the last thing Portland needs is a fostering of this tension, which to me, seems a tad manufactured. There was another front page recently reporting the issues between Bicyclists and Auto drivers though I did not read it because I don’t read these sorts of things. It is always interesting to see the way events are reported upon, perhaps this is another example of the Oregonian trying to ‘Keep Portland Weird’.

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