Monday, September 20, 2010

Inflammatory headline

"Bicyclist arrested after allegedly threatening woman at Braintree Mall"

I would have been content with either "Bicyclist arrested after allegedly threatening Driver at ..."
or "Man arrested after allegedly threatening woman at.."

Sounds like the guy was a bit of a nutcase (why was he carrying a big knife to begin with?)  but either the means of transportation was relevant (did she cut him off and was there was reckless driving involved)  or it's not (and he was just unbalanced in a way unrelated to his mode of transport.  Having it in the headline just serves to signify that bicyclists are "other",  different, theatening and just not like "us".

I didn't even look at the comments, I knew they would be full of vitriol,  and I don't need that this early in the morning.  In this case, the headline writer might be responsible for some of the hate.

Fair and balanced...


  1. Call me a masochist but I love reading the flame wars in the comments on these articles.

    In this case I came across a rarely insightful comment that I really enjoyed!

    "Boston bicylists are just Boston drivers on bicycles.

    No surprise they don't obey the law with either vehicle."

  2. I read this yesterday, apparently she did cut him off in order to get into a parking space. The comments section was (at the time I read it) evenly filled with people on both sides of the fence... one person saying "isn't trying to hit someone with a 5000lb car assault w/ a deadly weapon?" etc... etc...

    ...but overall, the guy on the bike (I hesitate to say "bicyclist") did not need to brandish a weapon, and the title is a bit sensationalistic.

  3. A headline I would have favored would be "Cyclist Arrested After Riding in Parking Lot." Not a good idea generally since the rules get a bit confused generally in such places...