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Friday, August 14, 2009

League of Michigan Bicyclists boycotts radio stations

On Thursday, the League of Michigan Bicyclists posted an open letter boycotting Greater Media for comments made on radio station WCSX in Detroit by morning show hosts Jeff Deminski and Bill Doyle. LMB has extended its boycott to other Greater Media stations, including WRIF and WMGC in the Detroit area.

Here's some excerpts from the letter:

Greater Media’s radio station, WCSX, aired deplorable remarks the morning of August 6, 2009 that encouraged violence against bicyclists.

These reprehensible comments not only belittled cyclists for enjoying a healthy legitimate form of transportation, they made reference to Grand Theft Auto, an intensely violent video game where players run over and maim people.

Greater Media has failed to take appropriate corrective measures to date. I request that Greater Media immediately publicly retract these statements, as well as publicly censure the employees involved in these appalling comments. ...

The on air diatribe went on for over eight minutes and at one point even ridicules the use of bike helmets. A sampling of the intolerable comments made by radio hosts Jeff Deminiski and Bill Doyle are:

“How many of us drivers are disgusted with how bicyclists take to the road. … I’m sorry, they’re jerks. I doubt very much that any cyclist would have the gumption to call us, but how many of them have seen a bicyclist and would just LOVE to lob something at their heads? … God forbid we try to get by them! The guy on the bike is doing 19 mph., they won’t get over, … and it is just flat-out arrogance. … OH GOD, you just want to go Grand Theft Auto on them. … Just move over. That’s all I’m saying. … I don’t see why they are so arrogant. They are riding something which against your 4,000 pound vehicle could launch them like an acorn.

You can listen to the diatribe here: http://tinyurl.com/lffvvs and http://dd.wcsx.com/?p=4324

LMB is urging cyclists to sign an online petition showing their support for the boycott and its urging businesses to drop their ads on General Media stations until the company retracts the statements and censure the employees involved in the diatribe. LMB urges people to boycott businesses that continue to advertise with General Media stations before corrective action is taken.

Deminski and Doyle did talk this week to Paul Alman of the Washtenaw Bicycling and Walking Coalition about their discussion about bicyclists and safety, and you can listen to the interview. They did they did not condone throwing violence toward cyclists and that they were simply drawing attention to the tension between bicyclists and motorists and noting cyclists often don't obey traffic laws.

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