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January 08, 2008

British Journalist Apology Over Call for Decapitating Cyclists Just an Afterthought

In the aftermath of the call for violence by Matthew Parris it became the 2nd most complained-about piece of 'journalism' for 2007, according to the (UK) Press Complaints Commission.

Jolly Good of the Brits for speaking up!  ;-D

Mr. Parris column of January 3rd left a lot to be desired in the face of the outrage of the Cycling Community.

In what appears to be an insincere apology, this poor excuse for a journalist responded at the very end of his column in what comes across as an afterthought:

I offended many with my Christmas attack on cyclists. It was meant humorously but so many cyclists have taken it seriously that I plainly misjudged. I am sorry.

There are so far 40 comments, in response, and few seem in a forgiving mood.

This sums up the consensus:

Classic self-righteous bluster from bullies who know they're in the wrong - stand firm, Matthew!

At least he 'apologized', which is more than his Editor, at the Times of London, has done.

Go here to read the reactions.

Tejvan Pettinger, of the British Blog, Cycling Info, has this to say:

What This Episode Shows

  • Times have shown they care nothing for journalistic integrity.
  • Parris, made a misjudgement, maybe he sincerely regrets it, or maybe he was just a bit taken aback by the response.
  • As quite a few commentators have mentioned if the word ‘cyclist’ had been subsitituted for another minority; - more serious action would have been taken

What would I do If I met Matthew Parris in the street?

  • I would probably ask him whether, as an ex MP and responsible journalist, he had any good ideas to try and reduce the annual death toll of cyclists on British roads. I look forward to that article very much.

The full response is here.

In case you missed it, and think behavior like that suggested by Mr. Parris couldn't happen, please read my post from yesterday:

Fullerton Man in Trouble for Making Bike Trail Holes

January 8, 2008 in Share the Road, and Trail: Safety Matters!, The Opinionated DUDE | Permalink


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