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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Media War: Blogger Criticizes Mainstream Media Worker's Bicycle. Ahhhh -- It's On!

Posted By on Tue, Jul 21, 2009 at 3:59 PM

Yes that is Matt Smith tuning up his bicycle built for four... - JIM HERD
  • Jim Herd
  • Yes that is Matt Smith tuning up his bicycle built for four...
We mainstream media workers have suffered incessant pelting from bloggers, citizen journalists, pamphleteers, and others who seem delighted by the meltdown of the industry that employs us. Up until now, however, the critical onslaught has been (mostly) gentlemanly and businesslike, generally pertaining to mainstream media workers' performance on the job -- we're too left, too right, too reactionary, not reactionary enough, etc.

But last week a local citizen journal/blog called, run by a certain Jim Herd, took this battle in an inappropriate, personal direction. He questioned the technological soundness of SF Weekly columnist Matt Smith's bicycle.

The blogger apparently didn't know Smith was the poor sap fruitlessly trying to fix a malfunctioning family bike at Sunday Streets in the Mission last week. But that's no excuse. We're outraged, and consider the [bicycling] gloves to have been taken off.

Smith is fine with people attacking the pedantry, ignorance, pushiness, and obsequiousness found in his columns. But he thinks a bright line should be drawn around bicycles.

Apparently unaware of this unwritten law of the media jungle, SFcitizen wrote a post titled "A bicycle built for four is the star of San Francisco's Sunday Streets in the Mission."

"Check out the second stoker's handlebars -- it appears the little tyke has her own brake lever. (Is a a drag brake? No se.) It's just a V-brake though, she ought to have control of a motorcycle-style disc, thusly," Herd wrote. "This rolling science experiment must be Robert "Crazy Rob" Ander son's [typo on purpose as he's a little touchy, shhhh] worst nightmare."

It's true that blogger Rob Anderson does have an apparently keen preoccupation with SF Weekly's news columnist. But Anderson has generally restrained himself to criticizing published articles.

SFcitizen's personal criticism, however, crosses a new threshold, and warrants a direct personal response. [Readers not directly involved with in this dispute may skip the following.]

Yes, it's outfitted with a drag, or auxiliary brake. No, my daughter needn't operate a disc brake the size of a sombrero. Any rear brake that shares the load with the primary rear brake, including a v-brake, is fine for slowing the rig down. And, no,  it's not a "rolling science experiment" but rather a fully-functional bicycle.
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