CBS Star’s Bike Crash Highlights Media’s Disrespect for Bicyclists

This weekend television actor Shemar Moore, currently a cast member of
CBS’s Criminal Minds, was struck by a vehicle while riding his bicycle in
Los Angeles.  This crash has been widely, and badly, reported by all
sorts of media outlets who view the crash as a cause for cheap jokes
and bad writing.

Exhibit A
in the catalog of bad and insulting reporting comes from E!
Entertainment.  The celebrity-obsessed cable channel takes the time to make a
joke about Moore misunderstanding the actors’ expression to "break a
leg;" which is both disrespectful to Moore and implies that he was at
fault.  E! also goes on to report that the crash occurred when Moore was
"tooling around on his bicycle."  While Moore’s broken leg is cause for
jokes, the driver is absolved in the piece; after all it was just an
"accident."

Thanks to that side-splitting "break a leg" joke appearing in the Associated Press’ reporting of the crash, it appears in over fifty articles, at the time of publication of this story, that appear on a simple google search of the crash.

Those people more annoyed with the implication that Moore "broke his leg" would be happy to know that this writing trick, which implies that it was Moore’s actions that led to his leg being broken, appears in only thirty-four stories, far less than the side-splitting joke mentioned above.  Moore didn’t "break his leg," it was broken for him by a driver that chose to side-swipe him.

Details on the crash are sparse.  From the accumulated stories, I’ve been able to gather that Moore was biking "in Los Angeles" on Saturday when he was clipped by a passing car.  Moore was released from the hospital after getting treated for a broken leg and is now resting at home.  Somehow, typing those words doesn’t make me feel like making light of the crash.  Must be why I don’t write for the "traditional media."

When a well known actor can’t get a break from the news media when he’s hit by a car while biking, what hope do the Roadblock’s, Andres Tena’s or any of us have if we are unfortunate enough to have a driver crash into us?

(Update: Leave it to the Midnight Ridazz to find out where the crash occured.)

  • Had Moore been killed, the media would be falling all over themselves to report the tragedy. But since he survived, the story isn’t that he was hurt cycling, but that the accident involved a celebrity.

    While the mainstream media loves to do fluff pieces about the health benefits of cycling, or how more people are commuting by bike, the news departments still don’t take bikes seriously. The local media barely mentioned the three local cyclists killed by hit-and-run drunk drivers this year alone; why would they bother reporting seriously on something like this?

  • Joe Dunavan

    I love that gossip sites have more information then the AP.
    http://gossiplist.com/blog2/2009/08/04/shemar-moore-hurt-by-hit-and-run-driver/

    “Actor Shemar Moore is in the hospital with a broken leg. Shemar was hit on southbound Sepulveda Blvd just past Royal Hills Dr. by an elderly man driving a maroon late 80’s Cadillac.

    ‘Shemar’s Look 595 bicycle was totalled,’ according to a passerby.”

  • Lisa Miller

    Um, it was a joke. Get over it.

  • Ashley

    Maybe you don’t write for ‘traditional media’ because of all the typing errors. Vaguely amusing after you mention “bad writing”.

    Anyway, yes, it was a bad pun, tasteless even, but it was just that: a pun. Hardly worth six paragraphs of griping. I’m sure there are far more worthy things you could blog about.

  • Blech. I always seem to have a typo or two when I write stories about crashes…it’s when I’m writing at my most annoyed.

  • I often make fun of car crash victims so it all evens out in the end.

  • Lydia

    I hadn’t thought about ‘mainstream’ media’s take on celebrities in the news, but you did make me think about the mindset of the quickie news blurb and some of the indifference toward the safety of cyclists.

    I hesitate to bike alongside cars because I’m petite and I’m sure many drivers wouldn’t be cognizant of my presence, no matter how careful I bike. Not to mention the kajillion (my un-mathematical term) potholes one has to negotiate.

    I give credit to all the bicyclists out there braving all kinds of hazards.

  • hi, sweetie this ava sorry about your accident i love you!

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Language Is Important

|
This terrible headline via the Huffington Post It’s been a common theme when Streetsblog covers crashes to note the soft bias of the writing and headlines in more traditional news sources.  This bias nearly always deflect guilt away from the people who cause the crashes. It amazes me when I watch coverage of a tragedy […]

Sad Truth: We’ll Never Know What Happened to Susanna Schick

|
It’s been two weeks since the LAPD closed their investigation into the April 6th bicycle crash that left Susanna Schick hospitalized with broken ribs, concussions and other  injuries.  Schick claims that the driver of a white Lexus ran her down from behind in the late night crash.  The LAPD claims she fell off her bicycle. […]

Cyclist Dies on Critical Mass, NBC Opens Fire

|
Last night, a cyclist died on Critical Mass after losing control of his bicycle and crashing into a wall on UCLA’s campus. Jerico Culata was only eighteen years old and friends and family are already mourning his death. Police are investigating the cause of the crash but have already noted that Culata was not wearing a […]

Join Damian Kevitt to Finish the Ride on April 27

|
– There is no way following that crash that I wan’t going to get back on my bike – Damian Kevitt has become something of a folk hero to Los Angeles cyclists. Just last February, a driver struck him with his vehicle while Kevitt was bicycling to meet his wife for lunch. The driver drug […]