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

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.)


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 […]