Skip to comments.Radio host infuriates cyclists
Posted on 10/01/2003 6:49:41 AM PDT by Hatteras
Radio host infuriates cyclists
By BRUCE SICELOFF, Staff Writer
G105 radio host Bob Dumas told listeners last week that he just hated to see bicycle riders on the road. He laughed at stories about running cyclists down, and he talked up the idea of throwing bottles at bikers. It wasn't funny to cycling enthusiasts across the Triangle. This week they are lobbying government officials and local advertisers in a campaign to punish radio station WDCG and its corporate owner, Clear Channel of San Antonio, and to promote bicycle safety."One caller said her dad had purposely hit a biker on the road on the way to church one Sunday and kept on going," said G105 listener Holly N. Proctor of Cary on Tuesday of the Sept. 21 and 22 broadcasts. "That got laughs. Bob thought that was funny.
"And Bob said he'd love to be on a motorcycle and driving it down a bike lane. Because he didn't think bikers should be allowed on the road. He said they should ride on the sidewalk," she said.
Proctor, a photo technician at N.C. State University, joined two dozen fellow cyclists at a 5 p.m. protest outside the radio station's offices in North Raleigh.
Tom Norman , director of the N.C. Division of Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation , said that reports about the broadcasts revealed dangerous ignorance of state law.
"I have talked to the G105 manager, who was not aware that it is legal to ride bicycles on the public roadways of North Carolina, that cycles are legally recognized as vehicles in North Carolina," Norman said. "Where do you draw the line? What is the distinction between humor and actually inciting or encouraging listeners to harass a group of people?"
Kenneth C. Spitzer, the station manager, declined to provide tapes or transcripts of the broadcasts to Norman or to a Capital Area transportation planning committee that discussed the controversy Tuesday.
In e-mail responses to several Triangle area residents who complained to the station, Spitzer said the "Bob and Madison " show aims to entertain listeners with "animated banter ... that can be both humorous and caustic." But he said some comments last week "went too far, and for that we sincerely apologize.
"Be assured that G105 does not advocate harm to cyclists," he wrote.
G105 is the third Clear Channel station to draw fire in the past four months for on-air comments perceived as advocating violence or animosity toward bicycle riders. Officials at WMJI in Cleveland and KLOL in Houston apologized in July and September for similar remarks. They agreed to broadcast "share the road" messages and to finance bicycle safety campaigns.
Leaders of the N.C. Bicycle Club outlined requests they said would help Clear Channel "mend relations with Triangle bicyclists," including similar public safety campaigns and a detailed apology.
Spitzer declined to comment. A corporate spokeswoman to whom inquiries were directed Tuesday did not return calls.
Members of area cycling clubs have shared copies over the past week of protest letters to the Federal Communications Commission, to state and local prosecutors and to G105 sponsors. Several critics noted that G105 radio hosts have sparked controversy in the past with crude stunts.
"It's one thing to drive around with a naked man on the radio station's van," said Raleigh lawyer Kimberly Bryan. "To encourage citizens to harm cyclists, that has crossed a different line. It's irresponsible. It's not caustic, it's not banter, it's not funny."
David Smith , 38, a software developer at UNC-Chapel Hill, took it personally. His right forearm still bears the scar of an attack by an Orange County motorist who found Smith cycling down a rural road one afternoon in April 2001.
"How are people going to take this, what was mentioned on G105?" Smith asked. "Are people going to say, 'You know, I'm tired of these cyclists?' Is that situation going to exacerbate what happened to me, with somebody else coming down a back road?"
After running Smith off the road, the driver stopped, chased him down on foot and struck him with a hatchet, sending him into a ditch and over the handlebars of his wrecked bike. Marvin Glenn Manring of Orange County pleaded guilty in July 2001 to assault with a deadly weapon. He promised to enroll in an anger management program.
Staff writer Bruce Siceloff can be reached at 829-4527 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
It squishes a lot of things. The warning to you and bikers is this: don't argue physics laws when you are so far outclassed.
Be polite and you will not get run over, and remember that if you do break the traffic laws, and I wind up with your face decorating my grill, your insurance will be paying for the cleanup.
Cycling is fun (I do it myself). I'm just not going to be a sanctimonious a$$hole about it.
Are you sure they was?
Thanks for sharing it (I think).
It's National Computer Learning Week!!!
..... and the problem with that is....?
Well, big ones can hit you in face when your bike goes over speed bumps and when zooming through traffic and they must be bound tight with a racing bra.
Leg hair must be shaved everyday, because those tiny little hairs actually grab the wind and slow you down.