There is this recurring theme through Daily Mail articles: cycling is bad and cyclists should be burned at the stake. OK, they don’t actually say that in as many words, but with that idiot James Martin bragging about running cyclists off the road and other anti-cycling rants regularly appearing, they’re not far from it.
The latest episode was one by a certain Petronella Wyatt – yes, the same one that called the countryside (and by association those that live there) “crushingly dull” and “intellectually backward”.
Anyway, ms Waytt apparently only shops in Belgravia and only wears expensive designer brands. I’m not too sure whether this is actually be free choice, or if ms Wyatt is too crushingly dull and intellectually backward to make up her own mind, so instead succumbs to the unspoken pressure exerted by her obviously exalted peer group.
In her latest dribble in the Daily Mail, ms Wyatt rants about cyclists and how apparently it is a “cult” of cycling. Supposedly her mother was knocked down by a cyclist. If this was true I’d have nothing but sympathy for her mother and anger towards the cyclist that supposedly didn’t stop after committing this heinous deed.
IF it was true…which I very seriously doubt, just like I doubt her claim of trying cycling herself.
See, ms Wyatt stands on such slippery ground: she practically called anybody that lives anywhere smallish and greenish stupid, and clearly she got that one wrong! She also got something else wrong in her latest anti-cycling rant, where she wrote this dribble: “So if you are driving responsibly along the street and you are hit by a cyclist who has shot a red light, done a wheelie and is listening to his iPod, you will have to pay for damage to the bike and compensation for the cyclist’s injuries.”
I fired off a complaint to the Press Complaints Commission (not expecting any result) stating that she broke the code by stating factually inaccurate information and that the Daily Mail failed to allow comments to point out any errors.
Rather quickly I got a response from the PCC and guess what? They actually agreed! As a result, the Daily Mail was forced to print a correction (in the paper version for Sunday, 21 Feb 2010) as well as add a correction at the bottom of ms Wyatt’s article.
Yes, they didn’t force the Daily Mail to pull the article. Yes, they didn’t print an apology. But hey, this was a tiny step in the right direction!
Such a tiny victory but it still managed to bring a smile to my face.