If Brexit wasn’t bad enough… Last night’s ‘cyclists vs. drivers’ offering on Channel 5 was a rather predictable hatchet job on the former group of travellers. Although the voices of two pro-cycling contributors were featured (including a police officer), they were far outnumbered by a rather aggressive group of angry motorists ranting about how their own rights as road users have been (allegedly) infringed. It was all rather silly stuff and this viewer learnt very little from the 60-minute programme. You may choose to watch it yourself – the link is here – but you’ll learn far more from the 1 minute 12 seconds of this video featuring Chris Boardman:
Header image: Channel 5
I forced myself to watch it, and it was indeed cheap, shabby, lowest-common-denominator, shouty, dim-witted drivel: clickbait for aggressive, bigoted simpletons. I’m happy to record my anger here, and in other cycle forums, but I’ve no intention of encouraging the nonentities in the production company behind this nonsense by any public comments they’d ever see. That’s playing their game.
I’ve worked in crap telly, and I know their type: bubbly, attractive, self-confident, middle-class half-wits who have every idea about the meeja and no idea about science, history or facts. They think Newton’s Laws is a police drama, they think Pearl Harbour was a jazz singer, they think Twitterstorms are a confirmation of their cleverness.
So, what do we do about it – us sensible, decent people who happen to cycle, who probably also drive a car sometimes, who just want to share the road that we all pay for, and get to where we’re going safely and pleasantly without stupid arguments with prejudiced idiots? We can’t *all* move to the Netherlands.
All I can suggest is that we keep on doing what we’re doing, and don’t play the bullies’ game by over-reacting. We keep cycling, we keep blogging and writing positively, we keep smiling. And – now that the admirable Mr Boardman et al have produced their own effective rebuff to this waste of airtime – we give the programme-shaped-objects like Channel 5’s pathetic effort the public attention it deserves. Nothing.
You expected better from Channel 5?