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Hyperbole and Half-Truths

April 27, 2012

Following last week’s community board meeting on Plaza Street, at which one angry motorist simultaneously compared the DOT to hippies and Nazis, this San Francisco Examiner caught my attention.

There is an audience out there — mostly older, mostly cranky — that loves to marinate in the notion that drivers in The City are victimized by political correctness run amok.

This idea of two-wheeled liberalism is an attitude that is pandered to by the likes of curmudgeonly columnists at San Francisco newspapers. Consider this quote from a recent column on a proposal to fund Muni by slightly increasing parking fines. “OK, I get it,” the columnist wrote. “Cars are evil. And I drive a car so I must be punished. It’s the law.”

Transportation policy and budget priorities are complex, especially in tough times. It is easy to sit back and paint in broad strokes about issues, but that does nothing to truly advance the conversations that need to be happening.

The editorial goes on to say “it does no one any good to sit back and fan the flames by using hyperbole and half-truths.”  That may be true, but as The Brooklyn Paper has learned, it does generate page views.

The whole piece, on the subject of the rare instance of a cyclist killing a pedestrian, is worth a read.

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