Well, not in that order…
LAist’s Stephen Box most recent post, “Hollywood Bus Driver Attacks Cyclist, LAPD Handcuff Cyclist (and Wife!)” highlights once again the escalating friction between cyclists and motorists… in this case, a bus driver.
Written entirely in the third person and including a photo of the man being cuffed, the entry is a compelling, detailed story about a bike rider being honked at by an irritated bus, cyclist then being “nudged” by the bus as he attempts to call the police, and finally ending with his being cuffed by said police while the bus driver is allowed to go on.
Unfortunately, it isn’t until the very end of the post where the author off-handedly suggests that the whole post was about him (in parentheses, no less), and thus written by him:
As for this cyclist (yes, that’s me in those pictures!), “See you on the streets!”
Perhaps this is just Stephen’s writing style – and by all indications he’s an upstanding guy (a couple authors at here blogging.la think very highly of him), but am I the only one who finds this writing in the third person approach to have been a deliberately deceptive way for the author to attempt to gain credibility in they eyes of the reader?
Regardless, for the average reader who reads through the post, it will appear that the author did his homework, complete with a dissection of what transpired, when, in reality, its told only through the point of view of the victim in this instance.
The post is becoming popular on Digg, where its been “dugg” over 1000 times. A couple commenters there also point out the problem, including this from markajanssen:
The author of this story was the participant in the incident. May not be fully factual..not saying it’s fake…just saying that we should heed caution when the story is pretty biased.
More to discussion, albeit on the incident and not the issue of POV/bias, at Midnight Ridazz.