Steyn plays a round of Name That Dindu.
Spirits of the Age
Last month, The Las Vegas Review-Journal carried a sad little story about a man who’d died while out on a bicycle ride:
His daughter, Taylor Probst, got an alert from her dad’s Apple Watch indicating that the 64-year-old man had fallen. The 27-year-old and her mother, Crystal Probst, drove to the scene of the crash, only 3 miles from their home.
“I come from law enforcement as well in my younger days,” Crystal Probst said in an interview Friday. “I was able to ascertain, there’s his bike, his helmet is way over there, his phone is way over there. I’m like, this is not good…”
Officers and firefighters told the women that Probst had been taken to University Medical Center.
They waited four hours there, asking everyone where their loved one was.
Finally, a representative from the Clark County coroner’s office told them Probst had passed.
“When they know somebody’s dead, and a family is sitting out in that lobby waiting, somebody needs to come out,” Crystal Probst said, angry at the delayed response.
So that’s how it was initially reported. As the characteristically somnolent monodaily’s original headline put it:
Retired police chief killed in bike crash remembered for laugh, love of coffee
Must have been a pretty bad “crash”, huh? But just one of those things, compounded at the hospital by the usual bureaucratic heartlessness of modern life.
And then a video emerged, which included a little witty repartee.
So two joyriders steal a car, hit another vehicle, and then decide to kill a bicyclist for kicks. “Ready?” says the driver. “Hit his ass,” responds the passenger. And they do – and whaddayaknow, killing a guy makes for a really cool video when you post it on “social” media!
Then a CBS report dropped relating the arrest of a “teen” of scrupulously-undisclosed ethnic origin, for “a series” of “hit-and-run crashes” in El Lay. Mark throws yet another eerily similar incident from Toronto into the gruesome mix before hurling the payoff pitch:
Notice how in all three jurisdictions the media report what happened as a “hit-and-run”. I think not. Hit-and-run laws are among the earliest of traffic regulations (1927, even on the rustic byways of British Bengal) because, in the days of dusty unpaved roads, no license plates and begoggled drivers, good luck figuring out who that chap is fleeing the scene of an accident. But that’s what the term is meant to cover: an accident. You carelessly hit another vehicle and, in a moment of panic, hightail it out of there.
The above incidents are hit-and-run only in the sense that, say, the 2016 Bastille Day truck carnage or the Berlin Christmas market slaughter were.
Of course, those guys were ploughing you into the asphalt in order to advance the triumph of Islam over the infidel. The good news is that the killers in Nevada and California and Ontario just do it for a laugh.
Annnnd dingdingdingdingdingdingding WE HAVE A WINNAH, FOLKS! Meanwhile, the LVR-J folks would like all you RAYCISS!!!© peons to know they’re upset with you for being upset with their stringently sotto voce reportage on this hate-crime:
Compare and contrast all the above with the hometown paper’s anodyne headline. Having remained silent through Friday, Saturday, Sunday, the Review-Journal finally returned to the “bike crash” today to defend its feeble, anaesthetizing coverage:
As the online firestorm evolved on Saturday, editors at the Review-Journal changed the headline of the article, removing the phrase “bike crash” and replacing it with “hit-and-run,” hoping the change would calm the online vitriol.
But that isn’t true either: it’s an act of murder – a vehicular homicide for which that guy in Charlottesville, Virginia is presently serving half-a-millennium.
Indeed so. Funny, that—but not in a jolly, hah-hah sort of way.
And yes, my post title IS an intentional play on the name of my favorite RATM song.
My second-favorite? The obvious one, of course.
(Via Ed Driscoll)