Ted Rogers Phones It In

By Alex Thompson

On Friday Ted Rogers of Biking In LA attacked John Fisher, Assistant General Manager of Operations of LADOT, claiming that Fisher is ultimately responsible for Bikeways failures.  In “Who’s the man behind the curtain of L.A. bicycling?” Rogers, a board member for the LACBC, exonerates Michelle Mowery by arguing that she is not powerful enough to be responsible for 15 years of bikeways failures.   He then shifts blame off Rita Robinson, who runs DOT, by insulting her, arguing she’s not up to the job of managing engineers.  The real problem, says Rogers, is Fisher, Rita’s 2nd in command.

It’s bullshit.  Rogers gets it wrong from the intro to the conclusion.  The bulk of the article is speculative commentary based on blog comments by Ramon Martinez, LACBC sharrows program lead, Joe Linton, LACBC co-founder, and Josef Bray-Ali, Bike Oven founder.  The article gets critical facts wrong – for example, Rogers alleges Fisher is 2nd in command at DOT, when there is no 2nd in command at DOT – and steers readers to damning conclusions with leading questions in a failure of journalistic ethics.

This follows hot on the heels of Rogers criticizing the Bike Kitchen based on another blogger’s negative review – an article in which he provides plenty of commentary based on no direct experience.  In another recent series of articles Rogers summarizes the LA Critical Mass incident and aftermath, but again phones it in from his apartment, not bothering to make the trip to the public meetings he reports on.

I began reading Rogers’ blog when he had only a handful of readers, but lately I’ve found the content to be off the mark.  In the Bike Kitchen article, he writes “I wasn’t there either night, so I can’t comment on what really happened.”  The entire article is a comment on what happened!  In the same article he asks “are we discouraging the people we need to encourage?”  We?  Rogers has never volunteered for a bike repair collective, nor has he, I believe, been to one as a customer.  He’s not part of the “we”.   In his article on Fisher, he dares the reader to spot Bikeways in the organization chart, then doesn’t bother to show where it is (the Bureau of Capital Programming), and fails to show the reader where Fisher is on the org chart.  Rogers, who has a car and sometimes drives, wrote about the May 28th Critical Mass beatdown “as I write this, cyclists are confronting representatives of the LAPD at tonight’s meeting of the Bike Advisory Committee.”  Close your computer, put the keys in the ignition, and make the trip; go to the meeting.

I’ll be publishing four articles in the next few days criticizing Rogers’ analysis.  In the first article I will analyze DOT to show that Bikeways is not Fisher’s area of responsibility, and dispute the notion that Fisher is a good strategic target.  The second article will be about Fisher’s position on biking, based on my recent conversation with him.  In the third article I will discuss Rogers’ reporting on events he played no part in, such as the negative review of the Bike Kitchen and the Los Angeles Critical Mass incident.  In the fourth article I’ll discuss how LACBC board members and employees amplified the well intentioned opinions of Josef Bray-Ali, manufacturing a false consensus on Fisher.

I called John Fisher and got his comments on the Rogers piece, and I’ve been to a bajillion public meetings involving DOT.  I co-founded the Bikerowave and I’ve talked with volunteers, customers about Rogers’ piece on the Bike Kitchen.  I was not on the May 28th Los Angeles Critical Mass, but I met Chief Beck at the Bicycle Advisory Committee meeting while I assisted cyclists in filling out comment cards, I went to the press conference by Manny Gallegos, I went to the police commission, I arranged multiple interviews of victims by the press, and I was on the phone my whole holiday weekend.  I’m downtown every week.

I was there and Rogers wasn’t.  These are my thoughts on Rogers’ misrepresentations.

(Read more in “Why Org Charts Matter“.)

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54 Responses to “Ted Rogers Phones It In”

  1. Alex, the only conversation we’ve had in months is the exchange of emails in which you cut me off as a friend and colleague, despite my attempts to maintain both relationships. And you were the one who insisted that those emails were off the record. So exactly what recent conversation are you planning to quote?

    There’s a big difference between disagreeing with something I’ve written and a personal attack. I have never had anything but good to say about you, yet now you prepare a hatchet job at my expense?


  2. Ted,

    I don’t plan on quoting any conversations that you and I have had. I think you may have misunderstood – I’ll be quoting John Fisher from a conversation he and I had on Friday.

    I don’t think that this is a hatchet job because there is nothing crude about it. I’m writing a careful and lengthy analysis of your recent posts which is highly critical. That analysis will be based primarily on what you have written on your blog, so I cannot really call that a hatchet job.

    This is not the first time that you’ve used friendship as a shield, and I’m coming to understand that it is your habit to do so. Well, we have not been friends for a long time. However, it’s not about friendship. This is, in essence, a professional decision to expose the recent decline in the quality of your writing, because I believe it is inaccurate and misleading.

    I encourage you to take a deep breath and examine whether some or all of what I have to say is valid. You may characterize this as an attack, but if you do, then consider that what you wrote about Bike Kitchen was not an attack, but a vicious attack. You can’t have one without the other.

  3. I can’t really see how you construe this as a personal attack. What’s personal about saying you’ve got the facts wrong? What’s personal about criticizing what you’ve written on your public blog? What’s personal about pointing out that you don’t belong to the “we” of volunteers at the Bike Kitchen, Bike Oven, Bikerowave & Bikery? What’s personal about pointing out that you don’t go to the events you cover? This is all fair and appropriate analysis.

  4. Alex does go to a lot of meetings… He must take One-A-Day Anti-Bureaucratic-Boredom pills.

  5. Alex may go to a lot of meetings, but that doesn’t mean he can’t come off as tone deaf in his criticism of Roger’s article.

    Fisher has been with the LADOT since before it was the LADOT! His influence is large in the department, thus he is one of the bureaucrats worth talking about.

    Open criticism of the LADOT’s top brass is a worthwhile political strategy. Phone calls to get the facts from a team of LADOT staff is not the way to find the truth of transportation matters in LA. They have, and continue, to bust out all sorts of lies and subterfuge in numerous meetings across the city.

    I say, Thompson, back off. You don’t help anyone else but yourself by writing such a stupid piece. Yes, it is stupid. Don’t be stupid.

  6. I’m looking forward to reading your reporting on all this. I’m not all that interested in the slams on other bloggers (although I bet the anti-bikers out there love it when we fight among ourselves). Sounds like you’ve talked to some key people and may be able to clear some things up. Maybe you can suggest ways your readers/bikers can help in the quest to create more bike-friendly streets in L.A. (other than attending meetings… which I agree is always a good thing if you’re able).

  7. It is great to see that the bicycle advocacy community has gotten so big and strong that it can afford to cannibalize itself.

  8. Alex Thompson, we could all use ultra critical analysis of our advocacy. I haven’t gone to community meetings, have never gone on a critical mass ride, have never gone on a LABC River Ride, and thankfully never been doored by a parked car. Yet I ride every day (more or less) and consider myself a bicycle advocate…. Perhaps you should turn your eye my way, as certainly I ‘FAIL’ much more than Ted Rogers when it comes to stepping up to the plate for cyclists and the built environment. Tone is important, and in this you appear to have FAILED.

  9. I don’t want to say that the bicycling community can’t have debate and disagreement, but this attack seems really misguided. And I found nothing wrong with Ted’s Bike Kitchen piece. Why attack him when he was relaying the experience of a different blogger while offering his own explanations in an attempt to defend the Bike Kitchen?

    “again phones it in from his apartment, not bothering to make the trip to the public meetings he reports on”

    “We? Rogers has never volunteered for a bike repair collective, nor has he, I believe, been to one as a customer. He’s not part of the ‘we’.”

    I’d hate to see the bicycling community come down to who is more holier-than-thou.

  10. Evan,

    Two things.

    First, would you give me the benefit of the doubt and wait for all 4 posts to come out? I think after that you will see that there is some merit to my position.

    Second, re-read Ted’s post re Bike Kitchen. He is criticizing Kitchen, indirectly. As co-founder of Bikerowave, I thought it was an insult to people everywhere that Ted wouldn’t be direct in his criticism. Had he simply pointed people to Amanda Lipsey’s post, I would have had no problem. But the offer of chastising advice I found inappropriate, given that he had nothing new to offer the conversation.

  11. “would you give me the benefit of the doubt”

    the same benefit of the doubt you are giving ted? Lol.

    i think the tone in this is a little off too alex. i know you have a good heart, but i think there are more constructive ways you can be spending your bikey love energy.

    also, i think you should’ve used the word “critiqing” instead of “criticizing.”

    as someone who did volunteer in a bike co-op and who didn’t always feel like one of the gang, i can relate to the feel of them seeming like intimidating places. this can be inadvertently influenced by music choice, demographics of the volunteers on any given night, etc.

    it takes some courage to go into a place and admit you know nothing to a bunch of people who do. i’ve never been to the kitchen, but i know the bikerowave is full of really awesome people who are super-inviting, you just have to get the courage to go in.

  12. Wait, Ted picks up a story about me going to the Bicycle Kitchen and relates it to a story about him in a bike shop, then asks a question to the bicycle community/industry as a whole, and you take that as a direct attack on all bike co-ops, including the Bikerowave?

    And you say “I co-founded the Bikerowave and I’ve talked with volunteers, customers about Rogers’ piece on the Bike Kitchen.” Ted didn’t do a piece on the bike kitchen, he compared my experience to an experience of his own. I just think it’s backwards that you’re going to “expose” Ted for empathizing with another person’s experience. And what exactly have you talked to these “customers and volunteers” at the Bike Kitchen about? You weren’t there on the day in question. You don’t know the specific people involved, nor have you and I had an on the record conversation about it.

    It’s completely legitimate for you to disagree with some one’s opinion about something, but when you point the finger to the fact that he owns a car, as if this means he has no excuse to miss any meeting of any kind for any reason…you lose me there.

    Alex, you put in a lot of time and energy trying to make the world a safer place for cyclists. Attacking another cyclist you don’t agree with is akin to me getting pissy with the security guard at the Beverly Hills Courthouse for taking my tools when we were there to support Louis in his hit and run. It’s trivial. Your cause is bigger than this.

  13. Please let us know what John Fisher has done for the safety of Los Angeles’ bicyclists and pedestrians in his career at the LADOT since 1973.

    I think that John Fisher has much more power over how Los Angeles’ streets look, than does Michelle Mowery… not that that “exonerates” Mowery. It’s clear to me that Fisher is a big part of the problem.

  14. Regarding “[Ted Rogers’]article gets critical facts wrong – for example, Rogers alleges Fisher is 2nd in command at DOT, when there is no 2nd in command at DOT”

    While you’re correct that there’s no position literally titled “2nd in command” at LADOT, Fisher is clearly documented as the second highest ranking executive staff at LADOT. Officially, per the formal organizational chart at http://ladot.lacity.org/about_org-chart.htm , Fisher, as the head of Transportation Operations, is tied for the #2 slot. Given his seniority and the relative power between him and the other AGMs (whose roles are more administrative, and less directly responsible for LA’s streets), it’s clear to me that Fisher is #2.

    According to the DOT’s website listing of DOT executive staff, he is listed second – right after Rita Robinson. See http://ladot.lacity.org/about-executive-staff.htm

    Could you explain your assertion that Ted is wrong about this? Just because there’s no position formally titled “2nd in command” doesn’t mean that Fisher isn’t the #2 person in the department. Who do you think the second in command is? Do you think that there’s an Assistant General Manager at the LADOT that has more power than John Fisher?

    This point is somewhat moot. Fisher, whether he’s the #1, #2 or tied for #2, or #3, #4, #5 or in the top 10, or however you want to rank/characterize it… is among the most powerful persons in the LADOT – and has been so for quite a long time. The point is that he has power and that he hasn’t used that power to make L.A. safer for walking and bicycling.

    I think it’s great that you’re communicating with Fisher and that through this relationship, you may have some influence on his future actions… It’s about time that Fisher’s historically-cas-centric Traffic Operations folks worked to make things safer for bicyclists and pedestrians.

  15. In the same vein of BikinginLA providing commentary on issues with no direct experience:

    His praise and admiration of the criticism written by Adrian Leung (who works for Alta Planning) in his “Is the Backbone Bikeway Network all it’s cracked up to be?” article was disconcerting. With only the research of reading some blogs, newspaper articles and comments Ted made the proclamation that “By itself, the Backbone Bikeway Network is not the solution to anything.” If he would have just called me or shown up to any of the LA Bike Working Group sessions I could have explained all the reasons why Adrian’s article was completely misguided and what the Backbone will and can accomplish whether or not the Draft LA Bike Plan is adopted. Instead he (as usual) weakly positioned the Backbone as “simply [a] recognition that these are streets that cyclists will use”, took a weak shot at the Backbone Bikeway Network in the title and feebly left the reader to “draw his own conclusions”.

    It’s a modus operandi that I come to expect from Ted; but, as he is a member of the board of the LACBC I find it unsavory, albeit, the parameters of that organization.

  16. Ooops – typo in the second to last line of my previous comment – should read “historically-car-centric”

    Also, Alex, I was looking through your list describing your upcoming posts. Are you going to elaborate on the other “critical facts” that BikinginLA’s piece on Fisher has “wrong”? At this point you mentioned multiple “facts,” but only cite one – the “2nd in command” thing. I am curious to hear what the other incorrect critical facts are.

  17. Mention of Rogers’ car ownership seems a little personal to me… I will withhold further commentary.

  18. Actually Jeremy, if you’ve read my blog as you imply, you’d know that I’ve been a supporter of the Backbone Bikeway Network since it was announced. Leung’s article raised some interesting questions, which I felt my readers were intelligent enough to consider and draw their own conclusions. And I conclude by saying that the Backbone Network should be incorporated into the revised bike plan. If that’s opposing it, I’d sure as hell like to know what support looks like.

    If you want to contact me, I’ll be happy make any corrections to anything I got wrong in that post, which you could have done at the time it was written. Otherwise, this is just another in today’s long list of cheap shots.

    As for driving a car — like the overwhelming majority of bicyclists — Alex certainly didn’t seem to object to it the times he asked me for a ride.

  19. Jeremy-
    Check your facts: I don’t work for Alta; we amiably parted ways in January. Also, Ted isn’t “feeble” in suggesting that people “decide for themselves.” Would you rather that he demand for everyone to agree with him, and that he attack anyone with a different opinion? Cuz, that would be closed-minded.

    I don’t know what John Fisher sold you, but you need to get your money back. With regards to modus operandi, time and time again, you bitterly lash out at a person who hasn’t done anything to you. You and Ted used to play so nicely together. What happened? I checked his site, and he’s still posting with respect and dignity–in response to your venom! Three more articles with this acid will only further paint you as a villain, constipated with malice.*

    *aside: Oh man, I’ve been dying to write “constipated with malice” in public for sooooo long.

  20. I mentioned that Ted has a car because it means it wouldn’t be that hard for him to get to the meeting. Biking there, is a longer ride, though I biked it just fine from Del Rey.

    I consistently amazed at how a post criticizing the substance of what Ted has to say on his public blog is construed as a personal attack by his fan base. Gimme a break, grow up. Criticizing him for what he wrote is fair game, and totally earned in this case.

  21. Alex,
    I am hardly part of the BikinginLA fan base. But it’s plain to everyone that your tone is really harsh and personal when you say that Ted’s work is a failure. It’s okay to express disagreement, but try and channel your words through a positive place of love.

  22. Sorry Adrian… That was a copy paste of old text I neglected to change the tense of. I’m well aware you don’t work for Alta anymore. I’ll get back and edit that when I have a chance. I’m saying “feebly suggests” as an adjective describing how he suggests; it’s not that the pure act of “suggesting” is feeble. It’s just the way he does it and that’s my opinion.

    Anyways I’m not “demanding” anyone change their ways. I’m just expressing my distaste for their ways. Read my text. I’m up against enough people that tell me what I should do– I think it’s quite cruel to do that — so I don’t.

  23. Ted, I haven’t said you opposed the Backbone. To reiterate what I said: you passed judgement on things you weren’t knowledgable or experienced at when you could have just talked to me. People actually did call me that day. That was the point of my whole comment. For me to contact you to change your words would be a waste of my time and energy. I just wrote and spoke more on my topic to clear up the general understanding… and that’s what AT’s about to do.

    And no Ted I don’t read your blog. I digest it.

  24. I’m setting a new standard for Bikeside comments:

    – unequivocal personal attacks will be removed

    I have therefore removed 5 comments – two by Patrick Miller, two by The Dude Abides, and one by Greg Thomas.

    The point that some of my article could be perceived as personal attacks is well taken. In particular, the remark that Rogers piece is bullshit, the remark that I believe Rogers has never been to a bike repair collective, and the remark that Rogers drives I think some perceive as personal attacks. I think that they were fair game and relevant, but in the interest of becoming more of statesmen by acting as if, I’m setting a new standard for my writing:

    – no remarks that could be perceived by a reasonable person in a calm state of mind as a personal attack.

    I believe that it’s shameful to shut down valid criticism by framing it as a personal attack. I see a lot of that in these comments and on the comments on Rogers’ blog. Those who seek to do that should be afraid, because I am going to march forward with fair and accurate criticism that they will be unable to frame as a personal attack, and that I doubt Rogers will be able to answer.

    Josef Bray-Ali – I don’t think I’ve made a mistake here. However, next time you call something I’ve done stupid I encourage you to remember that although I sometimes make mistakes, I have never done anything stupid – I always apply intelligence to my actions. Once “mistakes = stupid” one loses their ability to take risks and learn from them.

  25. A personal attack for Bikeside’s purposes will be any remark which:

    – speculates about another person’s motivation, intentions, or character in order to undermine that person
    – derogatory remarks about a person’s personal life or appearance

  26. alex, like joe a. said.

    obviously, you have a different take on some of the finer grain matters out there. but isn’t it painfully obvious that you and ted have much more in common? that you share a common vision of moving los angeles bicycling forward? (big picture)

    from a tactical POV – how is doing a four-part bomb on bikingla better than doing a four part bomb on on some freaking tool like this guy:

    seriously, i would love to see you go after this guy and everyone would love it.

    please – use that sharp noggin of yours to attack those who are truly deserving it, and unify (or at least ignore) those who don’t perfectly align with every jot and tittle of your bike doctrine.

  27. “This is not the first time that you’ve used friendship as a shield”

    that sounds like a speculation on his motives. DELETE that post!

  28. Flipside,

    Nice name. It’s not speculation. Rogers and I have had private communications in which a similar refrain was present. Rogers also wrote a post in which the central theme is that I’m a former friend who blindsided him. The presumption is that as a (former) friend I should have notified him that I would be critical of his work. Friendship – meet shield.

  29. Alex, I think your criteria for censoring comments is far too subjective. This is a public blog. Everyone has different policies for what comments they allow on their personal blog; however, Bikeside LA is an advocacy/lobbying organization, and the blog is a representation of that organization (and by proxy I might say the cycling community?). Unless the comment was obscene, threatening, or harassing (I would go so far to even say racist, sexist, or anti-semetic), on a public blog, I would say post it.

    Greg Thomas posted something very mean about me, but I never mentioned it to you or even cared, because this is a public blog/forum, or at least I understood its intent to be a public blog/forum (wait, are you going to censor me now because that could be interpreted as speculating your motivation in an attempt to undermine you?).

    Even on my personal blog I allow people to criticize me (and very harshly) without censoring them unless they posted obscene or threatening remarks. If you think it’s gone far enough and want to redirect the conversation, then close the comments or post a comment and redirect it.

  30. So will you allow other posters to justify their “supposed” speculative comments before they are deleted? Hypothetically speaking, what if some of the posters actually knew from private communications about you’re motivations and or intentions about some group or organization; would their posts remain on the site?

  31. Flipside,

    Probably not. The fact that Rogers painted the conflict as betrayed friendship in his post makes it unequivocally NOT a personal attack – I based my remark on that post. The comments I removed were unequivocally personal attacks, to the point where one wrote “you sir are a douchbag (sic)” in ref to me.

    The point is the principle; implementation and issues of implementation will be handled at will and ad hoc.

    The principle is that Bikeside’s discourse will henceforth exceed a certain minimum level of civility. This will not be an environment for unsophisticated trolling. Bring your A-game trolling if you want to troll on Bikeside.

    [edited to change “posts” to “comments” to avoid confusion]

  32. To me, the point of the criticism is to point out the misrepresentations of what is becoming a well-read blog so that others can make their own well-informed decisions on who should be supported in the LADOT, and whether they should give any credence to this criticism of the Bike Kitchen or the person who originally criticized the Kitchen. The former issue directly affects my safety on the streets of LA and the latter issue affects the fundraising ability of a volunteer organization. I, for one, heavily disagree with Rogers on these two issues and I’d like to see more public commentary refuting his position on them.

  33. Greg, I urge you to read Ted’s article that references my Bicycle Kitchen story again. Ted does not criticize the Kitchen. He summarizes my story, then specifically says :

    “Now, don’t get me wrong.

    This isn’t a criticism of the Bicycle Kitchen. Until I read Amanda’s letter, I’d heard nothing but good things about them. And I wasn’t there either night, so I can’t comment on what really happened, or who was right or wrong.”

    Then he offers a call to arms to the entire cycling community (which, in case you didn’t know) is a lot larger than the 3-4 bike co-ops scattered through out. He says this:

    “It’s a reminder that if we really want to build our bicycling community, we need to take a situation like this and turn it into an opportunity to encourage less experienced riders. Whether that means offering advice on how to ride in traffic, how to buy a bike or where to get the parts they need.

    And whether we write a blog, work in a bike shop or serve on the board of a biking organization. Or just encounter a rider having a little difficulty on the road.”

    Ted doesn’t criticize anyone, he merely reminds us all that we all have a responsibility to make our community strong by encouraging and helping each other out. Exactly the thing Alex has chosen not to do here.

  34. “But instead of offering encouragement, the answer was simply ‘we don’t sell frames.’ So she walked out the door, empty handed and disappointed.”

    Without talking to the volunteer in question he paints the Kitchen as just one grand disappointment with their alleged lack of encouragement to a new cyclist. That’s not a criticism? He doesn’t think there is more to the story? Did he even bother trying to find out who the volunteer was and whether anything in your blog is even true?

    He’s being disingenuous when he says this isn’t a criticism.

  35. Greg, those are all excellent questions…IF you are reviewing MY story and writing a response to it. However, it’s clear to me (and I think/hope many others) that Ted is using my experience as a jumping off point to remind all of his readers to help one another in an effort to build community. Even the part that you quote is Ted paraphrasing my story (he’s not adding his own thoughts there; it’s a succinct summarization of what I wrote) probably because he didn’t want to post the entire article into his blog. I doubt that I can convince you otherwise of your staunch beliefs that Ted is criticizing the Kitchen, but at least we’re listening to each other now.

    The discussion you and I are having now is far more constructive than Alex’s dramatic sweeping article leveling charges at Ted. Civily debating the issue gets us a lot farther in understanding each other and our diverse opinions.

  36. Amanda,

    By your own measures you don’t measure up. You had a bad experience at the Kitchen, and you were perfectly willing to blog that. Then you had a good experience at Bikerowave . . . but you never wrote that up. You say that “we have a responsibility to make our community strong by encouraging and helping each other out” yet you have been more discouraging to the volunteers of bike repair collectives than anyone else in recent memory.

    You still have an opportunity to make right, but I think it behooves you to acknowledge your failure to be positive as regards the bike repair collectives.

  37. Well, geez, Alex, some of us actually have jobs. But if you had actually been to my blog lately, you would see that my most recent post states that I have a number of posts to write and catch up on, which I haven’t had time to do since the LACM incident, which occurred right after my visit to Bikerowave.

    My post about the Bicycle Kitchen was about the Bicycle Kitchen alone. I did not talk about bike co-ops in general nor do I anywhere mention the Bikerowave. Once again, I ask you to take a reading comprehension course along with a writing course so you can learn some tone. And yes, so you don’t have to guess, I’m being harsh here.

    Furthermore, my blog is a PERSONAL blog about my PERSONAL experiences. I do not claim to be a journalist nor am I a lobbying organization that claims to speak on the behalf of the cycling community while ripping apart anyone who has a differing view or opinion. Nope, Alex, that’s you.

  38. One more thing, Alex. I didn’t say “we all have a responsibility to make our community strong by encouraging and helping each other out.” I said that’s what Ted is reminding us of. Learn some reading comprehension already.

  39. “Ted is using my experience as a jumping off point to remind all of his readers to help one another in an effort to build community.”

    Then he simply could have done something like this: “I ran across this blog (linking to your Kitchen entry) the other day and it reminded me that we as a community need to be more supportive of new cyclists…” instead of spending more than half his blog entry validating your version of your experience at the Kitchen. If he was only using your story as a jumping off point then he needed to use only a sentence or two to get to his major point.

  40. Greg, while I do not believe, based on Rogers’ usual content, tone, and style of writing that he meant a criticism of the Bicycle Kitchen, you do have an excellent and legitimate point. Perhaps he wanted to summarize the story so when he told his story it made more sense? Perhaps he simply didn’t see it as a critique? At this point, that question can only be answered by Ted. I personally don’t believe his intention was to criticize (as I’ve said), but I do think we’re at the point where Ted could give us some insight as to why he chose to frame it that way.

  41. Greg, anyone who reads my blog on a regular basis knows that I’ve frequently commented positively about the Bicycle Kitchen and the Bikerowave, and have prominently featured events at both places. In fact, if you look at my post from last Saturday, you’ll see a large graphic for Bicycle Kitchen’s fund raiser on Saturday night — hardly the sort of thing I would do if I didn’t support them 100%.

    As Amanda points out, I related her experience, which I tried very had to suggest could have happened anywhere, as shown by my own experience. If that didn’t come across, it is either a failure on my part as a writer, or a failure of the reader to fully grasp what is being said.

    However, if anyone objects to anything I’ve written, that’s what the comments are for. Or you can email me directly, as many others have done; when someone points out a valid error, I make a point of changing it. If it’s a difference of opinion, I welcome the differing perspective; I can learn very little from those who agree with me.

    Alex, so your personal attacks on me are okay, but what you perceive as an attack on you is off limits? Seriously?

    You are, of course, more than welcome to criticize anything I write, as I have told you more than once in the past. But to suggest that this post was not a personal attack is clearly disingenuous, as many others have pointed out.

    As for referring to our obviously former friendship, I have no intention of using it as a shield. In the email exchange you refer to — you know, the one you said was “off the record,” then openly discuss here — I was merely attempting to keep that door open. Trust me, I won’t make that mistake again, and I will never again refer to you as a friend, former or otherwise.

    As for the reference in my post the other day, that was more along the lines of “Et tu, Brute?”

  42. Rogers – It’s not a personal attack. If you can’t specify how and why you believe it fits the characterization of a personal attack, I can’t help you. You say you don’t want a back and forth (in your other post) – well I do want a back and forth. I would love to have a conversation about this, but I can’t have it if you won’t participate, and if you won’t be direct.

    I find it ironic that you are so offended by this post when you absolutely attacked Mr. Fisher on the basis of rumor and innuendo.

    Amanda – actually, you wrote that. Rogers did not use that phrasing. Do you not espouse the view “we all have a responsibility to make our community strong by encouraging and helping each other out” ?? Just be clear and say yes or no – that you espouse and endorse that view.

    I don’t see how your blog being personal exempts you from a basic responsibility to tell a complete story. You slammed Kitchen, and then a derivative organization from the same culture did right by you, but you didn’t praise it.

    You wrote that I go about “ripping apart anyone who has a differing view or opinion.” That’s just not true. I differ in opinion with people throughout my day, everyday, and the response I most often choose is to withhold my opinion. If I don’t If I really did what you suggest, I wouldn’t be an elected member of a neighborhood council, or an elected member of the Bikerowave board, nor would Bikerowave have ever made it = I would have destroyed it with hyper criticism.

    The truth is I criticize selectively, and I’ve chosen to criticize Rogers. But it’s not fair, and it’s a misrepresentation of fact by you, to say that I criticize everyone I disagree with.

  43. Alex, said it right there in your last line. You’ve chosen to criticize me, which if the definition of a personal attack. What I, or anyone else, writes is far game, but you’ve chosen to go far beyond that, as many others have pointed out in the comments on both our blogs — many of which you’ve chosen to censure.

    Saying I’ve attacked Fisher based on “rumor and innuendo” does not make it so. My opinions — which is exactly what my post, and every post I write is — were formed on the basis of six months of talking to cyclists, city officials and people within LADOT. When, and if, you make your case, I’ll gladly make any necessary corrections to my post; however, merely because you have a different opinion doesn’t make anything I’ve written wrong.

    Merely because you’ve chosen to attack me does not mean that I need to get in the mud with you. However, I hope you’ll bear in mind that it’s your credibility that’s on the line here, not mine. You’ve created a huge jury that’s waiting for you to make your case. If you fail to do so convincingly, it’s your reputation that will suffer, not mine.

  44. I’m not really that interested in getting involved in any more of these types of exchanges, but quite frankly the moment you put a screen shot of BikingInLA with a giant FAIL in red caps lock, it was a personal attack. Get real Alex. If you espouse to be on some higher plane of integrity, and block comments because of high minded rules of conduct, than drop the middle school antics of putting a giant fail over anything you disagree with. Any sense of being objective was removed before I even read a single word of this post. It’s hardly surprising for this to be perceived as a personal attack, that perception was colored, quite literally, before anyone even reads through the post.

    That’s all I have to say on this topic, this exchange has been a huge waste of everyone’s time as it is.

  45. Rather than harsh on anyone, I’m just going to point out that Ted and Alex are awesome assets to the bike community and I hope this infighting stops and they both continue to make Los Angeles a better place to bike.

  46. Will Campbell…. the most civil and diplomatic person on the internet.

  47. I’m with WIll. I like ‘em both, think they’re both invaluable, and want to keep them going strong.

  48. What happened to all those articles that you were planning for the “next couple days”?

    I was really looking forward to the John Fisher interview thing… I think the more we get him on the record, the better.

  49. Joe,

    The vast majority of the feedback I got was of the “don’t ever post on this again” and the “leave poor Ted alone” variety. Ted even posted that he’s not a journalist. So, I laid off. However, if you want it, I’ll print it.


  50. It’s your call. I’d like for you to print the John Fisher stuff. I don’t think anyone said they don’t want more information about Fisher.


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