What would happen if a syndicated radio talk show host advocated intentionally running into bicyclists with your car? Of course, that wouldn't happen. No one would say that, especially on the radio. It would be silly, actually, to think that it could happen.
Oh, but it did happen. It has happened in the past. Clear Channel stations have had controversy over their radio show hosts doing just that. Just this last week, it happened again. If you want to read about it, google "bike hate" and you'll get some stories about it. Lance Armstrong's fans made him aware of this and there was pressure from them for him to confront the talk show host. You can find the broadcast and listen to it yourself. I'm not saying the name of the radio guy because I don't want to be part of his publicity team. Personally, I am very angry at this poor excuse of a man and cannot fathom that he is allowed to spew his hate on the airwaves.
Now, how did Lance do? Did he give this guy a piece of his mind? I guess not. I listened to his exchange as it was played on the radio and it was mamby pamby and nicey nice. Evidently, they had had a previous conversation where the radio guy had apologized. So........Lance and radio guy had a nice conversation that didn't have any meat to it at all with regard to cyclist/motorist relations. I'm sure Lance did his best. He defended the wearing of cycling specific clothing. He is more well spoken than I would have expected. Radio guy asked him questions about why he came out of retirement. I'd like to speak up for keeping perspective. Lance is talking to this guy because he badmouthed cyclists and egged on his listeners to hit cyclists! There is no way this guy and Lance should have had a chummy conversation. I wish Lance had kept radio guy on topic.
The best question was one asked by radio guy. He asked Lance why motorists don't like cyclists. He mentioned that Lance, in the previous conversation, (evidently not aired) had said something about other slow vehicles, horses, animals in the street, etc. and the fact that motorists don't seem to get as upset by those other obstructions to their hasty travel. Lance did good. It is good that he pointed that out.
Evidently, he hasn't thought about the real reasons behind the animosity some motorists show toward cyclists. Here it is in a nutshell, and you can quote me on this, but give me credit because I have it figured out. Gasoline makes people stupid. Well, it's deeper than that. When people get behind the wheel of a car, they are empowered. They are in control. King of the world. It is as if their progress, to their gasoline addled minds, is mandated by the heavens. To let a "lesser" vehicle get in the way of said forward motion is an action that they cannot abide. Humility is not a quality that is revered in our society. On the roadway, it could make things so much better. It is all but unheard of there.
On the roadway, there is a hierarchy of size. Car drivers don't complain about being stuck behind a cement truck because a cement truck is bigger than they are. I have heard motorists exclaim how ludicrous it is for a smaller car to claim its right of way due to the size "advantage" their car has over the small car. I'd be surprised if you can't think back and remember hearing the same thing from the driver of a large vehicle. Where does that leave the cyclist? We are using the same space as cars are. But we are the easiest member of the wheeled road users for any car driver to imagine him or herself having the power to push around. If we ride with respect for the law, yet confidently, we are often accused of "riding as if we think we own the road". We are expected by some motorists, those who say that, to mind our place and preferably, they'd like it if we were on the sidewalk. Ironically, most motorists don't know the rules of the road, especially, the bicycle's place in the scheme of things.
I like driving cars. I would say that in my more than forty years of driving cars, I've been delayed no more than 10 minutes by cyclists. I really think it has been less than 5 minutes but I say 10 so I know I'm not exaggerating. I have waited hours and hours in traffic jams because of things other motorists have done or not done. Tailgaters and people who do not use their turn signals are responsible for a majority of accidents on freeways. Why isn't the radio guy complaining about tailgaters? Non signalers? Think he's ever had a show with a theme of running into them? I don't. Why wouldn't he? Why don't motorists tell you about that? They surely tell you about the time cyclists held them up in traffic; don't they?
Go easy on the car drivers. Remember what gasoline does to them.