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June 20, 2010

KDKA's Mike Pintek is a Dangerous Idiot

Truly an excellent post by Illyrias titled, Do Bicyclists Deserve to Be Attacked?.
Illyrias refers to several reports of local violence against people on bikes, and then quotes local radio voice Mike Pintek whose was interviewing Bill Nesper of the League of American Bicyclists:
Mike Pintek said: "There are some bicyclists who are just these arrogant little dorks that think that they can do anything they want because they're on a bicycle and we're being green and environmentally friendly."
A Pittsburgh Blog that's new to me and quite excellent is Lolly's Reimagine an Urban Paradise. In Dearest Station Manager: Fire Mike Pintek, Lolly relays this about Mike Pintek:
He further went on to state that cyclists “are arrogant dorks” that are “lucky to be alive” and that he has the desire to “bump them” with his vehicle.

I cannot believe that KDKA would allow a man to advocate violence against cyclists. “Bumping” a cyclist would certainly result in severe physical harm and would likely cause broken bones and possibly death.



KDKA's Mike Pintek: Wait, There's More!

In another post, Mike Pintek Should Lose His Drivers License and His Job, she provides this transcript of Pintek's bike foolishness:
I’ve gotta tell you they’ve been times when I’ve come around a curve on a country road and you’ve got three of em abreast in MY lane and they’re just lucky they’re alive. Because, am I WRONG?

There are some bicyclists who are just these arrogant little dorks that think they can do anything they want because they’re on a bicycle and ‘we’re being green and environmentally friendly”…

I have been thoroughly tempted — I haven’t done it cuz I’m not going to do it — I’m not that kind of person… but I have been so tempted to just bump em.

I have been so tempted to pull up behind them when they’re doing this — you know spread out across the road — put my car in neutral, jam the accelorator down, race the engine, and scare the living crap out of them.

They’ve got to stop being so arrogant about what they’re doing. They’ve got to obey the rules. they have to do the right thing or else they’re going to get killed.

 So, first things first: I hope you'll send an email to KDKA program director Marshall Adams, madams@kdka.com, who is Mike Pintek's boss and responsible for what Mike Pintek says on the station's behalf (over the public's airwaves). Tell Mr. Adams what you think of Mike Pintek promoting violence against bikes.


The report is that Mike Pintek will address these bicycle issues on his Monday show, 12noon to 3pm Local, on KDKA radio.

This presents me with a pragmatic dilemma. I understand that Mike Pintek is an entertainer, a panderer to our darker tendencies, a pot-stirrer whose value-add for his employers is that he says things outrageous enough to keep the audience enduring the advertisements that are the basis of his paycheck.

My dilemma is that I don't want to be Pintek's chump, proving his effectiveness. I don't want to tune in and listen, because that meets the needs of Pintek and his advertisers. I don't want to reward the dangerous, idiotic behavior.

I called Marshall Adams, Mike Pintek's boss. He wouldn't disavow or disapprove Pintek's comments. His only refrain, repeated a few times, was a suggestion that I call into the show and participate in the discussion. They're shills and provocateurs. I can't feed the trolls.

In the end, I've decided that all I can do is to do my part to see that when somebody types "Mike Pintek", or "Mike Pintek KDKA" into Google, they see my comments. I believe in free speech. I just can't tolerate a paid entertainer and scoundrel (and that's what he is) advocating violence by people in cars against bicyclists. I've also got reservations about post-peak hacks who make their living fomenting controversy without contributing solutions or having skin in the game.


It's interesting (if somewhat sad) to look through Mike Pintek's website, which has a picture of him with Shimon Peres back in the glory days. I guess he looked young compared to Shimon Peres, fifteen years ago. It reminds me of this song:

10 comments:

Andy Booth said...

I spoke to Marshall Adams as well; here's how it went:

AB: I listened to Pintek's comments, and I think he should be fired.
MA: Did you really listen, or are you calling because someone told you what he said?
AB: I listened online this morning, and I am appalled.
MA: A lot of people are calling and misrepresenting what he said.
AB: I heard what he said. He should be fired. Not only did I listen several times, but I downloaded the clip and saved it as an mp3.
MA: How did you do THAT?
AB: I ran the audio through recording software on my computer.

Five minutes later, the clip was removed from KDKA Radio's web site. I guess they can't argue mis-representation if they allow people to listen.

Mark Arsenal said...

"There are some bicyclists who are just these arrogant little dorks that think that they can do anything they want because they're on a bicycle and we're being green and environmentally friendly."

I am a pedestrian. Not a motorist, not a cyclist, but a pedestrian and transit user.

I agree with the above statement, when taken totally out of context. The carbon footprint of cyclists, with their bicycles and the petroleum-derived clothing and gear that the average affluent cyclist wears, is probably significantly greater than the average pedestrian. It bugs me when incredibly expensive cycling trails that don't go anywhere (eg, built purely for the recreation of cyclists) are given priority over funding transit systems or repairing existing sidewalks that can take people to work.

When I lived in San Francisco, I used to stay at work until 8pm-9pm on the last Friday of every month because I could not get home (about 1.5 miles from my office) by either transit or on-foot. Critical Mass cyclists would rarely allow pedestrians to pass at legal rights-of-way, and since blocking motor traffic was their purpose, transit was disabled along their routes.

I think cyclists who are activists have some fairly screwed-up priorities. I'm not the only one:

http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/article/796234--dimanno-let-s-take-cars-and-bikes-off-roads

"Personally, I find myself at endless war with both cars and bicycles since each clearly believes they own the road over pedestrians. Gas pedal, kinetic pedal – same difference when it comes to bullying the public space."

618034 said...

Hey Mark,

You raise a good point. I agree that pedestrian access should be improved, and there is no particular reason this cannot be done in concert with improved bicycle access (just look at Ray Lahood's recent comments about holding both bicycle and pedestrian transportation on par with motorized transit).

Although it's been many years since I lived in Pittsburgh, in LA we're starting to see bicycle and pedestrian groups work together. Yes, they are pitching slightly different projects (sidewalks vs. lanes and paths), but they form a natural alliance in their argument that these are improvements to be performed in the name of making the city more livable and person-friendly.

It is simple to think that bikes and pedestrians view each other as enemies, but this (I believe) is largely for the same reason that vehicles and bicycles, or vehicles and pedestrians view themselves as enemies: bad behaviour. When I'm walking, I get mad at the jerk biking on the sidewalk; when I'm biking, I get mad at the jerk walking on the bike path (especially when there's a segregated sidewalk five feet over). When I'm driving my car, I get mad at the guy flying through the red light on two wheels, and when I'm out for a ride, I get mad at the guy making an unsignaled right turn into me. I'm not an angry person! There is no reason multimodal transportation can't work; people just need to start following the rules as they are established.

I think it's salient to point out that most cyclists don't think the car should be completely abolished; motor vehicles are incredibly useful! In fact, I for one wholeheartedly support a more effective highway system for distance travel -- the kind that (sane) people would never do by foot or bike. This works as well for funding bike paths: in the end, we're not going to walk 3 miles to Whole Foods, but I'd certainly ride over there. I don't think it's unreasonable to emphasize cars for long-distance, mass transit and bikes for medium-distance, and walking for short-distance. In a perfect world, my neighborhood would need no asphalt.

Still, you are absolutely correct in preaching a stronger, more unified message between groups. Other communities are doing it; it might be time for Pittsburgh to get its act together (after all, my dad is tired of running down the breakdown lane during his morning jog).

dcdouglas said...

Mark wrote, "The carbon footprint of cyclists, with their bicycles and the petroleum-derived clothing and gear that the average affluent cyclist wears, is probably significantly greater than the average pedestrian."

Um...you're generalizing and making very poor arguments. Not all cyclists wear "petroleum-derived clothing". I tend to bike to work in my dress clothes (cotton and wool). Although some cyclists wear polyester fabrics, pedestrians do too.

Your remark about average affluence of cyclists is off as well. Cyclists come from all classes. Considering the costs of maintaining an automobile, I wager that there are a fair number of low-SES citizens using their bikes because they can't afford another option.
I'll freely admit that my bike does contain a number of plastics (petroleum-based parts). But as long as they don't break I'm not using any MORE plastics.

You, on the other hand, spew out eco-purity sanctimony while noting that you also use transit systems. I've been riding a bike to work year-round regardless of weather for the last five years. I'm not going to say that I never use gas (my wife has daily use of the family car), but I'm not trying to place myself on some pedestal of righteousness like you are while still riding the bus or train.

Mark Arsenal said...

dcdouglas,

I was being sanctimonious mainly because I'm weary from cyclists who see anyone who doesn't ride a bike as t he enemy and their constant sense of being under siege.

Cyclist activists think they know the answer to All That Will Save The World (something I don't think I ever implied I share), and I think I was pretty clear that I was talking specifically about activist cyclists - not everyone who owns a bike.

Anonymous said...

I just listened to Mike Pintek for the first time on KDKA with Kevin Barrett. Wow, Pintek is such an idiot. One of those guys that plugs his ears and hums loudly so as to not hear the truth.

Anonymous said...

I AM NOT A CYCLELIST BUT A LOCAL WORKER WHO HAPPENS TO BELONG TO A UNION. MIKE PINTEK CONSTANTLY RIPS ON US EVERY DAY. CALLS US THUGS AND PUTS US DOWN LOBBYING FOR US TO LOOSE OUR PENSIONS, MEDICAL BENEFITS AND LOWER OUR WAGES.HE IS A TROUBLE MAKER IN THIS TOWN AND KDKA LETS HIM HAVE FREE REIN ON STATING HIS TWISTED VIEWS ON THE AIR AGAINST THE GOOD HARD WORKING PEPOLE AND CYCLELISTS OF THIS TOWN WHO HAVE JUST AS MUSH RIGHTS TO THE ROADS AS EVERYONE ELSE. HE SHOULD BE FIRED FOR HIS AGGRESSIVE REMARKS THAT HE STATED ON THE AIR ABOUT BUMPING INTO CYCLELIST WITH HIS CAR.

Anonymous said...

The trick to being a marketable provocateur is to remain just a little bit likeable. Stubborn, one-sided rants get old quickly, and my prediction is that Pintek's days at KDKA are numbered unless he stops being such an opinionated ass to callers that he disagrees with. The opinion part is a necessary component of talk radio...the ass part isn't. He also disses his morning and late evening counterparts way too much. I don't recall the guy who had the early afternoon shift before him (what a surprise), but he had the same contentious, rude approach...and we see where that got him.

Anonymous said...

This guy is nothing but an ignorant hateful shil. Sadly, his Daddy made him this way. If you are a regular listener, you may know what I'm talking about. I pray that they fire him AGAIN.

Art D said...

It's 2013, almost 2014 and he is still an idiot. Not sure why he is still on the air, must be making money for KDKA, or working really cheap.

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