1. Saturday, April 30, 2016

    why this headline should say “Uber Driver’s Family Gets $500k” 

    uber driver

    Journalists aren’t the only ones who don’t know how to deal with Uber, cops need help too.

    Over the past two years that Uber has been a household word, news stories about Uber Driver This and Uber Driver That get published breathlessly every week in coverage that no other transportation sector attracts.

    No matter if the suspected criminal was actually ridesharing at the moment of the crime or not, the word Uber somehow gets popped in the headline.

    Unless something good happens, and then it miraculously disappears from the headline and the fact that ridesharing Actually was the reason something happened is the also buried into the tale.

    Look no further than this story. An Uber driver was involved in an accident in 2014 in Santa Clara. He had a dashcam. He had the damaged car towed to his cousin’s house and went home with the dashcam.

    st. claraTurns out the Uber driver didn’t own the car. The owner of the car showed up to the cousin’s house to look at the car and get the dashcam. When he was told it wasn’t in the house, the owner called the cops, who a few days later searched the house and then much later took a battering ram to the house looking for the camera.

    The cousin then sued the cops for super totally overreacting and said they did so because he was Muslim. This week the city settled with the cousin for a half million. $150k going to his lawyers and $350k going to him. Oh yeah, and he works for for the border control for Homeland Security.

    So are we to believe that cops went aggro at the residence of, basically, one of their own, because he was Muslim? In Santa Clara, in the heart of Silicon Valley, which is home to many many peaceful and law-abiding Muslims?

    No. The cops went aggro because in 2014 Uber was new and unproven. Cops are leery and would die to be one of the first to reveal OMG video of an Uber car getting into a crash. Imagine the potential handwringing!

    So they huffed and they puffed and knocked down dude’s door. Who knows what other Uber-related incriminating evidence could be in there?

    Tell me that’s not more believable than: OMG I CANT STAND THOSE MUSLINS LETS HARASS THEM IN BROAD DAYLIGHT SURROUNDED BY ALL THEIR MUSLIN FRIENDS

    In Santa Clara? Named after a saint?

    Santa Clara’s State Rep is a Democrat who has served since 2007, its State Senator is a Democrat who replaced a previous Democrat who was termed out. Santa Clara’s US Rep is a Democrat who has served for three years who replaced a long time Democrat who had just retired.  I’m not saying a heavily Democratic area can’t have some bad cops…

    But I am saying, what is far more likely is even though technically the gentleman had the type of job that would usually shield him from such police aggression, it was probably not because of his religion that the officers were so intensely motivated, it was the evidence they were seeking, namely that it would be negative towards Uber.

    And that’s why we need Uber drivers in every newsroom.

    Or better yet, journalists to admit that they too overreact when a negative so-called Uber story appears and clam up when a positive one pops up. Or so it seems in their papers and websites.