Fact-Checking the "PRT Boondoggle" Blog
A project of the PRT NewsCenter

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Post mortem - What We Learned

Editor's note: Today we begin beta-testing a change to one of the oldest editorial policies of "PRT is a Joke" IS A JOKE. For a limited time, The Name of the Minnesota anti-PRT propagandist will be shown -- although special formatting will be used.

When a comment thread like the recent, bifurcated threads at Daily Kos and Viropop are concluded, I like to go back and read through it to summarize What We Learned.

So what did we learn about Ken Avidor, the Minnesota anti-PRT propagandist, this time?

1. I put forward, twice, the proposition that the approach he takes in opposing PRT is to claim that all PRT supporters believe the same thing.

"What Ken is doing is attempting to establish a stereotype... 'People who fervently advocate PRT don't advocate light rail'... What Avidor is claiming is about as imaginative as 'Battlestar Galactica fans don't like Star Trek.' On a superficial level this would seem a convenient and easy way to pigeonhole people. But if you give it just a little critical thought of course it's not true, even though you can find a few people who fit the stereotype."

"Your thesis is that all PRT supporters believe what RP4409 believes. The video does not show that. The video just shows that you found a guy who fits your stereotype."

2. KEN DOES NOT DENY HE IS APPLYING A STEREOTYPE. In fact his response does exactly that.

"What did the guy in the video say about LRT?
What did the guy say about PRT?
What did his brochure show?

He's saying the words of the guy and his brochure prove his thesis ("busted"), that all "PRT promoters are anti-Light Rail Transit (LRT)" (and right-wingers like Michele Bachmann).

3. Then in a followup in the Viropop branch of the discussion, just to make sure we understand, he posts another video, and writes "busted" about that one too. In my reply, I post videos from the World Wildlife Fund and sustainability activist Joan Bokaer, and ask him if they are "busted" too. I am asking Why are you ignoring things that don't fit your right-wing anti-light rail stereotype?

4. He confirms that he ignores them, by ignoring them! He posts three videos from his talking points.

There you have it. CONFIRMATION that Ken Avidor's strategy is to stereotype all PRT supporters as anti-light rail and right-wing, and ignore evidence to the contrary.


Followup, in which I open up a big ol' can of Eleanor Roosevelt on his ass: Ken Avidor hurls more mud, and hits: Allard K. Lowenstein's chief of staff (Emory Bundy, "a well-known hater of PRT").

Sad: If you Google a sheffer lang, the current #1 listing is Ken Avidor's "obit" for Lang. Here's a passage:

If anything characterized his career it was pure hatred of transit. He described buses as "no see ums" because to him, they were always empty. His style was confrontational, macho, take no prisoners. An aide to a St. Paul city councilmember said that every time she heard him talk she wanted to go home and shoot herself. Source
I- I'm having trouble smelling the memorial wreath.

Late late on June 2: He just can't discuss it anymore ("Whatever" #19)


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