THE LAY PRESS.
THOUGH the subject is by no means new as a topic for editorial discourses in motoring journals, we are reluctantly compelled to admit that the “donkey,” in spite of frequent flogging, is still far from being dead.
We have watched and waited for month after month in the hope of seeing some improvement in the attitude of the everyday press towards motoring on the one hand, and, on the other hand, in the hope of seeing some small degree of accuracy ifl the reports of such sporting motor events as they condescend to include.
Pride of place for childish and ignorant motorphobia must be awarded to one of the premier humorous weeklies, which, while accepting several pages of advertisements from car manufacturers, cannot let a week pass without at least two extremely feeble jokes on the subject of the ” sport of pedestrian coursing.”
At first these jokes were faintly amusing, but when after six months we still find variations of the same foolish theme, we almost suspect the perpetrator of Possessing insufficient wit to conceive a fresh subject. It must be obvious to anyone but a half-wit, or a blind recluse, that motorists and pedestrians can no longer be summarily divided into two distinct and hostile classes, when the proportion of motor vehicles to the whole population is as it is to-day. Furthermore, the insinuation that a man becomes necessarily a fiend or even just callous when he enters a motor car is contrary to all experience of human nature.
Whatever charges may be laid against motorists (and we gather that the term is intended chiefly to apply to private drivers), that of causing an undue number of deaths among the walking classes is the one that is least supported by statistics.
In towns a number of “joy-walkers ” are killed by commercial vehicles and a few by private cars, but in the open country such fatalities as do occur are mainly caused by collisions between different vehicles, in which the ” pedestrian ” has no part at all. One would think that by this time the perpetrators of these bitter ” jokes ” would have realised that Mr. Everyman is the motorist of to-day, and as such
includes every type of human being, so that this spiteful recrimination can but appeal to a biased and rather narrow-minded minority, and, if prolonged, will cause considerable resentment in other circles.
‘pig question of accuracy in reporting motoring events is father different. Although motoring is rapidly becoming a national feature, both in business and pleasure, none of us enthusiasts can pretend that the ” sport ” of motoring is yet a force to be reckoned with. Until Brooklands draws Epsom or White City crowds, we cannot expect accurate reports of our events, but must tolerate London-to-Exeter ‘ Races ‘ ” and “International Speed Races at Daytona” (whoever heard of a race in which speed was not the determining factor?).
But, Gentlemen Editors, surely you can afford just one motoring expert to eliminate some of the awful rubbish that frequently appears in your papers ?