It is a slow news day. Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin have not yet officially arranged a duel to the death with Bowie knives. So the half-assed, corporate carnival show that is American journalism twisted our attention back to the many beautiful angles of the “biker attack” on Alexian Lien last September 29th.
Lien was on his way to a celebratory dinner with his wife and two-year-old daughter when he crossed paths with a sloppy pack of jackasses on sport bikes. The sport bike jackasses intended to disrupt traffic and they were on their way to Times Square. Lien, who apparently is some sort of an important person, decided to try to bully the sports bike jackasses out of his way. Lien ran into one of the bikes and knocked the rider down. Various members of the pack tried to damage Lien’s SUV. Eventually, Lien ran over three motorcyclists and severely injured a guy named Edwin Mieses, who is pictured above.
The pack then chased Lien down, slashed his tires, broke his car windows and gave him the sort of beating real bikers usually describe as “roughed him up.”
Mieses, on the other hand, was hurt bad. He suffered two broken legs, a broken back and spent a couple of days in a coma. And there then followed about three weeks of fools in newsrooms around the country yelling “fire!” Eventually, eleven people were arrested for the attack on Lien. One of them was a New York City cop named Wojciech Braszczok whose principal duties are to spy on social dissidents and try to entrap them in any crimes Braszczok, or his handlers, can imagine. Neither Lien or Mieses were among the accused.
Initial coverage of this little tragedy focused on the word “biker.” The first day George Christie, Jerry Langton, Kerrie Droban and Gloria Allred were all asked to react to this latest example of the biker menace. That angle still dominates coverage of the incident. Braszczok, the despicable agent provocateur, is routinely described in news stories as a “biker.”
There has been little to report on this story. As most readers of this page already know, the law is a drunk that staggers slowly and frequently falls down and the result of that is that there hasn’t been much news. But news directors, editors and reporters the world over love this story because it writes itself. It is pseudo news. It panders to emotion. It can be written adequately with a minimum of facts.
So six days ago the New York Daily News reported “Alexian Lien’s injuries are not healing as well as previously hoped, leading prosecutors to maintain gang assault charges against the defendants.”
Then this morning, 157 days after the fact, it was NBC’s turn to flog the human interest angle. Mieses, who will probably never walk again, appeared on the Today show. “I don’t blame him,” Mieses told a television journalist named Savannah Guthrie. “Because at the end of the day, I’m not him to know what was going through his mind.”
The injured victim explained, “As soon as I turned around and started walking back towards my bike, that’s when I got ran over. As soon as he hit me, I shut my eyes. I didn’t want to open my eyes because I knew that he had hurt me.”
“I was fully conscious for the whole entire thing.” Mieses told Guthrie that a young girl appeared as he lay suffering in the street, and that she was his guardian angel. “She was like an angel,” he said. “She kept throwing water on my face to keep me awake.”
That’s what happened today. There’s your news. We’ll try to do better tomorrow.