Update: I spoke to Donya Blaze, Editor of Media Bistro, and they will post a statement about Work to Ride in the article online. Seems Betsy Rothstein received info from a reliable source and didn’t just cut & paste from LNS. She should have verified with Work to Ride and Washington Life Magazine before posting the story. I have spoken to Soroush Shehabi who has spoken to the staff at Washington Life Magazine, and assures me that nobody at Washington Life Magazine was the source for Betsy’s article. I have always had a good relationship with Washington Life Magazine, and am happy to hear this news. They seem to be as upset about the Media Bistro piece as I am, and they support the charity work that I have done on behalf of Work to Ride, and think Work to Ride is a great nonprofit.
It’s completely unprofessional to cut and paste off LateNightShots.com (LNS) and to post it on a respected outlet such as Media Bistro. It’s one thing for LNS to joke about Work to Ride (WTR), but for Media Bistro to give this racist joke legitimacy without bothering to check with Washington Life and WTR is unprofessional. I doubt you would have done that had The Washington Ballet, or Corcoran Gallery of Art been mentioned as receiving the “donation” which was part of the joke. I’m sure you would have verified the story then. Why is it ok not to check with WTR? Could it be lack of respect for them? Racism even? It seems to be a pathetic attempt for hits for your website all at WTR’s expense.
Work to Ride is a legitimate nonprofit — ask the Today Show, HBO Real Sports, Chicago Tribune and other press who have covered them. Work to Ride is no different than Northern Virginia Therapeutic Riding — both enrich the lives of children and youth-at-risk through the challenging, physically-active sport of horseback riding. Only NVTR mainly serves white children with disabilities and WTR mainly serves at-risk urban black kids. Had you done some research you would know that not all the kids at WTR play polo, many just ride horses, and all are tutored and keep their grades up. Lezlie Hiner has received many awards for the work that she is doing, and for you to make light of it without any research or vetting of the facts is unprofessional and borders on racism. I’m livid, and so is Work to Ride.
We are awaiting your public apology,