New Orleans Cab Company Owner Calls Uber A 'Cyber-Terrorist Group'
from the like-Anonymous-on-wheels dept
Cab companies are still fighting Uber and Lyft, and each turf war seems to drag out the worst rhetorical devices and statements from these companies which have enjoyed long, monopolistic runs. Most have gone running to city legislators, hoping to add further regulatory hurdles to the upstart companies, asking for anything from limits on number of vehicles in service to rates considerably higher than cab companies charge.
But because you can only do so much arguing on behalf of an entrenched incumbent before you start sound like you truly loathe the public, taxi defenders are also finding creative ways to attack the new services in hopes of making them seem sketchier than cab companies themselves. In New Orleans, the argument took the form of a bunch of words tumbling out of a flustered cab company owner’s mouth.
Owner of Liberty Bell Cabs in New Orleans, Tony Makhoul, called Uber a “cyber terrorist organization.”
Based on…? Well, the report at WDSU doesn’t specify. [CAUTION: Autoplay in effect.] Apparently the fact that’s its an app-based ride service was enough for Makhoul to float this claim during the city council’s discussion. Presumably, Makhoul was using this metaphorically, presenting the company as a cyber-threat (because it’s from the internet) to poor, downtrodden cab companies who have enjoyed years of uninterrupted success thanks to protective walls of regulation.
Makhoul previously showed his propensity for using words without regard for clarity or meaning in a statement made in July.
“It’s hypocritical, preposterous and indeed disgusting that we are entertaining Uber in our market today.”
Those words may mean something subjectively to Makhoul but they don’t make much sense to anyone else listening in. There’s nothing “hypocritical” about considering a new entrant into a market, and the only thing that’s preposterous and disgusting is the amount of resistance being deployed by incumbent service providers. But this is the same cab company owner that pushed back against the deputy director of the city’s Taxi Cab Bureau for enforcing existing regulations — like requiring credit card readers in all cabs and setting a limit on how many years the same vehicle could be in service.
But this one tops his previous wordsplosions. Uber — which will be forced to charge the highest minimum fee in the nation ($15) as a concession to New Orleans’ cab companies — is here to destroy computers… by driving people in cars. Or destroy Makhoul’s business… by providing customers with a competing service. Competition is the new terrorism. Inform the NSA.