Man vs. Gig: Doug Schifter’s Last Stand

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In a devastating profile in New York Magazine, Jessica Bruder tells the story of Doug Schifter, a New York City black-car driver who saw Uber’s disruption of the taxi industry decimate his income. After trying to organize drivers to seek stronger regulations — and suffering a string of health issues that ate up what savings he had — he made one last statement: he shot himself outside City Hall. Bruder’s piece is both an important look at a dysfunctional industry and a master class in profile writing.

But at the press conference about Schifter’s suicide, Mayor Bill de Blasio downplayed Schifter’s parting explanation. “Let’s face it,” he told reporters. “For someone to commit suicide, there’s an underlying mental-health challenge.” De Blasio was hardly in a position to diagnose Schifter. There was, in fact, no evidence that Schifter was mentally ill — just a long written record, published over the…

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