Open Thread: Steven Slater Is No Hero

National Review's Rich Lowry writes of the nation's - and the media's - strange fascination with a man who really has not done much to earn it, beyond throwing a temper tantrum.

The opposite of Slater's spectacular self-indulgence is Capt. Chesley Sullenberger's unadorned professionalism. The air-travel hero of 2009, Sully landed his plane in the Hudson River while feeling, he said afterward, "calm on the outside, turmoil on the inside." Which is the way it's supposed to be. Sadly, Sully always felt like a throwback - steady, no-nonsense, thoroughly competent. This year's air-travel hero managed, in contrast, to leverage a tantrum into an act of reckless endangerment, by risking dropping the legendary emergency chute on someone's head.

But, hey, he blew off steam. Back in 1982, a British Airways plane lost all four engines in flight. As the British newspaper the Daily Mail recounts, Capt. Eric Moody apprised the passengers of the dire situation, and added, "I trust you are not in too much distress." The paper continues, "Incredibly, passengers and crew reacted to the captain's cataclysmic announcement not with screams and hysteria, but with an extraordinary calm." Miraculously, the engines were restored, and everyone lived to tell the tale.

That's heroism for this, or any, age. As for Slater, his slide was amusing, but not the least bit admirable.

What does the mainstream media's fascination with Slater tell us about how their worldview and opinion of the nation? Anything?

NB Staff
NB Staff