July 2007


Silly Charges

It appears that a suspect fleeing police in Phoenix is going to face criminal charges because four people in two helicopters died when the helicopters collided.

Only in America.

Without any disrespect to the deceased, I have to say that the accident in the skies above Phoenix yesterday was a long time coming: two helicopters in hot pursuit of a land-based police chase collided killing the pilots and cameramen—all of this was, naturally, covered by a third helicopter that had also been covering the chase.

It’s a miracle that it wasn’t a 3-way accident, when you get right down to it.

Now I am all for throwing the book at the suspect for the crimes he actually is accused of committing: stealing two different vehicles and leading police on a chase across the Phoenix area. These are the crimes he physically committed, but to say that the suspect is responsible for the idiotic decision of news directors and television station management in hot pursuit of better ratings is disingenuous.

The parties directly guilty for the midair collision are the parties trying to make more money by selling more advertising on their television stations because there was absolutely, positively no real news happening during the chase. If you try and argue that the public has a need to know—well, yes, but the public that has the greatest need to know, that is to say, the other drivers on the streets, are, hopefully, not watching television while driving. If you suggest that it’s riveting television, it might be, but the cost of putting the chase on television is not worth it: firing up the helicopter and spending money on fuel that puts greenhouse gases on the air, just so that you can get better ratings is a farce.

I hope that reason prevails in Phoenix: charge the driver fleeing police with theft and the immediate related crimes. Haul in television station management and book them with criminal negligence in the death of their pilots and cameramen.

4 comments to Silly Charges

  • Ed

    I saw the same story this morning on channel 13. At first I thought Oh they were police choppers in hot pursuit of the perp. Then they said the Helicopters were both eye in the sky news chasers. I thought how in the Hell can the guy on the ground be responsible for the mid air collision?

  • Jul

    Reminds me of one day when I lived in Phoenix… there were at least 3 or 4 helicopters circling overhead, making all kinds of noise. I went home and turned on the TV to find out they were covering a supposed ALLIGATOR that had been “sighted” by a crazy lady at the intersection nearby (reminder – this story is taking place in the middle of the desert). Nope, no one ever caught a glimpse of it.

    At least there were no newschopper crashes…

  • @ed: Obviously, I’m with you.

    @jul: an alligator?! Not only must it have been a slow news day, Maury must have been repeating its episode about “who my baby daddy” for the 567th time.

  • B.

    What retards. We can barely get a white collar criminal to stand trial, but get some garden variety car thief & let’s throw the book at him…