Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Hello, Sully?

Have you seen this man?

Nearly five months ago, Chesley Sullenberger III, a veteran pilot with U.S. Air, lost both engines shortly after taking off from LaGuardia Airport on a flight to Charlotte. With a calm that still astonishes, he set the plane down on the middle of the Hudson River, clearing the George Washington Bridge by less than a thousand feet, and saved the lives of all 155 people on board.

For about two weeks, "Sully" and his crew of four were everywhere: the Superbowl, the Inauguration, the David Letterman show. He was modest, humorous, matter-of-fact -- everything we love in a hero. Then he testified before a Congressional committee on working conditions in the airline industry. He told of wage cuts, layoffs, compromised maintenance, and friends who could no long afford to fly for a living. After that, he vanished without a trace.

I'm serious. I just typed his name into one of those search engines -- it's the one that starts with a G, tip of my tongue, I'll think of it -- and found no references later than February 1. That's around the time he went from Sully the Hero to Lefty the Labor Agitator. I guess Michelle Malkin isn't calling him an "angel" any more, but are all the media so terrified of appearing to show favoritism, or even tacit approval, for unions and union workers? You can be a Texas-born veteran of the Air Force and an unquestioned goddam Hero, but if you seem to criticize free-market capitalism, be prepared to pay the penalty.

I hope he's all right.

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