Monday, February 9, 2009

The 60 Minutes Interview

Just some thoughts about the interview last night. It was very touching in parts - especially when the crew met the passengers and Sully's family were reading letters they had received. When this interview was announced, I wondered how he would be able to do it seeing as how there is still an ongoing investigation going on. I was sure the pilots' union and the lawyers, etc. would definitely have some input as to what was asked and what was answered. And it appeared that was the case. My first thought as the interview progressed was there was a bit of an agenda there. I believe the agenda was: This country needs a hero. "Sully", or "Bernie", as we knew him at the USAF Academy and USAF pilot training, was not a close friend of mine, but, I knew him. He was soft spoken, easy going, and even self deprecating at times. Of course, that was 40 years ago. We (Academy grads) don't readily accept the hero's role. I'm not saying Sully did that completely, but he did accept it. I think he accepted it, as he said in the interview, because that's what the survivors and the nation wanted. So for that reason and the fact that the unions, and the lawyers wanted to protect the crew, I'm fairly certain Sully had the questions beforehand. I also think he was asked to answer the questions as a "hero" would. In my opinion, that's what he did. I think if he and I were sitting across from each other over a cold beer talking about it, there would have been a lot more "we" and less "I". Having said that, as a contemporary and peer of Sully's, he represented us well and I'm proud of him and his crew.


Mike West said...

Unique perspective. Thanks.

Brodad Unkabuddy said...

Interesting enough, on Good Morning America this morning, probably after watching his interview on 60 minutes last night, Sully made the same point I did - it needed to be more about "we" than "me". That's what I expected him to say all along.

vwatt said...

I thought Katy was a little out of line with this question(none of her business!!) but Bernie handled it well:

The heroic pilot didn't pray while saving lives
12:31 PM

"Interviewer Katie Couric asked exactly the kind of what-exactly-happened, what-did-you-think-then questions that drew colorful details from the captain, a very succinct and focused man. But one question jumped out from the others: "Did you, at any point, pray?"

It seemed to be the only question that surprised Sullenberger, who had taken his plane from a normal take-off through a disasterous bird-strike that killed both engines to ditching in a frigid river in less than five minutes. His answer:

I would imagine somebody in the back was taking care of that for me while I was flying the airplane.

Couric later asked a similar question of the crew: Did they hear people praying?

No, but they were talking on their cell phones, said one of the heroic flight attendants who helped clear the back of the plane even as the water flooded up to her chin and debris gashed her leg.

Were those valid questions? Are we, the public, entitled to a "prayer-o-meter" on people suddenly and unwilling thrust into a life-threatening situation? Would people think less of Sullenberger if he had just said no, or better of him if he said yes? What about the crew? What about the passengers, who helped bring at least one baby and an elderly person to safety?

If you believe God intended people to use their gifts for the good of others, is it a form of prayer to do this so very well and selflessly? Can deeds be "prayers" or must their intentions be specifically earmarked with certain words or thoughts to "count"?"

Brodad Unkabuddy said...

There are times when circumstances take over and there's no time for prayer. But I guarantee you there have been prayers of thankfulness post January 15th for the crews actions, the first responders, and the fact they all survived. Leave it to the media to attempt to make an issue of prayer.

twest said...

He seems like a very humble and at times introspective man. You kind of hate to see such a genuine person showing up at all these venues. Maybe he feels an obligation to do it, but something tells me he just wants to go home and chill.

Also, at what age did he enter the Academy - he looks at least seventy

Brodad Unkabuddy said...

He and I are the same age.