Two aviation stories, seemingly unrelated, remind us how much our truth-starved culture is willing to pursue news that lacks any credibility or edifying value. The stories also provide clear and convincing blueprints for how to secure free publicity.
Police Pursuit On Tarmac Of Van Nuys Airport
First to Van Nuys, California where police officers chased a man in a Honda who attempted to evade them…on the tarmac of one of Southern California’s busiest general aviation airports. Clearly starved for attention, the man can be seen (video below) waving out of the sunroof and window as a local news helicopter circles overhead.
In the end, he was apprehended “but also rambled about being followed by the government and the Mexican cartel.” Well, we’ve certainly missed the car chases during the pandemic…they used to be a weekly staple of life in Los Angeles.
— Van Nuys Airport VNY (@VanNuysAirport) November 6, 2020
MOM, A New Budget “Airline” In Iceland
To Iceland, where a new budget airline called MOM claims it will start selling tickets next week. Yes, MOM, which sports the same colors and liveries as defunct WOW, promises destinations including:
- New York
“MOM is economical in finance and business. All in-flight services will be optional. Whether it’s mommy food, reading material on board, charging for electronics, internet, luggage space, toilet paper, hand soap, choice of seats and much more. In this way, we will break new ground in Icelandic aviation history with low prices and services.”
And not to be missed, MOM will offer coronavirus (and non coronavirus) flights:
People who are quarantined, infected, exposed to infection, or have antibodies after infection may travel together. The aircraft are specially marked and the flight crews of these aircraft will only be individuals with a positive antibody test.
Don’t hold your breath on this one, folks.
Our Love Of Publicity
The key to effective fake news is that it is plausible, even if ever so slightly. I chuckled as I watched news outlets and other blogs treat MOM as a real new airline. While the joke may be on me, the idea of coronavirus flights with charges for toilet paper and soap strike me as just beyond the realm of possibility.
And yet we cannot help but to talk about it.
As for the police chase in LA, what better made-for-TV drama then engaging in a chase during morning rush hours (when you know the news camera are going to be in the sky) to maximize your television audience?
MOM got so many hits yesterday on its new website that it broke. Maybe the key to growth for Live and Let’s Fly is to design a website for Klint Air, my dream of running L-1011 aircraft between Southern California cities.
Neither story above really warrants a blog post. And yet both provide social commentary as well as a fairly clearly blueprint of how to get people talking about you (look what I’m doing…) for free.
In the top photo/video, the caption is “Police pursuit – Van Nuys Airport”. Underneath is a ticker tape reading “Ventura PD Officer fatally shoots suspect after pursuit ends”. I believe these are 2 separate pursuits, which is so sad that many Americans have become crooks. In contrast, yesterday there was a news story from Singapore of a police shooting (google the words “Balestier Road Singapore police shooting 2015”). The suspect was in a fight with a policeman then tried to grab the gun of a second policeman, who fired once in the stomach area.
The shocking thing about the Singapore story was that it was the first time the police shot someone since 2015! That’s more than 5 years. Singapore has more people than Los Angeles or Orange County but fewer people than the combined Los Angeles-Orange County-San Bernardino metropolitan area. Does Southern California have one police shooting every 2 years? No! Much more than that. Is the US a cesspool of violence or is it ACAB/BLM?
MOM – The Official Airline of the Babylon Bee?