Out of 94,574 votes and 2,584 comments, the MSNBC poll had 50% calling Steven Slater a hero.
Ten per cent said he was “an idiot…putting other’s safety in danger and should be condemned. Another more forgiving 30% said he’s not a hero or a villain, “just plain crazy.”
And, remarkably, 10% had no opinion.
For anyone not on this planet the last couple of days days, Steven Slater is the Jet Blue flight attendant who grabbed the plane’s PA system, and according to Examiner.com cursed out a female passenger :”To the f*ing a**hole that told me to f*ck off, it’s been a good 28 years.”
He then grabbed some beer and exited the plane using the emergency slide, walked off the tarmac and went home. Where he was later arrested.
What seems to have happened is a bit unclear.
Slater says that while the jet was awaiting takeoff from Pittsburgh Monday, two female passengers got in to brawl about overhead space and somehow or other, Slater got hit with some baggage.
When the flight landed in New York, one of the women, who had to gate-check her bags, was furious that her luggage wasn’t waiting for her immediately after she deplaned, and cursed Slater out.
Other reports say Slater asked a passenger to be seated as the plane taxied to the gate in New York. The passenger refused, and hit Slater in the head with his luggage, possibly an accident.
At this point, the hapless attendant had enough. He used plane’s intercom system to curse out one passenger, thanked others “who have shown dignity and respect for the last 20 years,” and made his dramatic exit .
It’s doubtful anyone applauded Slater’s exit from the plane and his career, but I suspect many fed up passengers and flight staff have often wanted to do what Slater did.
Thus, probably, the hero ratings.
Slater was arraigned in a Queens court today wearing, observers said, a slight, enigmatic smile, as the judge set bail at $2,500 for “criminal mischief, reckless endangerment and trespassing”
Of course Jet Blue has suspended Slater, and the plot thickened a bit when Slater’s attorney, Howard Turman, said that the attendant was under great stress because his mother has lung cancer.
A California relative, Harry Niethamer, couldn’t have put it better when he said Slater was not known for “ blowing his top…something drove him over the wall.”