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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Lidle dies as plane crashes into Manhattan high-rise

This is only baseball news because CNN and SI’s Tom Verducci are reporting that the plane is registered to former Yankee player Cory Lidle.

Regardless, this is not good news.

UPDATE: The link is now ESPN’s more sports-centric story… from that article

A small plane piloted by New York Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle crashed into a 50-story condominium tower Wednesday on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, killing at least four people, authorities said.

Lidle died in the crash.

The twin-engine plane came through a hazy, cloudy sky and hit the 20th floor of The Belaire—a red-brick tower overlooking the East River, about five miles from the World Trade Center—with a loud bang, touching off a raging fire that cast a pillar of black smoke over the city and sent flames shooting from four windows on two adjoining floors.


The plane left New Jersey’s Teterboro Airport, just across the Hudson River from the city, at 2:30 p.m., about 15 minutes before the crash, according to officials at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates the airport. But they said they did not where the aircraft was headed.

Sean McNally Posted: October 11, 2006 at 08:46 PM | 409 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: yankees

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   301. The Bones McCoy of THT Posted: October 12, 2006 at 11:59 AM (#2208110)
phredbird, it's "David Samson Has Major Altitude Problems." Maybe it's because I'm 5'7, but I've never found it very funny to make fun of someone's height.


Actually it was an allusion to the episode of Night Court: Dan's Boss where Fielding says to his new boss: 'Is it my attitude you have a problem with or my altitude?'

Best Regards

JOhn
   302. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: October 12, 2006 at 12:04 PM (#2208111)
Right, Baudib. The public's knowledge of salient facts was immeasurably enhanced by the release of Corey Lidle's name, instead of simply releasing a statement on the order of "the victims included the pilot and another passenger, whose names are being withheld until their families have been notified." Just knowing that Yankee pitcher Corey Lidle was the pilot enabled all of us to exhale, and say, "whew, thank God it wasn't Abdul Auto-Gyro and his merry band of flying terrorists. "

And the fact that Lidle was quite possibly the responsible party here (as opposed to a mechanical misfunction) has nothing to do with this. If he had been "janitor Corey Lidle" or "Walmart clerk Corey Lidle" the case would have been handled differently. You routinely see reports of accidents where the sort of statement that I cite above is used, regardless of fault, when a dead person's family hasn't been notified. There is no legitimate reason for this practice not to have been followed in this case.
   303. baudib Posted: October 12, 2006 at 12:05 PM (#2208112)
Um, Tyler Stanger's name was released 9 hours ago. It would have been released earlier if there were public interest in it.

And what makes you think calls weren't made to the family? Of course there were.

Lidle's family can grieve in private all they want. No one is stopping them from doing so.
   304. baudib Posted: October 12, 2006 at 12:09 PM (#2208113)
And the fact that Lidle was quite possibly the responsible party here (as opposed to a mechanical misfunction) has nothing to do with this. If he had been "janitor Corey Lidle" or "Walmart clerk Corey Lidle" the case would have been handled differently. You routinely see reports of accidents where the sort of statement that I cite above is used, regardless of fault, when a dead person's family hasn't been notified. There is no legitimate reason for this practice not to have been followed in this case.


I love the fact that you've written 600 words or so on the subject and insist there's no extreme public interest.
   305. Bangkok9 eschews 1 from Column A Posted: October 12, 2006 at 12:11 PM (#2208114)
Perhaps you'd like to tell us if you'd been first to learn of Lidle's identity, would you have spread his name all over the world, on the ground that "it was going to happen anyway"? Or are you just ducking behind someone else's cover and posing as the anonymous cynical observer?

Like to tell "us"? A cheap rhetorical device if there ever was one...

As a member of the media? In a heartbeat! And not because it was going to happen anyway but because it's news and that's what newspeople get paid to do -- report stories of possible interest to the public.

As a private citizen? Yes, if I could turn a buck, otherwise it's not worth my time to even pick up the phone.

Just because Lidle was "famous" is no reason to intrude and trample on his FAMILY (who didn't ask for the attention garnered on him).

They probably weren't turning down the houses, vacations, mad bling, posh X-mas presents, etc. that Lidle's salary was providing for them.
   306. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: October 12, 2006 at 12:11 PM (#2208115)
considering that the players union wouldn't support the umpires union, I have to agree with everyone else that believes the players union should be treated differently than true unions.

Two wrongs don't make a right. Any time any union, or perceived union, is weakened, labor in general is weakened.

I agree with the poster who said that those who hired scabs were worse than the scabs themselves.
   307. Guapo Posted: October 12, 2006 at 12:21 PM (#2208118)
According to the AP:

There was no official confirmation of Lidle's death from city officials, who still needed to identify the bodies.

I think the Yankees actually were the first entity to confirm Lidle's death.
   308. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: October 12, 2006 at 12:51 PM (#2208126)
Will the Yankees retire his number?

My guess is "no", but I think there will be some controversy about that. If it were a player with even a full year service time to the team, I think they would.

My fiancee, who doesn't really follow baseball, asked me to evaluate Cory's performance. I told her that he's about an average MLB pitcher - not wanting to get into replacement-level, starters vs. relievers, etc.

Had this not happened, what do you think the odds were that he would be a Yankee next year?
   309. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: October 12, 2006 at 01:01 PM (#2208131)
I think there was almost no chance that he'd have been a Yankee next year. He was to be a FA; compensation may be gone so arbitration unlikely; figured to get decent offers from other teams while NYY was preoccupied with Matsuzaka, Zito, Schmidt, Mussina, etc.
   310. Daryn Posted: October 12, 2006 at 01:22 PM (#2208141)
Just knowing that Yankee pitcher Corey Lidle was the pilot enabled all of us to exhale, and say, "whew, thank God it wasn't Abdul Auto-Gyro and his merry band of flying terrorists. "

This was said in sarcasm, but is actually true. If all we had been told was that it was a private plane and the authorities do not suspect terrorism, many people, including many, many New Yorkers would not have their fears assuaged. Knowing that it was Cory Lidle did assuage fears. If they had said it was a well known sports figure, that also probably would have done the trick, but it would have quickly resulted in identifying Lidle anyway. Bangkok is right -- this is the age of information and personal privacy is all but gone.
   311. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: October 12, 2006 at 01:24 PM (#2208142)
And what makes you think calls weren't made to the family? Of course there were.

What made me "think" that was the fact that no media report yesterday afternoon had mentioned it, in spite of their overwhelming PR reason for doing so. Your "of course there were" is wholly presumptive. At the time of the crash the media were reporting that Lidle's family was on board a commercial flight and likely did not know of his fate. If in fact they knew that this was not the case, and that his wife had been informed while in midflight, this salient fact surely would have been broadcast---but it wasn't.

And the fact that Lidle was quite possibly the responsible party here (as opposed to a mechanical misfunction) has nothing to do with this. If he had been "janitor Corey Lidle" or "Walmart clerk Corey Lidle" the case would have been handled differently. You routinely see reports of accidents where the sort of statement that I cite above is used, regardless of fault, when a dead person's family hasn't been notified. There is no legitimate reason for this practice not to have been followed in this case.

I love the fact that you've written 600 words or so on the subject and insist there's no extreme public interest.


Replying to a non sequitur as brazen as this is a bit like explaining to Terry Bradshaw how to spell "cat," but you seem to confuse the concept of "public interest" with that of "public curiosity." Public curiosity in this case is undeniable; the public interest in knowing an accident victim's identity before his family does is nonexistent.

As for Bangkok, his post speaks for itself, a perfect example of an anonymous nobody who sees everything and everyone as fair game, except for himself. As long as he doesn't have the disqualifying attributes of fame and bling, his own privacy is of course beyond discussion.
   312. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: October 12, 2006 at 01:31 PM (#2208145)
Just knowing that Yankee pitcher Corey Lidle was the pilot enabled all of us to exhale, and say, "whew, thank God it wasn't Abdul Auto-Gyro and his merry band of flying terrorists. "

This was said in sarcasm, but is actually true. If all we had been told was that it was a private plane and the authorities do not suspect terrorism, many people, including many, many New Yorkers would not have their fears assuaged. Knowing that it was Cory Lidle did assuage fears. If they had said it was a well known sports figure, that also probably would have done the trick, but it would have quickly resulted in identifying Lidle anyway. Bangkok is right -- this is the age of information and personal privacy is all but gone.


But if they had said that it was "a publically known non-political figure with absolutely no political background, and we are withholding his or her name out of respect for the privacy of the family until they are informed," that may have shamed the media into holding off until Mrs. Lidle was told, while at the same time reassuring all but the most paranoid of paranoids that it wasn't Abdul Auto-Gyro. And in any case the line would have been drawn, quite possibly giving the first to think about stepping over it some time to reconsider.
   313. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: October 12, 2006 at 01:33 PM (#2208149)
I'll remember Lidle most, I suppose, for shutting down the Red Sox in the final game of the Boston Massacre.

"A sweep in Boston?" winning pitcher Cory Lidle said, pausing before breaking out in a big smile. "Pretty awesome."

Awesome indeed. Rest in peace, sir.
   314. Bangkok9 eschews 1 from Column A Posted: October 12, 2006 at 01:51 PM (#2208164)
As for Bangkok, his post speaks for itself, a perfect example of an anonymous nobody who sees everything and everyone as fair game, except for himself. As long as he doesn't have the disqualifying attributes of fame and bling, his own privacy is of course beyond discussion.

Actually I have both bling and privacy. Life is good.
   315. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: October 12, 2006 at 02:09 PM (#2208177)
Does anyone know for certain that the family was not told before information became public? This whole discussion may very well be moot.
   316. CrosbyBird Posted: October 12, 2006 at 02:17 PM (#2208185)
Actually I have both bling and privacy. Life is good.

I'm happy for you and your bling, but once you're a part of the technological world, you have, at best, the illusion of privacy.

Every credit card transaction, every check written, every phone call, internet event, and every activity that requires some sort of license involves to some degree the sharing of personal information with someone. Unless we are willing to blow up our identities and start over on a pure cash system, privacy is a myth.
   317. My guest will be Jermaine Allensworth Posted: October 12, 2006 at 02:19 PM (#2208188)
But if they had said that it was "a publically known non-political figure with absolutely no political background, and we are withholding his or her name out of respect for the privacy of the family until they are informed," that may have shamed the media into holding off until Mrs. Lidle was told, while at the same time reassuring all but the most paranoid of paranoids that it wasn't Abdul Auto-Gyro.

The police did that. The police ALWAYS do that. If a report says "An unidentified man has been fatally stabbed in Anytown," they're unidentified because the police haven't done it yet, and there's no way for a journalist to. It's not the media's job to withhold information, and they're not going to allow creation of red tape where there isn't any.

The information that it's Cory Lidle is important, and it's not information to sit on while a city wonders what the hell just happened for four hours. If he were some random guy, Bob Phillips wouldn't mean anything to anybody, so holding back the information might help more than hurt. "Semi-famous inexperienced private citizen who is a good guy and didn't mean to inflict harm" from the authorities doesn't mean anything. Cory Lidle? He's somebody we know! He just got his license, and there are stories about that! You may counter the second option *is* good enough, but it isn't to a lot of people.

It's not like the media speculated into fact why he dragged other people forcefully into his suicide, the selfish sonuvabitch, with Nancy Grace coming on demanding he get the chair, even if he's dead. They reported the plane was his; the Yankees confirmed it. That's basic journalism.

There's no defending the people that camp out on the Lidles' property, which you might be referring to by the use of "trampled." But I don't get the surprise, horror and disgust for journalism practices that have been going on for far longer than the Information Age, and which do far more good than they do harm.
   318. eerbeek Posted: October 12, 2006 at 02:22 PM (#2208193)
I love the fact that you've written 600 words or so on the subject and insist there's no extreme public interest.

I'll bite! How does "public interest" equate to "right to know"? Curious, interested... whatever... The public was NOT on a "need to know" basis for the name of the pilot. It did not concern them in the least.

As of 7:30AM today, NBC News did NOT have a name for the companion. I'm sure they checked. I haven't heard a word about Tyler Stanger's name until your post. Source, please?

How do you KNOW that the families were "of course" called? Did you personally make the calls? And if so, then why did Dad hear about it on TV after golfing all morning and why did brother Kevin hear about it from a friend who saw it on TV?

I wouldn't call media types with cameras on the front lawn waiting for the wife's arrival home is very "private". Yup... they showed her walking up to the family home and hugging whoever answered the door. It doesn't get much more private than THAT, now, does it?

They probably weren't turning down the houses, vacations, mad bling, posh X-mas presents, etc. that Lidle's salary was providing for them.

Not only was this a tacky remark, but do you know it to be true? And how, exactly, does accepting gifts translate to acceptance of media types no matter what they do that is tacky, thoughtless, or otherwise disagreeable to polite society?

As a member of the media? In a heartbeat! And not because it was going to happen anyway but because it's news and that's what newspeople get paid to do -- report stories of possible interest to the public.

If it's what they are paid to do, do they not have a responsibility to do so accurately and within the boundaries of good taste and decorum? The were so grossly inaccurate in the beginning, it was LAUGHABLE (if this weren't so tragic).

I think the Yankees actually were the first entity to confirm Lidle's death.

Media was reporting the registered owner of the plane before any official Yankee announcement. One doesn't have to be a rocket scientist to put together "registered owner" and "pilot or occupant". Regardless, this was very shortly followed by "confirmation" that Lidle was the pilot (confirmation, btw, which is not yet confirmed!)

This was said in sarcasm, but is actually true. If all we had been told was that it was a private plane and the authorities do not suspect terrorism, many people, including many, many New Yorkers would not have their fears assuaged. Knowing that it was Cory Lidle did assuage fears. If they had said it was a well known sports figure, that also probably would have done the trick, but it would have quickly resulted in identifying Lidle anyway. Bangkok is right -- this is the age of information and personal privacy is all but gone.

So just knowing that it was a private pilot and not terrorism wasn't enough for the big, bad New Yorkers? They had to IMMEDIATELY have a name attached so they could sigh in relief? I don't believe that for one second. Sure, he would have been identified eventually, but it did not have to be broadcast to the world when his wife was alone at 30,000 feet with their son, his dad was playing golf and his brother was minding his own business in FL. They could have waited so that family could be contacted, in touch with each other and prepared for cameras on the front lawn. The immediate release of his name didn't allow the family any semblance of respect. PERIOD.
   319. Daryn Posted: October 12, 2006 at 02:33 PM (#2208202)
So just knowing that it was a private pilot and not terrorism wasn't enough for the big, bad New Yorkers? They had to IMMEDIATELY have a name attached so they could sigh in relief? I don't believe that for one second.

Maybe you could leave room for the possibility that other people who have different life experiences than you might have different reactions to things than you do.
   320. CrosbyBird Posted: October 12, 2006 at 02:33 PM (#2208203)
So just knowing that it was a private pilot and not terrorism wasn't enough for the big, bad New Yorkers? They had to IMMEDIATELY have a name attached so they could sigh in relief? I don't believe that for one second.

Are you being intentionally dense here? As soon as most of us in this office heard "Cory Lidle" it made a substantial difference. A "private pilot, not a terrorist," means they don't know of him being a terrorist. The release of the name is what made a lot of folks relax because they know who Cory Lidle is.

If you don't understand the emotions that go into that particular reaction than nobody will be able to explain it to you. I hope you never have to find out for yourself the way the victims of 9/11 did (in all of the affected places).

The cameras on the front lawn are repulsive. I'm not interested in seeing "the first reaction of Mrs. Lidle and her son." But they are a different issue than merely providing a name on the news.
   321. eerbeek Posted: October 12, 2006 at 02:44 PM (#2208212)
The information that it's Cory Lidle is important, and it's not information to sit on while a city wonders what the hell just happened for four hours.

Just for the record: Cory Lidle is no more important than Joe Smith of Walmart Greeter fame.

The city didn't have to "wonder what the hell just happened for four hours." They had the option of quietly and patiently accepting the fact that was broadcast over and over... that this was not an act of terrorism, but rather a tragic accident involving a private pilot. Names withheld until the families are notified.

Are New Yorkers THAT self-absorbed and THAT self-important that knowing the name of the pilot is the "only" way they are going to "feel safe"?

New Yorkers need to get over themselves. They are not the ones that people need to be concerned about right now. Neither their curiosity nor their interest is of any conseqence in the grand scope of the event. New Yorkers do not garner special conditions for their own comfort that are hurtful to others because of an event over 5 years ago.
   322. Daryn Posted: October 12, 2006 at 02:49 PM (#2208219)
It must be sad to live without empathy when you think you have a lot of empathy.
   323. eerbeek Posted: October 12, 2006 at 02:51 PM (#2208221)
Maybe you could leave room for the possibility that other people who have different life experiences than you might have different reactions to things than you do.

This is a lame response to a perfectly logical statement. Knowing the name of the pilot was not a requirement for calm to sweep the city. Assurances from Washington, DC and every fathomable agency who could make a determination and quickly did so should have been enough for any sane, thoughtful, and respecful human being.
   324. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: October 12, 2006 at 02:54 PM (#2208222)
New Yorkers need to get over themselves.

With all due respect, perhaps you need to get over yourself. You disagree with the perspective expressed by several posters who experienced this story unfold in a very different context than the one you viewed it from. You think that the media responding to that perspective doesn't justify ignoring the Lidle's right to privacy. That's fine. You're entitled to your opinion, and to express it. But now that you have expressed it, consider what's not fine. For example, arguing that those other perspectives are not valid. The feelings that New Yorkers have about events such as this in the wake of 9/11 don't need you approval or any other external validation. They are valid a priori, simply because they exist.
   325. The George Sherrill Selection Posted: October 12, 2006 at 02:56 PM (#2208223)
I haven't heard a word about Tyler Stanger's name until your post. Source, please?

Do a Google News search on his name.
   326. Daryn Posted: October 12, 2006 at 03:00 PM (#2208225)
You disagree with the perspective expressed by several posters who experienced this story unfold in a very different context than the one you viewed it from. You think that the media responding to that perspective doesn't justify ignoring the Lidle's right to privacy. That's fine. You're entitled to your opinion, and to express it. But now that you have expressed it, consider what's not fine. For example, arguing that those other perspectives are not valid.

If everybody understood this (and understood that it applies to most everything), life would be much more civil and these threads would be much shorter.
   327. Fat Al Posted: October 12, 2006 at 03:01 PM (#2208227)
Will the Yankees retire his number?

Not a chance. I'm guessing a ceremony on opening day, maybe a patch or armband, or a sign at the stadium, for the season.
   328. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: October 12, 2006 at 03:06 PM (#2208233)
...life would be much more civil and these threads would be much shorter

The first would be a good thing, of course. But the second would mean that we'd all have to do some actual work.
   329. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: October 12, 2006 at 03:07 PM (#2208234)
FWIW,

I was driving home from work during the interval when Cory Lidle's name first surfaced.


The first inkling of something curious came during a George Pataki interview on 1010 WINS. The host asked Pataki if he knew any specific information that made him comfortable that this was an accident, and Pataki responded with words to the effect of, "Actually, I do, but I can't reveal it without permission from others, but I presume you'll know what I'm referring to soon enough."


Within 5 minutes CBS local had the Lidle-registration angle. Once the media had that I suspect the authorities saw little point in letting the story hang.
   330. eerbeek Posted: October 12, 2006 at 03:09 PM (#2208236)
Are you being intentionally dense here? As soon as most of us in this office heard "Cory Lidle" it made a substantial difference. A "private pilot, not a terrorist," means they don't know of him being a terrorist. The release of the name is what made a lot of folks relax because they know who Cory Lidle is.

But, by the same token, if they said the pilot was Joe Smith, of Walmart Greeter fame, would you have relaxed or still been anxious? Do you KNOW Joe Smith to not be a terrorist like you "KNOW" Lidle isn't one? And how do you know for a fact that Lidle wasn't a terrorist? Because he played for the Yankees?

Seemingly nice, normal people crack all the time and do horrific things. Is Lidle exempt from this fate just because of who he is?

Evertyone thought OJ Simpson was a great guy, too, but there is no way in the world I will believe he didn't kill Nicole.

So, the bottom line remains the same. New Yorkers are selfish enough that they condone the inappropriate disemmination of information for their own gain of COMFORT when it is hurtful to those ACTUALLY involved in the event JUST because 5 years ago, an unrelated event happened.

Further, they justify this inappropriate disemmination of information by saying it was "relieving" to know it was Lidel, because they "know" him.

How could you be "relieved", given ANYONE'S name that you "know" in such a tragedy?

And, oh yeah. I had alot of empathy for the victims of 9/11... I threw hundreds of hard earned dollars towards making sure the children are all able to go to college. NOT to make the spouses millionaires who ended up complaining that "Mrs. X got more money than I did" and "I spent all the money and now I'm broke." or, the ever popular "We need an enormous memorial built in the middle of Manhattan's prime real estate section to remind people every single day what we've gone through". I'm sick of the boo hooing coming from 9/11. It was five YEARS ago. Get over it and move on, because if you don't, you will be miserable forever.
   331. tribefan Posted: October 12, 2006 at 03:17 PM (#2208244)
I'm sick of the boo hooing coming from 9/11. It was five YEARS ago. Get over it and move on, because if you don't, you will be miserable forever.

Get over it? You really mean that? Wow.
   332. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: October 12, 2006 at 03:20 PM (#2208248)
With all due respect to the opinion of certain New Yorkers, I find it hard to believe that 99% of them, who are just as sane and rational as non-New Yorkers, would not have been sufficiently reassured by an assurance by (say) Mayor Bloomberg that the plane crash was an ACCIDENT which had (emphasis) NO connection to any POSSIBLE terrorist incident, but that the names of the victims were being TEMPORARILY withheld, FOR A FEW HOURS, until the family members had been notified.

Putting it that way, I simply can't believe that aside from a few inconsequential professional rumormongers, New Yorkers would not have respected that. The only ones who really "needed" Cory Lidle's name out there before his family knew were the slimeballs who reported it. Painting New Yorkers in general as "needing" to know Cory Lidle's name for reassurance seems more than a little patronizing. One can be fully appreciative of the unique perspective of New Yorkers (and Pentagon workers) and still not ascribe to them the sort of hypersensitivity which would lead them to require that a dead man's name be given to them before it was given to his own family.
   333. dr. scott Posted: October 12, 2006 at 03:39 PM (#2208263)
Though i suppose it cant be proven, Im pretty sure the media would have released his name in the exact same context before 9/11 also. An intertesting test would be the Kennedy plane crash... did the media wait then? IT might not have been an issue though. This is only an issue due to the fact the family was on a commercial flight at the time.
   334. Ron Johnson Posted: October 12, 2006 at 03:48 PM (#2208277)
If union members living in Pittsburgh didn't support the MLBPA during the strike (and I'll take your word for it), that's a sad commentary on the state of labor in Pittsburgh.


Fallout from the MLBPA not respecting the picket lines of concession workers.

IOW absolutely understandable.

The parent union (AFL-CIO I think) did vote to back the MLBPA though.
   335. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: October 12, 2006 at 03:49 PM (#2208282)
Painting New Yorkers in general as "needing" to know Cory Lidle's name for reassurance seems more than a little patronizing.

I won't speak for anyone else, but that certainly wasn't my intent. I did not claim, nor do I believe, that the emotional response of some people to these events was rational, or "right," or that it should foem the basis for news media decision-making in these situations. I simply said that emotional responses like this are valid in and of themsleves, and don't requuire anyone's approval. I stand by that.

My issue with eerbeek isn't that I think it was right to put the scoop ahead of the Lidle family's privacy rights and emotional needs. It's not about how the story was handled at all. It is simply that he mocked "New Yorkers" for their emotions, and mocked posters on this site for trying to explain those emotions. I suspect that you agree with my disdain for that, even if you think he's 100% correct about how the press should have handled this situation.

As for the reality of how the story unfolded, Lidle's wallet fell to the street below. Does anyone really think it would have been possible to keep his name out of the news for any length of time?
   336. bunyon Posted: October 12, 2006 at 04:03 PM (#2208299)
I fully agree that releasing the name before the family was notified served no public good and that it was a dirty, slimy, selfish act on the part of the press.

With that said, I'm shocked that anyone is surprised that this is how the press behaves. The press does not believe in anyone's privacy; if they can get information they publish it regardless of the effect or how the information was obtained. FWIW, I believe this is their right and that it often does serve the public good. But I don't have to like the individual's who would do this or act like they're selfless noble public servants.
   337. eerbeek Posted: October 12, 2006 at 04:06 PM (#2208303)
Yes, get over it. It was a horrific event that had me crying for weeks, donating money and even blood. Sadly, there was no one who actually needed the blood due to painfully few survivors. Still, the first thing I did was go down to the Red Cross to donate.

But you either get past it and move on or you continue in a state of fear and anxiety for the rest of your life. Not EVERYTHING that happens is going to be terrorist related and the NY'ers who feel that knowing Lidel's name is the only way of getting comfort have serious problems.

Your comfort, right at this moment is NOT more important than his family's comfort. Period. And to use 9/11 as an excuse to convince people that your comfort is, in fact, more important is self-serving, self-important, irrational, and thoughtless. Five years is a damn long time to be fearful and anxious at every accident that happens.

And it's a damn long time to think you are more important than a young widow with a 6-year old fatherless son on a plane who doesn't even know that this is her new family status.

If all we had been told was that it was a private plane and the authorities do not suspect terrorism, many people, including many, many New Yorkers would not have their fears assuaged. Knowing that it was Cory Lidle did assuage fears

I agree with Andy 100%. I bet if we asked 100 NY'ers whether statements from every involved government agency that this was NOT terrorism was reassuring enough to not release names until the families were notified, 99 of them (assuming NY'ers are thoughtful, sane people and not well represented on this thread) would say the name is not nearly as important as the statements of a NON-terrorist accident by all governing authorities. These statements were made prior to the release of Lidel's name. They should have been more than enough for NY'ers to calm down and look at the tragedy from someone's perspective other than their own "need" for a name.
   338. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: October 12, 2006 at 04:14 PM (#2208311)
Painting New Yorkers in general as "needing" to know Cory Lidle's name for reassurance seems more than a little patronizing.

I won't speak for anyone else, but that certainly wasn't my intent. I did not claim, nor do I believe, that the emotional response of some people to these events was rational, or "right," or that it should foem the basis for news media decision-making in these situations. I simply said that emotional responses like this are valid in and of themsleves, and don't requuire anyone's approval. I stand by that.


I'm not disputing the right of anyone, and especially New Yorkers, to form whatever thoughts they may have in reaction to initial reports of yesterday's plane crash. OTOH I am highly dubious of the need to publish a specific name in order to provide maximum reassurance to the (I think) relatively tiny number of people who would not have been reassured by the sort of announcement I hypothosized in my post #337 above. I'm not saying that you disagree with that, either. My quarrel is not with the irrational fears of some people (which up to a point aren't necessarily all that irrational anyway, given memories of 9/11), but with the bogus "need," AFTER it was known that this was NOT any sort of a terrorist attack, to publish the name of a victim whose family had not been notified. The way it was handled seemed to me a case of (once again) catering to the lowest common denominator, which is of course exactly what certain strands of the media do, to the corrosive detriment of the larger society.

I do agree that Eerbeek's comments on New Yorkers were uncalled for, even though I'm in agreement with just about everything else he's written.
   339. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: October 12, 2006 at 04:24 PM (#2208320)
Eerbeek, I'm glad you clarified your position on New Yorkers. They're really not that different than anyone else in terms of how they view privacy issues.

I fully agree that releasing the name before the family was notified served no public good and that it was a dirty, slimy, selfish act on the part of the press.

With that said, I'm shocked that anyone is surprised that this is how the press behaves. The press does not believe in anyone's privacy; if they can get information they publish it regardless of the effect or how the information was obtained. FWIW, I believe this is their right and that it often does serve the public good. But I don't have to like the individual's who would do this or act like they're selfless noble public servants.


I've always fantasized that one possible way to get back at some of these cretins would be to hire a team of detectives to dig up every possible bit of dirt on their lives, and spread it all out for everyone to see. Of course since most of these morons apparently live only to see their own names publicized, I'm not sure that this would have the desired effect!

But in the meantime I have to admit that if someone dug up all the dirt on (for example) Primate Bangkok and shared it with the world, it would be a nice start. He could then explain to us what makes his privacy so uniquely valuable.
   340. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: October 12, 2006 at 04:29 PM (#2208325)
I posted this in the Lounge, but it probably belongs here:

Yesterday, while driving to my guitar class, I flipped on Mac, Jurko, and Harry on WMVP. (I usually listen to the Score, but they were in the middle of their 45 mins/hr of commercials.) Anyway, when I flipped it on—about 6pm ET/5 CT—these buffoons were laughing at Cory Lidle and making stupid jokes about it (such as “that’s the first time the Yankees have had a hit with men on"). Seeing that it was only a few hours since the news came out, I thought it was inappropriate at best.

I felt even worse when a few minutes later, McNeil read an e-mail from a listener complaining about the tastelessness of it. On behalf of his colleagues (who voiced their agreement), McNeil defended himself by saying that he thought it was entirely fitting to make jokes about it because when Lidle decided to fly a plane, he was taking his life into his own hands. McNeil then equated Lidle’s death to Chris Farley’s.

I still can’t believe it in several respects, but mainly:

(1) flying a small plane, when you have a license and an instructor on board, is hardly as dangerous an activity as illegal drug use—it can’t be as dangerous as hunting, which athletes always say they do in the offseason;

(2) even if McNeil was correct, I don’t see how that makes it proper to make these jokes within a few hours of the incident. At one point, Jurko said “people grieve in different ways,” but there was not the slightest bit of grief in their demeanor.

Anyway, I don’t really intend to start an argument and I’m sure people disagree with me on one or both points, but I just wanted to get this rant off my chest. It only confirmed my long-held view that McNeil, Jurko, and Harry are classless morons.
   341. eerbeek Posted: October 12, 2006 at 04:33 PM (#2208329)
Ok... my choice of words about "Getting over it" were callous and uncalled for. Please accept my apologies. However, as someone who has watched from afar as the greed that developed over the money and memorial (among other things) grew, the impression from the outside looking in is one of NY'ers not being grateful for all collective America did in immediately coming to their aid. Five years later, we STILL wonder about the memorial. Sure, a nice, simple rememberance is in order. But a full on display of grief in the middle of the city where, quite frankly, I doubt the famiies would visit much?

I think I can speak for all clear thinking adults... we will NEVER, EVER forget that horrible day. But we don't have to waste immeasurable energy, effort and money better used elsewhere (the kids going to college, for example) on constantly fighting to recognize the grief.

And we don't have to be fearful and anxious to the point of someone else's discomfort, either. I was as horrified to see the pictures on TV as the news broke as anyone else. Until it was made clear that this was JUST an accident, I had fear, too. But hearing from all the government agencies that there was no reason to expect terrorism was enough for me. I didn't need the name of the pilot, famous or not.

I don't discount emotional reaction. There is no one "right" way to react and all will do so as their life experiences have prepared them. However, at some point, we need to step AWAY from our own comfort to embrace the grief and offer comfort to those ACTUALLY affected.

I stand by my statements... it is shameful that the press has no respect or regard for the grieving families. It is equally shameful that a select few individuals think that naming names is the answer to calming a city to the discomfort of those actually affected. I think that 9/11 needs to be put in the past and not constantly referred to as an excuse for selfish behavior. I think ALL of us are better served and serving to our fellow personkind to not be fearful and anxious.
   342. dcpi Posted: October 12, 2006 at 05:10 PM (#2208370)
Eerbeek:

You should try to walk in another's shoes. My office is located downtown and we spent the afternoon hearing fire and police vehicles racing up the FDR to respond to the crash. There were also initial reports of a plane crash into a 50-story building on E 72nd. Forgive the overreaction.

After my employees called loved ones to see where they were and that they were o.k., I then had a talk with a worker who lives a couple blocks from the building. She was not sure if she should go home or if she should spend the night in the office. And yes, she witnessed the planes hitting the WTC on 9/11. Perhaps if the crash took out the block a street from your own house you would have a different perspective on events.

The news that it was a Yankee pitcher did instantly dispell everyone's concerns that it was terrorism (though some people in the office wanted to know who he was exactly and his history as a ballplayer). Lidle's background makes him an extremely unlikely terrorist. It also made it unlikely that it was a "dirty" plane carrying radioactive materials to shut down part of the city. The NY Times and other media also immediately began to provide background on the exact type of plane and Lidle's relatively novice status as a pilot. Those facts too helped reassure people.

Basically, the crash was helping to shut down a city of 10 million people -- as unfortunate as it was, Lidle's death was a highly public story and all of the details are highly relevent.

I am also a reporter, so take this as you may. Lidle is very much a public figure. He plays as a Yankee in a city in which the papers are putting both the Mets and Yankees on the front page every day. Both the teams and MLB encourages this coverage and the players sign contracts in New York with full knowledge that they have become public figures. If Mayor Bloomberg died in a car crash in middle of the city I am certain it would be immediately reported, and that would be fair.

So, in this case the media had two reasons to disclose: the crash itself was the most important news in the city and it involved a public figure.

BTW: The initial report that I heard on NPR here was that the crash involved a "New York Yankee." That is probably a less responsible way to report it, since it would likely cause far more unnecessary concerns to 25 or so additional extended families.

Once anyone at the seen knew it was Lidle the cat was out of the bag and the rumors were starting.
   343. Swedish Chef Posted: October 12, 2006 at 05:13 PM (#2208373)
But a full on display of grief in the middle of the city where, quite frankly, I doubt the famiies would visit much?

Hell, the Vietnam War ended thirty years ago, why not tear down that #### too and build a gas station or something instead?

Your argument sucks.
   344. eerbeek Posted: October 12, 2006 at 05:17 PM (#2208382)
And by knowing "what the **** is going on", why isn't it enough to know that this was JUST an accident and not terrorist activity? Why is knowing the name of the pilot so damn important to you when every government agency under the sun has repeatedly told you to calm your hyper sensitive ass down and just wait for more information?

If you are "presumably in the line of fire", then what the **** is wrong with you? Take your family and move to nice, safe Idaho or something. If you really think you are putting your life on the line every day and do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to change that circumstance, then you are one crazy idiot with no regard for your family.

The memorial debate AFFECTS me, dear poster, becuase I have donated ad nauseum to the "cause" of 9/11 and I AM sick to death of the constant in-fighting about what is to go on the site. It all boils down to what everyone WANTS, not that it matters that the desires are foolish choices. It's always about what the "victims" WANT. Not what they or their children actually NEED.

I hardly feel inferior to NY'ers... I have no reason to feel inferior to cry babies like you who do absolutely NOTHING to change the circumstances of his own life, take CONTROL of his own life, thinks he's actually in the line of fire for ANYTHING that might happen in this country, lives in constant fear and anxiety and then expects everyone in the world to play into stupid "needs" like HAVING to know the name of the pilot who just died when his WIFE doesn't even know yet.

You are one stupid, selfish, crazy idiot, pal, if what you say is to be taken at face value.
   345. dcpi Posted: October 12, 2006 at 05:32 PM (#2208403)
Eerbeek:

It is nice that you are so righteous, but you should know a few more details of how events unfolded. One of initial questions raised by reporters was the tail number of the plane. That information was provided by the FAA soon after the crash (and the lack of a tail number initially was raising suspicions that investigators were hiding something). Once the flight number was out there were quick reports that the plane was registered to a "Cory Lidle".

That was when NPR reported that a "NY Yankee" was involved.

From that point there is no realistic way that his role is not identified. In fact, the first report I heard said it was not known if Lidle was on the plan or just the owner.

Thinking about it, if it were a family member of mine involved (wife, mother, brother), I don't think that I would hold it against reporters if I learned the news from a television announcer rather than a phone call from a police officer in New York. There is really no easy way to learn something like this.

At this point, the media should respect the privacy of the family. There is no further public need to know about their reaction.
   346. SoSH U at work Posted: October 12, 2006 at 05:44 PM (#2208420)
There is another group of people who had a genuine need to know the name of pilot - spouses of private plane owners in the air Wednesday. Not a large group, sure, but likely larger than the Lidle family.

I'm with dcpi. It's the news that sucks far more than who's delivering it.
   347. eerbeek Posted: October 12, 2006 at 06:02 PM (#2208443)
And this information couldn't be withheld until Lidle's wife and parents were appropriately told?

In the meantime, anyone else with pilots over Manhattan at the time could confirm the safety of their loved ones through a variety of methods and relatively quickly in this day and age.

The media was irresponsible from the very beginning. Almost the first breath of reporting this news was inaccurate. If they don't care about accuracy, they also don't care about common sense, good taste, and respect.

I still fail to see the value in reporting that which was NOT confirmed fact (the bodies as YET are still not officially identified, from what I hear!), and that which would come as a striking and devastating blow to ANY unprepared family, famous or not.

Oh, and because CORY was a "public figure" does not extend that "public figure" status to his family. THEY aren't public figures and therefore should be treated with the respect ANY private citizen should be. WITHOUT cameras staged at their front door and with the courtesy of knowledge before largely inaccurate news reports turn their lives upside down.
   348. dcpi Posted: October 12, 2006 at 06:09 PM (#2208450)
There is no reason for cameras to be at anyone's front door. With that I agree. With the rest, I respectively disagree.
   349. baudib Posted: October 12, 2006 at 06:11 PM (#2208451)
And what makes you think calls weren't made to the family? Of course there were.

What made me "think" that was the fact that no media report yesterday afternoon had mentioned it, in spite of their overwhelming PR reason for doing so. Your "of course there were" is wholly presumptive. At the time of the crash the media were reporting that Lidle's family was on board a commercial flight and likely did not know of his fate. If in fact they knew that this was not the case, and that his wife had been informed while in midflight, this salient fact surely would have been broadcast---but it wasn't.

And the fact that Lidle was quite possibly the responsible party here (as opposed to a mechanical misfunction) has nothing to do with this. If he had been "janitor Corey Lidle" or "Walmart clerk Corey Lidle" the case would have been handled differently. You routinely see reports of accidents where the sort of statement that I cite above is used, regardless of fault, when a dead person's family hasn't been notified. There is no legitimate reason for this practice not to have been followed in this case.

I love the fact that you've written 600 words or so on the subject and insist there's no extreme public interest.

Replying to a non sequitur as brazen as this is a bit like explaining to Terry Bradshaw how to spell "cat," but you seem to confuse the concept of "public interest" with that of "public curiosity." Public curiosity in this case is undeniable; the public interest in knowing an accident victim's identity before his family does is nonexistent.

As for Bangkok, his post speaks for itself, a perfect example of an anonymous nobody who sees everything and everyone as fair game, except for himself. As long as he doesn't have the disqualifying attributes of fame and bling, his own privacy is of course beyond discussion.


Well, Andy, I will simply stand by my original post.
   350. eerbeek Posted: October 12, 2006 at 06:21 PM (#2208463)
So... You don't think that:

1. Other pilots' families could have contacted the pilots timely regarding their well being?
2. The wife and parents of a person who JUST tragically died deserve a phone call or visit with the news before the media reports it?
3. That because the person who died is a "public figure" the rest of the family did not sign up for such status and therefore should be treated in a more respectful way?
4. The name of the pilot could wait for a few moments while not only the family was contacted, but the facts were deemed accurate?
5. The right to report "breaking news" comes with it a sense of responsibility for how those reports are going to affect the principles in the story?
6. News is not news if it is not accurate?
   351. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: October 12, 2006 at 06:32 PM (#2208477)
Please explain why you think that pilots of small planes that are in the air can be contacted instantly under these circumstances, while passengers on a commercial airliner can't possibly be reached until the plane lands. I have no way of knowing for certain, but I suspect that the latter would actually be easier for the authorities than the former would be for Joe Citizen.
   352. villageidiom Posted: October 12, 2006 at 06:35 PM (#2208482)
FWIW, I believe A-Rod has been cleared of responsibility for the crash.

I still hold him accountable for all the consternation, indignation, finger-pointing and name-calling in this thread. It's like a fight breaking out at a wake.
   353. eerbeek Posted: October 12, 2006 at 06:54 PM (#2208499)
Please explain why you think that pilots of small planes that are in the air can be contacted instantly under these circumstances, while passengers on a commercial airliner can't possibly be reached until the plane lands. I have no way of knowing for certain, but I suspect that the latter would actually be easier for the authorities than the former would be for Joe Citizen.

Where did I say "instantly contact pilots of small planes in the air"? I believe my exact words were: "In the meantime, anyone else with pilots over Manhattan at the time could confirm the safety of their loved ones through a variety of methods and relatively quickly in this day and age." IOW: They can use that good ol' cell phone that everyone has attached at the hip these days, they could call the home airport for news, they could compare the plane make and model to the one their loved one is flying, they could refer back to a flight plan for estimated location at the time of the crash, etc.

I also said, much earlier, that since it was known that Mrs. Lidle was on a certain flight, that the plane could have been reached and she could have been told in a compassionate way while still en route. While traumatic, she at least would have had a few moments to digest the information and then prepare herself and her son for the onslaught of media at the airport (if there was to be any), arrange for a private escort through the airport and home, or whatever she deemed necessary to comfort and protect her son and herself from assault by hungry reporters.
   354. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: October 12, 2006 at 07:05 PM (#2208515)
I also said, much earlier, that since it was known that Mrs. Lidle was on a certain flight, that the plane could have been reached and she could have been told in a compassionate way while still en route. While traumatic, she at least would have had a few moments to digest the information and then prepare herself and her son for the onslaught of media at the airport (if there was to be any), arrange for a private escort through the airport and home, or whatever she deemed necessary to comfort and protect her son and herself from assault by hungry reporters.

Well, I certainly hope this was done, but I have no way of knowing and it's none of my damned business anyway. As for that good 'ol cell phone -- I think you still have to turn those off on airplanes, even private ones. They really do interfere with other (more important) communication devices.
   355. dcpi Posted: October 12, 2006 at 07:06 PM (#2208517)
None of the coverage that I have seen featured any footage of Lidle's wife and son. Were there "hungry reporters" at the airport when she landed? I don't want to be fighting at a wake, but I still believe that you are overlooking an emergency that hit the lives of millions. In the best of all worlds she would have been informed privately, but this is not the best of all worlds and Lidle went down in about as high profile a way as I can imagine. I also noted that ESPN was reporting the instructor's name by at least 6 AM this morning, if not earlier. And, even in that case the instructor's family likely would have been able to figure things out once Lidle's identity was known at 4:30 or so yesterday. So there were really no secrets, like it or not.

I was actually a little surprised that Steinbrenner and the Phillies each included the name of Lidle's wife and son in their statements. That was information unrelated to the event. Those statements were also released by 5 pm or so, or well before her flight reportedly landed.
   356. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: October 12, 2006 at 07:13 PM (#2208527)
I was actually a little surprised that Steinbrenner and the Phillies each included the name of Lidle's wife and son in their statements. That was information unrelated to the event. Those statements were also released by 5 pm or so, or well before her flight reportedly landed.

Well, it does make the statements seem a bit more personal and heartfelt. It also makes me think that she had been told by then. Again, I certainly hope so.
   357. The Balls of Summer Posted: October 12, 2006 at 07:47 PM (#2208574)
I've always fantasized that one possible way to get back at some of these cretins would be to hire a team of detectives to dig up every possible bit of dirt on their lives, and spread it all out for everyone to see. Of course since most of these morons apparently live only to see their own names publicized, I'm not sure that this would have the desired effect!


Add to that the fact that these guys control the means of "speading it all out for everyone to see."

The most significant bias that the media has is the bias toward themselves.
   358. CiC Posted: October 12, 2006 at 08:09 PM (#2208597)
Some pilot guy on Mike and the Mad Dog said that the planes maneuvers were not consistent with engine failure, and that the only option they really would have had in that instance based on their location was to glide the plane into the Hudson River. So the pilot guy didn't believe engine failure could be the reasonable cause. We won't know for weeks or months of course, but thought I'd pass that along if nobody else posted it yet.
   359. eerbeek Posted: October 12, 2006 at 08:39 PM (#2208622)
I have absolutely no idea if there were reporters at LAX. I don't claim to have seen any footage of this, which is why I qualified the statement with (if there were to be any). It just would seem "natural" for them to bombard her before she even exited the jetway. I did, however, see footage of her walking up to the family home and hugging whoever answered the door (His parents/Her parents?). COMPLETELY out of line, IMHO.

I don't watch ESPN. My main source has been NBC, who did not have any information on the instructor by 7AM today, as they made a point of saying. However, by 6AM, 7AM or whatever time, of course the family would have received all the information necessary to address next steps. He, not being a "public figure", would not have had quite the frenzy that might be expected with Lidle.

It's a hard call on whether she knew before or after landing at LAX. I hope she was told before landing as well on the chance that it would be making news reporters drool with a "scoop" on her "reaction" (How do they THINK she would react?) upon landing.

I'm just going on the reality that it was entirely possible and would have been more appropriate than other options, like waiting until she was in a busy airport with hundreds of strangers around, after a long flight, with a probably tired 6 year old in tow. I know I wouldn't want to receive such news in such a highly public place with cameras (security, if nothing else) all over. All you need is one lousy airport employee to grab a tape, sell it to Inside Edition and have the worst moment of her life broadcast for all the world to see. It shouldn't be that way for ANYONE.

As for using their names in statements, I find it to be more natural than not, if MLB is the "family" they claim to be. I don't know if their names were unknown before, but I don't find objection to using them when expressing condolences, unless I'm missing something here.
   360. baudib Posted: October 12, 2006 at 08:52 PM (#2208641)
This thread has become utterly hilarifying, BTW.
   361. eerbeek Posted: October 12, 2006 at 08:58 PM (#2208646)
I am NOT a pilot... I just ASSUME ditching in the river, away from concrete buildings and population would be a logical first choice for aborting the flight.

I had brought this up earlier... I asked if engine failure would mean complete compromise of steering and was told "no". So, even with engine failure, I can't understand why he would make a sharp turn into a building when ditching in the river seems to be the best choice. And, with an instructor on board, why wouldn't he have directed this or deploy the parachute?

So many unanswered questions. A recorded distress call might have answered them, but they say no call was made.

Do little planes have "black boxes"???? Maybe it would have recorded the conversation between Lidle and his instructor to offer answers?

Could there have been a medical issue? You see it once in a while... seemingly healthy athletes dropping dead of heart attacks. I suppose the remains won't offer this information, either, given the fireball.

We could also revisit the much more morbid possibility of depression and dramatic suicide, so far it's not ruled out.
   362. eerbeek Posted: October 12, 2006 at 09:19 PM (#2208669)
Here's a heartbreaker for you: Stanger's wife and 10 year old daughter are expecting a new baby. The local NBC news just played that footage again of Lidle's wife approaching the family home.

The report said that they were on their way back to CA to join their families. Was this just a last sightseeing flyover before heading West yesterday, or was their trip planned for later in the week?
   363. Daryn Posted: October 12, 2006 at 09:31 PM (#2208680)
The report said that they were on their way back to CA to join their families. Was this just a last sightseeing flyover before heading West yesterday, or was their trip planned for later in the week?

Lidle wife and son were flying back to California. Cory was flying (15 hours total) to California as well, with at least two stops -- one of them being Arizona to see his twin brother play in some adult league "World Series".

Stanger's name was first identified on the internet between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. Eastern yesterday.
   364. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: October 12, 2006 at 09:36 PM (#2208685)
With all due respect to the opinion of certain New Yorkers, I find it hard to believe that 99% of them, who are just as sane and rational as non-New Yorkers, would not have been sufficiently reassured by an assurance by (say) Mayor Bloomberg that the plane crash was an ACCIDENT which had (emphasis) NO connection to any POSSIBLE terrorist incident, but that the names of the victims were being TEMPORARILY withheld, FOR A FEW HOURS, until the family members had been notified.

I'm a New Yorker and I respect everybody's opinion, but until we learned more details we were stuck with the horrific specter of an unknown plane hitting a high-rise and the high-rise being on fire on the upper floors, and innocent people being trapped inside. Dread and a pit in the stomach were the only normal reactions to have, and the initial boilerplate speak of a politician that there was no reason to suspect terrorism -- which they very well may say even if something in fact WAS terrorism -- was not going to assuage that feeling.

Remember the comments wthat were made after the first plane the first tower on 9/11 and compare to the words you wanted everyone to accept at face value and you'll see exactly what I mean.
   365. Jorge Luis Bourjos (Walewander) Posted: October 12, 2006 at 09:54 PM (#2208705)
From Gawker:

A tipster reports some journalism perpetrated by CNN's Nancy Grace:

I heard this on WFAN at about 1 a.m. A guy called up the show and said that Joe Beningo (a WFAN host) was on Nancy Grace and she was trying to get him to say that Corey Lidle's plane crash was no accident and that it was suicide.


Stay classy, Nancy. Why would he have committed suicide? Did you interview him on Tuesday?
   366. eerbeek Posted: October 12, 2006 at 10:20 PM (#2208731)
People who commit suicide do not generally announce to the world their intentions. Further, they rarely exhibit outward signs that this is going through their head prior to the attempt. That's why suicide is so stunning... no one "sees it coming".

He could have committed suicide for a million different reasons from trouble at home, to a grueling schedule culminating in a disappointing loss in Detroit, to just general sadness.

He said more than once that flying takes him "away" from everything... everything just goes "away" when he's flying (this in a clip I saw of him flying with a reporter tagging along). What's so bad that being "away" is better than being "there"?

You can analyze the cause of a suicide under a microscope and never really know the answer. It's usually far too personal a thing for a victim to verbalize before the attempt. Even notes left behind are largely apologies and extensions of love, assuring those they love are not at "fault". They don't really explain much in the long run, though.
   367. Jorge Luis Bourjos (Walewander) Posted: October 12, 2006 at 10:23 PM (#2208737)
Wow, that's a really condescending post, eerbeek. Could you have thrown a couple 'mkay's' in there?
   368. Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: October 12, 2006 at 10:46 PM (#2208751)
Do little planes have "black boxes"????


No. Or more specifically, they are not required, and since they are quite expensive to buy and maintain, it is highly unlikely that someone would volunteer to have one if not required.

I had brought this up earlier... I asked if engine failure would mean complete compromise of steering and was told "no". So, even with engine failure, I can't understand why he would make a sharp turn into a building when ditching in the river seems to be the best choice. And, with an instructor on board, why wouldn't he have directed this or deploy the parachute?


My off the cuff guess right now would be task saturation trying to handle a problem. Someone onboard forgot the first rule in an inflight emergency; maintain aircraft control. And before someone brings up the fact that there were two pilots onboard, I'll point out the famous (imfamous?) Eastern Airlines crash in the Everglades about 30 years ago. 3 pilots onboard and the plane crashed while they were tring to change a light bulb
   369. eerbeek Posted: October 12, 2006 at 10:47 PM (#2208753)
NBC National News: Evidently, the permitted East River corridor demands a very tight turn to stay within rules. According to a training video produced for local pilots, if you are not very experienced in this maneuver, you shouldn't be in that area. Perhaps that's what happened? He couldn't make the 180 degree turn.

Then, we have to move to the instructor's wisdom of taking such a novice to that area or being in control of the plane (if instructor wasn't). If instructor WAS in control of the plane, the instructor gravely mis-judged his own ability in such a high profile aircraft.

No black boxes on board, so even the conversation between the two occupants will never be heard.

It's up to the NTSB to piece together everything and arrive at a logical conclusion.

Propeller is deemed to have been moving at time of impact, indicating less and less mechanical failure and more and more pilot error.
   370. eerbeek Posted: October 12, 2006 at 11:01 PM (#2208761)
Wow, that's a really condescending post, eerbeek. Could you have thrown a couple 'mkay's' in there?

Care to elaborate on what was condescending? I have stated many strong opinions, which I am completely entitled to have, just as everyone else is, and have already apologized for a poor choice of words.

Someone onboard forgot the first rule in an inflight emergency; maintain aircraft control.
From the sounds of what I heard tonite, it might have been as quick as a failed hairpin turn. Perhaps no time to even realize the plane was OUT of control.

It takes three pilots not controlling a plane full of people to change a light bulb??? I'm going over to read that story right now!
   371. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: October 12, 2006 at 11:33 PM (#2208776)
Propeller is deemed to have been moving at time of impact, indicating less and less mechanical failure and more and more pilot error.

Opinions are one thing, but the second half of this sentence is a conclusion. And a rather strong one to be drawing at this stage, especially for someone who claims no particular expertise in aviation. And of course, it's an even bigger leap from "error" to suicide, especially for someone who claims no particular expertise in psychology or personal knowledge of the victim's state of mind.

We may never know who was at the controls when the plane hit the building, much less know exactly what went wrong or why. What purpose is served by rushing to judgement? You've made it clear that you think the news media should have waited a couple of hours before releasing Lidle's name. Shouldn't we wait a couple of days before we decide that this was all his own damned fault?
   372. rr Posted: October 12, 2006 at 11:42 PM (#2208780)
hilarifying,

Hilarious + Horrifying
   373. eerbeek Posted: October 12, 2006 at 11:53 PM (#2208788)
The comment about the propellar was made in a news broadcast (this is NOT a quote, but the summary of the discussion). It is not my opinion, but rather the opinion of the "aviation expert du jour". At the beginning of the post, I state my source.

If the propeller was moving, engine failure is evidently ruled out, per my understanding of the discussion. But for all I know, the prop and engine are two completely separate mechanisms running off of separate energy sources.

I haven't jumped to ANY conclusions... I have just put theories out there for discussion from heart attack to inability/lack of experience to very bad judgement calls to suicide, while fuel and mechanical issues have been brought to the table by others and I have responded to those posts as well.

I clearly have no particular favorite "judgement" and am the first to say we don't even know who was in control of the plane at the time of the crash.

I would suggest that you more thoroughly read the posts before making judgements of your own.

BTW: I have studied psychology and have done in depth research on suicide. Just because I don't state that up front is no reason to jump down my throat.
   374. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: October 13, 2006 at 12:02 AM (#2208797)
eerbeek, your expertise not withstanding, I would venture to guess that the oddsmakers would say it was a 10,000 to one shot that this was a suicide.

First of all, it would either have to be a double suicide, or a homicide-suicide.
The odds then would become 100,000 to one.

Place your bets. I'll take them. Not a suicide. A tragic accident.
   375. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: October 13, 2006 at 12:05 AM (#2208800)
Of course, I pull those odds from my rectum. But I stand by them.
   376. dcpi Posted: October 13, 2006 at 12:06 AM (#2208802)
As long as people are throwing out pure speculation, this site has an interesting theory and discussion on what may have led to the crash.
   377. Jorge Luis Bourjos (Walewander) Posted: October 13, 2006 at 12:20 AM (#2208840)
eerbeek, what was condescending about post 372 was that you mouthed platitudes about suicide any functioning adult knows like it was something I hadn't considered. The mindblowing thing about it is that your emphasis on how we don't know what happened, and we're not in Cory's head, etc., somehow doesn't stop you from trying to pin a murder/suicide on the guy with no evidence.

Break me a f*cking give.
   378. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: October 13, 2006 at 12:24 AM (#2208853)
I would suggest that you more thoroughly read the posts...

Heed your own advice. I didn't say you had no expertise, I said that you claimed no expertise. By your own admission, that statement was true at the time I made it. You should also re-read your own #375, and decide if you really think that you made it clear that you were simply passing on someone else's conclusion, as opposed to accepting it or even drawing it yourself from what was reported.
   379. RichRifkin Posted: October 13, 2006 at 01:06 AM (#2208958)
"As long as people are throwing out pure speculation, this site has an interesting theory and discussion on what may have led to the crash."

dcpi,

Cool link. Thanks. I watched the video, but I am dubious of the theory. I don't know diddly about flying planes, so my take is pretty much worthless. But it seems to me that the plane (the green one) that appeared to be heading right toward Lidle's plane (the red one) turned away from Lidle's plane about 5 miles from where Lidle ultimately crashed. I guess the most plausible thing about "the second plane theory" would be that Lidle overcorrected to avoid hitting that plane, and by overcorrecting, his plane's steering mechanism was somehow damaged. And then, 5 miles later, that damaged steering caused him to steer into that building.

My guess is that we will never know why this accident happened. However, I think it's plausible that Lidle purposefully decided to turn west, to cross over Manhattan and return to New Jersey just where he did. But, due to the rain and clouds, he didn't see that 50 story building at the time he decided to make his turn. (Maybe from his angle of approach it was difficult to see.) And then, heading right for that building, he didn't have the skills to avoid the accident.
   380. dcpi Posted: October 13, 2006 at 02:07 AM (#2209116)
RichRifkin, Five miles is all of Manhattan from the tip to about where he crashed. The two planes were actually less than a couple miles apart from the time that they would have seen each other. I do that drive in a car up the FDR all the time and it only takes about ten minutes if there is no traffic. In a plane it would be far quicker.

The theory given by people in the discussion on the site was that Lidle's plane stuck to the west side of the river in order to avoid the collision and never returned to the east/middle of the river after the two planes passed. It then would have had to make a hard west turn towards the city to turn around and avoid LaGuardia airspace. Again, according to the pilots on the site (not me) there is a significant blind spot as a plane turns that would have roughly correlated to where the building was.

If they were too far to the West at the start of the turn, they could have been forced to turn over the city. The plane could then have lost altitude as it turned, bringing it to the level of the building. If the building was in the blind spot they would not have seen it until it was too late.

As I said, though, pure speculation but interesting nonetheless.
   381. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: October 13, 2006 at 02:22 AM (#2209159)
Did anyone else ever take the old Continental shuttle between Newark and Providence? In the mid-90's they used a tiny prop plane which seemed to fly as close to the tall buildings in downtown Manhattan as the planes firing at King Kong did when Fay Wray was in her grasp. It was easily the most picturesque commercial flight I've ever been on (urban division, at least), and of course they could never fly such a route today.
   382. Buzzards Bay Posted: October 13, 2006 at 02:50 AM (#2209244)
yeah ,i did and it was memorable..
thought i was saving time but nothing was smooth that day
should have done the I95 thang
spoke with a customer today who lives in that neighborhood and recounted that exact flight
   383. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: October 13, 2006 at 03:30 AM (#2209355)
I actually took the Newark-Providence shuttle about half a dozen times and at least half the time I thought the plane was going to crash. Any time you had a wind much over 10 MPH it seemed as if it lost all stability. No chili dogs for me before boarding that flight!
   384. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: October 13, 2006 at 04:52 AM (#2209405)
I can't BELIEVE nobody has CHANGED their handle to Abdul Auto-Gyro yet.

Come on, people, look alive.
   385. baudib Posted: October 13, 2006 at 05:25 AM (#2209417)
What I don't understand through all this is why can't the media just report nice things, like puppies?
   386. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: October 13, 2006 at 05:27 AM (#2209419)
In this case, the media also knew EXAcTLY where Lidle's wife was... on a commercial flight (ironic!). I would like to think that America's "desire to know" is NOT outweighed by the family's "RIGHT AND NEED TO KNOW" before America does. I don't care in the least that you work near WTC... in THIS case, your petty little desire to know the name of the pilot does not override the expectation of respect to the family.
Faux outrage is so amusing and pathetic at the same time.

Here's a free clue, which you'll learn when you're unfortunate enough to lose a close family member: none of that stuff matters. When your mother, or brother, or son, dies, whether other people knew before you is meaningless trivia. You have more important things on your mind than whether the story happened to be on the news before you heard about it. I assure you that Lidle's widow is busy thinking about her late husband and their son, not some stupid definition of "respect" that Eerbeek made up.
How, exactly, does working next to the WTC give you more of a right to have your desires met in knowing the name of a pilot than the right of the family to know their loved one is gone before you do? Frankly, I'm sick to death of New Yorkers still going on about 9/11 FIVE YEARS LATER as though their concerns, their memorial, their compensations, etc. are all more important than those of other Americans. And don't say it doesn't happen, I see it all the time... just look at the nauseating debate over what to erect on the WTC site and how "proper memorials" must be first concern. Get over it. It was FIVE YEARS AGO. If you want a memorial, erect one in your backyard, but don't waste prime NY real estate on something you might visit once a year at this point.
RossCW, is that you?
   387. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: October 13, 2006 at 05:52 AM (#2209424)
I can't BELIEVE nobody has CHANGED their handle to Abdul Auto-Gyro yet.


Done
   388. Greg Franklin Posted: October 13, 2006 at 06:15 AM (#2209427)
The New York Times has just released a whooshy Flash graphic of Lidle's final flight:

Link
   389. Francoeur Sans Gages (AlouGoodbye) Posted: October 13, 2006 at 08:55 AM (#2209447)
I find it equal parts amusing and terrifying that some people think that the media should only disseminate such news as we are deemed to "need to know".
   390. baudib Posted: October 13, 2006 at 10:03 AM (#2209451)
Figures fargin' Nieporent has to make a ####### intelligent post and ruin this thread.
   391. baudib Posted: October 13, 2006 at 10:06 AM (#2209452)
Alou, screw you, too! I was enjoying this thread.
   392. eerbeek Posted: October 13, 2006 at 12:47 PM (#2209480)
somehow doesn't stop you from trying to pin a murder/suicide on the guy with no evidence.

Where, exactly, do I pin a murder/suicide on Lidle? I merely pointed out that it is a POSSIBILITY that HAS NOT BEEN RULED OUT YET. Frankly, I'm leaning towards gravely bad judgement to be that inexperienced in such volatile air space.

Heed your own advice. I didn't say you had no expertise, I said that you claimed no expertise.

And I never said you did. But your post gives the impression that if I don't credential myself first, statements are worthless.

eerbeek, your expertise not withstanding, I would venture to guess that the oddsmakers would say it was a 10,000 to one shot that this was a suicide.


Perhaps, but it's a sucker's bet because we may likely never know.

When your mother, or brother, or son, dies, whether other people knew before you is meaningless trivia. You have more important things on your mind than whether the story happened to be on the news before you heard about it.

Pehaps to the average Joe Citizen, in your opinion, it is meaningless. However, if you are clueless, walking off a plane after a long flight with a tired 6 year old and you suddenly have cameras shoved in your face announcing your "famous" husband's death, you aren't given any SORT of luxury of preparation for the situation, for your son, or for you to contact your family.

I STILL don't know if reporters went to LAX, but I wouldn't doubt the attempt, given their insensitivity. The POSSIBILITY existed for Mrs. Lidle to walk with her son into the most devastating news of her life in a public forum. She should have been able to prepare for that with whatever time left she had on their flight after she was told.

What part of that scenario is so hard for you to grasp that you say how she finds out is meaningless trivia? It would be frightening for the son, devastating and confusing for her, and chaotic at best in logisitcs to just get home without being followed. The "meaningless trivia" escapes me here.
   393. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: October 13, 2006 at 01:03 PM (#2209495)
I agree with eerbeek about the media's insensitivity. They're always there with their microphones in the faces of the bereaved, when common decency would dictate that they should be allowed to grieve in private.
   394. bunyon Posted: October 13, 2006 at 01:21 PM (#2209511)
As the guy who initially brought up suicide - I think - way back on the first page, let me say that at the time I didn't know that anyone else was onboard. And, if I'd thought about it, crashing into a building is likely to risk other lives as well, which isn't a common suicide MO.

Anyway, I don't think there is much of a chance that it was suicide. My initial thought was just that he's had a rough few weeks punctuated by a really lousy couple of days. My guess is that this was routine pilot error and lots of bad luck.
   395. eerbeek Posted: October 13, 2006 at 01:50 PM (#2209539)
Well, in the very early hours with no accurate information, suicide seemed a possibility after a devastating loss in Detroit. I'm not saying I believe it to be true, but it could have been an explanation. Flying into a building is quite dramatic and will be remembered, too.

True, most suicide victims don't involve others, but some do. As it was, not a single person other than plane occupants died, which is miraculous. (And, in the early moments, a second occupant wasn't mentioned).

MAYBE that building could be targeted as a dramatic site with minimal fatalities.

Even so, still leaning towards extraordinarily bad judgement to be in that particular airspace with so little experience on the required haripin turn to avoid LGU airspace.

What was he doing in that area, ANYWAY, if he was supposedly on his way back to CA from NJ? One last sightseeing flyover? It had to be, if the plan was to head west that day following his wife.
   396. Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: October 13, 2006 at 02:00 PM (#2209549)
MAYBE that building could be targeted as a dramatic site with minimal fatalities.


That's quite a stretch. Picking out an individual building of that size from the air while still maintaing control of the airplane would be difficult enough for an inexperienced pilot. Finding the building and then successfully targeting it would be nearly impossible. Remeber the 9/11 filght that hit the Pentagon? Supposedly they were supposed to hit the White House but they either could not find it or they could not approach it properly. And the White House is orders of magnitude easier to pick out than a specific 50 story high rise on the upper east side.
   397. bunyon Posted: October 13, 2006 at 02:19 PM (#2209569)
Miserlou, that is a hell of a story about the light bulb.
   398. eerbeek Posted: October 13, 2006 at 04:33 PM (#2209749)
I was just thinking that it was a known apartment building (hopefully, filled with EMPLOYED residents who wouldn't be home at the time) and the location on the river makes it an easy hit without first being noticed and contacted for being out of allowed airspace.

This long shot theory would have to be well planned in advance, of course.

Not that Lidle was one, but find the right wacko, though, and anything is possible.
   399. Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: October 13, 2006 at 10:31 PM (#2210344)
Miserlou, that is a hell of a story about the light bulb.


Indeed. It is THE textbook case of how not to handle and inflight emergency, and is taught to all student pilots.

It also illustrates something I talked about in the Lexington crash thread; the chain of events leading up to a mishap, and how one break in the chain usually prevents the accident. In the L 10-11 crash, the ATC controller responsible for this flight noticed the descent. Airliner transponders are equiped with a mode linked to the altimeter, and thus broadcast altitude as well as position. But the controller, instead of specifically asking the crew about the descent, merely queried them with generic questions like "Is everything OK?" "Are you guys having any other problems?" The crew, not noticing the descent, was like "Yeah, we're working the problem. Leave us alone." One word from the controller about the descent would have prevented the crash.
   400. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: October 14, 2006 at 11:17 PM (#2211647)
Here's an article from the NY Daily News, published two days before the crash, with a peculiarly ironic headline:

Any ballclub can pick up fallen Lidle
Monday, October 9, 2006
http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/yankees/story/459948p-386976c.html

It gets odder. The article's about Lidle as expected free agent, and quotes Lidle on the Detroit playoff series: "Maybe we were in cruise control a little bit too much."
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