Guest Puts CNN Panel In Their Place
The recent tragedy involving the OceanGate Titan deep-sea submersible has left many questioning their faith in the wisdom of attempting such a dangerous journey. But while criticisms abound over the expedition and its leader, Stockton Rush, there’s been an odd level of glee aimed at those onboard who made the fateful decision to attempt it, particularly because they happened to be wealthy “thrill seekers.”
It’s natural for us to anticipate some to point out some of Rush’s perceived shortfalls in terms of safety, and those who questioned the wisdom of potentially risking more lives on the rescue effort if necessary, have also been vocal in their critiques.
But CNN’s “This Morning” panel from Friday and some in the media have gone one step further, almost like they took perverse pleasure in the deaths of those onboard, including Suleman Dawood, the 19-year-old son of British-Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood, 48, due to their status as rich individuals.
CNN anchor and chief business correspondent Christine Romans and panelists went so far as to issue a self-righteous pat on the back for not being rich thrillseekers, as though one’s wealth and desire to attempt such a voyage were major character flaws.
“So, look, this is a market for rich thrill seekers. We’re talking ultra-high net worth individuals, people with $30 million or more,” Romans said. “And these trips to space, Virgin Galactic just said last week, it’s announcing trips to space starting next month, and those are going to be $450,000 a pop to become a private astronaut. And they’ve already sold 800 tickets.”
Later, on Anderson Cooper 360, U.S. construction developer Alfred Hagen, a friend of French deep sea explorer Paul-Henri “Mr. Titanic” Nargeolet, 77, one of the people who perished, blasted the focus on the wealth of the Titan’s passengers.
“And I’m tired of people coming in now to insult, you know, the high achievers and disparage wealthy people that want to, you know, break trail for the rest of humanity and then come in and ban the dead corpses. I mean, I’m tired of that,” he said.
“But Stockton Rush was also correct. The oceans are fundamental to our future. The elements that will power the green economy are all on the seafloor.”
It’s one thing to take issue with Rush on some of the points previously made about how he ran things, but it’s quite another to take delight in someone’s failure and in this case, death, simply because of their wealth and that they can do what most of us never will.
Nevertheless, those who passed away on the ill-fated trip will be remembered as pioneers. But as Hagen commented, “taking risk is what distinguishes us as men. And, you know, it’s the divine spark.”