Pulling a Slater
Update: How to help the JetBlue flight attendant: This escape chute rebeldeserves a break
The Washington Post stole my headline. (Or, maybe great minds like mine and Jonathan Capehart's just think alike).
When I heard that JetBlue flight attendant Steven Slater took to his airplane's PA system to announce: "To the fucking asshole who told me to fuck off, it's been a good 28 years ... I've had it. That's it,” grabbed a couple of roadies and SLID off the plane via the inflatable emergency slide, I said the man deserved a slow clap.
Unfortunately for him, and for those, like me, for whom he has become a personal hero, he's facing seven years for his antics on the Pittsburgh to JFK flight. Slater was reacting to a passenger who he warned to take a seat after the passenger started digging around the overhead bin just after landing. The passenger opted instead to direct an expletive at Slater and refused to apologize. This all after the passenger allegedly struck him before takeoff with the overhead compartment door. (There have been contradictory reports about the passenger's gender. Either way, it's an asshole).
Slater was arrested when he got home to Queens (he ran across the tarmac, hopped in his car and drove there) on charges of reckless endangerment, trespassing and criminal mischief. Our real-life Peter Gibbons has been granted bail (but hasn't posted the $2,500 needed to get out yet) and although we doubt he's welcome back at JetBlue, we see an illustrious career ahead of him as a self-help guru.
Whether the justice system will be merciful remains to be seen, but Slater's certainly got public opinion on his side. He's already a public figure on Facebook with just under 20,000 fans (and counting), a Wikipedia page and a T-shirt.
We're actually amazed we can't find somewhere online to donate to his legal defense fund. Slater's got a court-appointed lawyer and can't seem to afford bail. So here's the official call: Make checks out to "Save Slater" and send 'em to Howard Turman, Legal Aid Society, 120-46 Queens Blvd, Kew Gardens, NY 11415-1204.
Update: An unofficial donation page has been created. The founder contacted CultureMap and said he's working to get an official endorsement from Slater (whom he doesn't know personally) and his lawyer. Donations are via PayPal at your own risk!
the man the myth the legend: