Thumbs Down: Whistleblowing It. Amid allegations of conspiracy, corruption and good, old-fashioned incompetence, Federal Aviation Agency inspectors ignored complaints that Southwest Airlines was cutting corners on passenger safety, testified the would-be whistleblowers at a Congressional hearing on April 10.
Last year, Southwest Airlines was slapped with a $10.2 million oh-no-you-didn’t by the feds. But even the largest fine in FAA history wasn’t enough to deter the intrepid airline from embarking on a laundry list of new violations, including knowingly flying 46 jets that had missed the mandatory inspections for fuselage cracks. Eventually, inspectors caught cracks on six of the jets similar to those that caused a crash in 1988 in Hawaii.
The ensuing airline safety audit has triggered the greatest airplane grounding in decades, according to an article in USA Today. During the downtime, inspectors saved two seagulls, Lance Bass and Superman, who had been sucked into the engines.
Thumbs Down: Taking a “Page” out of Foley’s Book. The House Page Board released a set of suggestions on April 10, conveniently skipping the censorship of instant messages or the injection of oversight into the relations between U.S. congressmen and their underage pages, reports Raw Story.
The congressional page program gives nubile young students-cum-courriers the chance to intern in the hallowed halls of Capitol Hill while avoiding the attentions of individuals like Mark Foley, a former Florida congressman who took a tyke under his, um, wing by trading illicit IMs with the former page.
Thumbs Down: Crazy like a Fox. “‘Would you like to meet my mommy? She has a mustache and can bench-press 250.’ [Pregnant transgendered person] Thomas Beatie says she’s a man, and the press calls Beatie a man. And he … she … it tells Oprah it’s all a miracle!” raved Fox News’s Red Eye anchor and resident douchebag Greg Gutfeld. “I didn’t say I would be fair!” joked the “journalist.” So much for “Fair and Balanced.”