May 14, 2015

Look at Megyn Kelly's barely-constrained and exasperated "tsk" at the very thought that politicians would, you know, bring up the main factors that lead to the deaths and injuries of a bunch of people. They are "despicable," she spits with simmering contempt.

Since this is Fox, inconvenient facts get in the way. But there are lots of stories explaining why she's wrong. (For instance, that Republican budget cuts have prevented the full implementation of the PTC system that would have slowed the train, instead resulting in it being implemented in drips and drabs.) You can read about them right on this site!

Here's the part I want to compare and contrast. She wants to blame the engineer, who was somehow driving the train at 106 miles per hour. (She had a little encouragement from our outgoing Mayor Nutter, who just loves lecturing people about their presumed moral inadequacies and called the driver 'reckless" and "irresponsible." )

But believe it or not, there are factors that actually affect how well people drive trains. The National Transportation Safety Board members know this:

NTSB board member Robert Sumwalt immediately blasted the mayor's comments as inflammatory.

"You're not going to hear the NTSB making comments like that," he said. "We want to get the facts before we start making judgments."

Remember the Bronx train crash in 2008?

Veteran engineer William Rockefeller all but admitted he was falling asleep as the train came roaring to a curved section of track north of Spuyten Duyvil in statements made shortly after four people were killed and dozens were injured in the wreck, sources said.

He apparently woke up just as the train, traveling at 82 mph, was heading into a precarious curve that called for the train's speed to be reduced to just 30 mph.

As the train entered the curve, sources said, Rockefeller was jolted from his sleep and hit the brake, but not in time. The cars derailed, and several careened onto their sides before grinding to a halt on the edge of the Harlem River. Four people were killed, three of whom were thrown out of the cars, and more than 60 others were injured.

Rockefeller, 46, has been an engineer for roughly 11 years and a Metro-North employee for 20 years, and has an unblemished record.

Clean drug test. No texting. Here's a thought: People often fall asleep on trains. It's the rocking motion that encourages it. Why would engineers be exempt? That's the whole point of the override technology, after all: To override human error.

So why is it so very hard for Fox News (or anyone, really) to refrain from crucifying the engineer until the investigation is complete?


Here's a tip, Megyn: Pretend he's a cop who shot and killed a black guy. Then watch Fox News contort themselves into a giant knot to defend him, call for a thorough investigation, and chide anyone who "rushes to judgment."

Because cops are the only union workers Fox News bobbleheads ever defend.

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