Story Highlightsâ€¢ It’s not clear how many people were onboard or how many casualties
â€¢ Plane’s top appears to have burned away
â€¢ The plane was arriving from Jakarta
â€¢ The incident happened at Yogyakarta airport
Brendan, I was watching CNN earlier today, and they were explaining that the footage came from a news cameraman who was a passenger on the plane. Apparently, after the crash, he escaped from the flames and then began taping. I was watching the footage that he shot of the people trying to escape, and it bothered me, although I couldn’t figure out why at first. Then it dawned on me - he chose to film rather than to help. It made me wonder: if you were involved in an accident like this, and you had to make the choice to blog or to help save the lives of others, which choice would you make? Why?
I would of course try to save people’s lives, if I was capable of doing so (keep in mind, we have no idea what physical shape the cameraman was in, nevermind mental state… I wouldn’t be too quick to judge without knowing all the facts), but if I had an opportunity to snap photos/video while helping, or in between chances to help, etc., you can be damn sure I would do so.
P.S. Another possibility, re: the cameraman in question: he may have legitimately feared for his own life, thinking that the plane was going to explode or something, and thus if he got too close to the plane — close enough to help people — he could die. Thus he wasn’t going to get close to the plane anyway… but there was no risk to his life in shooting video footage from a distance. You might judge such a person a coward, and maybe he is, but again, without knowing all the facts, it’s tough to say. Did he have legitimate reason to fear that getting closer to the plane could endanger his life? How many of us would endanger our lives to help perfect strangers? There’s a reason the firefighters who died on 9/11 are considered heroes… there’s a reason the guy who jumped on the subway tracks to save that other guy was saluted at Bush’s State of the Union address… and it’s not because risking/sacrificing your life for a stranger is normal behavior that just anyone would do. Anyway, my point is, if this were the case with the cameraman, if that were his reason for not getting closer to the wreckage, you can judge him accordingly, but the fact that he was shooting video footage wouldn’t really be relevant to the judgment one way or the other, assuming those facts.
Like I said, we just don’t really have all the facts to make a judgment on the cameraman’s actions or character, IMHO.
P.P.S. If I feared for my life, thinking the plane was going to explode, I expect that I would risk my life to save Becky and/or any other loved ones, and then I’d get the hell out of Dodge. And while I was getting the hell out, I’d (if practicable) have my camera running, pointing behind me. And once I got to a safe distance, I would continue taking photos/videos. There’s no shame in that, IMHO, beyond whatever shame is inherent in putting your own self-preservation before the lives of perfect strangers… which I think most of us would, if we’re being honest.
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