9. July 2013 10:02
The professional political "spin doctors" have raised rationalization to an art form, but some of the amateurs aren't too bad either. It seems there are both negative and positive spins put on almost every noteworthy incident.
Take for example, a few weeks ago when seventh-generation high-wire artist Nik Wallenda walked a quarter of a mile on a two inch cable across the Little Colorado River Gorge. The stunt had been billed as a walk across the Grand Canyon; but for a number of reasons, the selected site was the only place it would work. The walk was within the Navajo Nation, and some of the residents were not too happy about this spectacle on sacred lands. One of the community leaders called the walk "misleading and false advertising" since technically it wasn't across the Grand Canyon.
In my book, when a guy walks without a harness, for one quarter of a mile on a two inch cable 1500 feet above the canyon floor, he can call it whatever he wants to. The only part that was not real was the 10 second delay the Discovery Channel used to keep from streaming any unfortunate incidents on live TV.
The logistics industry is not without its spin doctors either. Recently, the American Customer Satisfaction Index reported that in 2012, the airline industry had a customer satisfaction score of 69 on a 100 point scale, with most of the complaints involving fares, fees, seating, and the other usual kinds of things. Although this was three points higher than in 2011, the score was still lower than that of the U.S. Postal Service. Industry officials said yes, but fares have only increased at half the inflation rate since 2000. The classic spin though, came from Jean Medina, spokesperson for the industry group Airlines for America. She reminded us that the airlines only got 1.18 complaints for every 100,000 passengers, while New York taxicabs got 3,125 complaints for the same number of passengers.
So there you have it. I bet you feel better about flying already.