There’s So Much I Don’t Know About Helicopter Maintenance…

I love the New York Times. There are points during the day when I’m sitting at my desk and I think, “Hm… I wonder if the world outside my office is still where I left it or if everything I’ve ever loved and known is on fire right now! Better check…” and I go to and read about the news of the day. Now it’s not unusual to see something I don’t understand as I’m not that smart, but… what is happening here?

Why choose this picture for your homepage and then include no caption? What could a man humping the tail of a helicopter have to do with America’s increased participation in the Latin Drug War? Did that dude just forget to bring a ladder and not feel like going back to the workshop to get one or is humping the helicopter’s tail just a routine part of his day? Or every helicopter maintenance worker’s day?

Don’t misunderstand me – my intention is not to make fun of one of America’s soldiers. I’m sure this guy is doing his job and right at this moment, he’s either really pissed off about it or just enjoying a fringe benefit of his current assignment. What I am ridiculing is the fact that the New York Times put a picture of a guy humping a helicopter tail on their homepage. Because this has something to do with the Latin American Drug War… somehow? Why not a picture of anything else that might bring to mind the current conflict that the United States is now upping its participation in? Instead of what they’ve shown, how about a photo of:

  1. any Latin American country where the US is in engaged in the drug way
  2. a map of Latin America where the US is currently engaged
  3. drugs
  4. a field of marijuana plants
  5. seized drugs from Latin America
  6. an American serviceman holding a weapon
  7. an American serviceman in the field, on patrol or in combat
  8. the base from where American servicemen deploy to the front
  9. the chief adversary(s) in the conflict
  10. an American serviceman not humping anything

That’s 10 choices right off the top of my head that would be better than what they went with.

On the other hand, it sure did get my attention.

UPDATE:  later in the day, when the article moved down from the headline section, they changed the photo:


Much better.

About Jamie Insalaco

Jamie Insalaco is the author of, and editor in chief of

Posted on May 31, 2012, in lists, observations and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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