Henry Blodget, the editor-in-chief of Business Insider, has written an early contender for the most cloth-eared column of 2013. He has an excuse. The audience for BI is drawn from the business world, so a majority of its readers might not fly outside of first-class often. Still, you don't have to be a CEO to access BI content, and Blodget's anthropologically-framed quest to find out "what it's really like to fly 'economy class' " has gone viral - for all the wrong reasons.
Blodget presents a photo essay report on his 9-hour flight with American Airlines between Zurich and New York.
A tongue-in-cheek tone seems to veer into blowing raspberries at people who travel "economy class" for reasons of economy. Blodget is miserable in "the heart of cattle class" on a Boeing 767. He's disgusted by the gum-chewing stewardess and pee on the bathroom floor (though "I actually blame my fellow passengers for the latter"). A free pillow and blanket raise a Blodget eyebrow - but he's pleased the latter "didn't obviously have hair or any other foreign matter on it".
Salon's Andrew Leonard has a cracking takedown, and his ire is especially drawn by Blodget's complaint of the lack of power-plugs since "I don't carry printed reading material anymore". "The obvious implication here", fumes Leonard, "is that only a Cro-Magnon brute would be dumb enough to be caught lugging around something as Neolithic as a book or magazine physically constructed from paper when jetting to Zurich."
What do you think of the piece? Is it harmless poking fun or a poke in the eye to the less well-off?