The shipboard videos for which a veteran naval officer has lost his command and probably his career were, according to a Navy statement, “intended to be humorous skits focusing the crew’s attention on specific issues such as port visits, traffic safety, water conservation, ship cleanliness, etc.”
Something must have gotten lost in translation.
Because the recently published videos shown on the closed-circuit television system of an aircraft carrier don’t seem to have much to do with safety or conservation, and aren’t particularly humorous -- at least in the opinions of some crew members and others. In fact, the consensus seems to be that some of the material is aggressively offensive.
Capt. Owen Honors has taken an early and commanding lead in the 2011 “What Were They Thinking?” sweepstakes. An Annapolis graduate and decorated naval aviator who flew 85 combat missions in three theaters, he had risen to executive officer of the USS Enterprise -- a post from which he was promoted to commander of the ship just last year.
That career course has hit a snag with the release of raunchy videos of Honors from 2006 and 2007 featuring bawdy jokes, frequent profanities, homosexual slurs and simulated masturbation.
There’s little doubt about Honors’ abilities, his service to his country, or his courage. His professional judgment, on the other hand, apparently didn’t accompany him up the career ladder.
Almost 20 years after the Tailhook scandal in Las Vegas exposed a boorish, misogynistic subculture within the Navy’s ranks, the Honors videos suggest that some remnants of that culture have not yet been coaxed, dragged or ordered toward enlightenment.
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