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Air Traffic Controller Joked About Dead Cat Moments Before Hudson River Helicopter Tragedy

Written by PETA | August 20, 2009

examiner / CC
Hudson helicopter tragedy


Funny: Cartoons about cats on a lazy Sunday.

Not funny: Making jokes about barbecuing cats when you’re supposed to be working.

We’re relieved that the Federal Aviation Administration apparently agrees that making jokes at a dead animal’s expense is inappropriate. It has removed the “jokester” from duty.

Written by Karin Bennett

Commenting is closed.
  • Johnny says:

    You people are more concerned about talking about a dead cat than REAL abuse!? What about military trauma? People are more calm about military trauma abuse than this! What kind of world do we live in when bad jokes are worse than military torture!?

  • Karyna says:

    I totally agree with Edward. While its good to care for animals it appears that the majority of people commenting didn’t even read the article…lol. Whatever.

  • anne says:

    the world would be a much better place if we did not have numbskulls like that moron everything comes around lets hope he keeps his silly gob shut in future and learns from his mistake and thinks about how offensive and cruel his remark was

  • REBBCA 214 says:

    edward dude you know what you should back off ok what if you were that cat ok you know you would have wanted somebody to bring justice to your murder so peta did and if you can do better then go ahead

  • viola says:

    The big question is how is it possible that idiot people do jobs in which they can play and risk other people’s life? Idiot people think is funny to kill cats dogs defenceless animals and also people I must think considering the importance they give to their job!!!

  • Mohase says:

    Really GiJoe? You turned off the tv? Yet several other incidents in family guy which include jokes about racesex or death of humans but when the CAT died you turned off the tv. I mean of all things to offend you an ANIMAL dieing. My god if that offends you you basically shouldn’t be watching family guy because I mean thats one of the least offensive things I have seen.

  • david says:

    NICE JOB FAA Meg I saw that episode I am a hardcore FG fan seriously. It was quite disturbing… actually some of their recent episodes have shown a lot of animal slaughterdeaths… I dunno what’s going on with Seth… he needs to go back to the way he did things… humor wo animal slaughter.

  • Buddy says:

    Let’s look at the big picture. PEOPLE were killed in this horrific tragedy and all that some of you are thinking about is what the worker said on a telephone! I myself love animals especially cats but can look at the big picture! People are important too you know.

  • Rev. Meg Schramm says:

    Aqua Teen Hunger Force is not the only adult cartoon that shows killing cats as funny. There was an episode of “Family Guy” in which Quagmire’s friends kill his cat. As soon as I saw what was coming I turned it off. Normally “Family Guy” is my favorite guilty pleasure especially Brian and Stewie but I excercised my freedom of choice and changed the channel that night.

  • GIJoe says:

    Some of you are getting SERIOUSLY carried away. “Never be able to work again?” “Charged with manslaughter?” because of the topic of his conversation? First of all the investigation is still ongoing but last I heard whether or not his personal conversation had any impact on the air crash has yet to be proven. As far as the contents of his conversation though perhaps inappropriate after the fact it was a PRIVATE conversation. It was only made public due to this tragic air crash. I’m sure all of us at one time or another have said things in private that we’d rather not make publicly. Unless he’s actually killing cats in this manner joking about it is not a crime. If it turns out that his conversation WAS a factor in the crash then he should be punished accordingly. But punished based on having a private conversation while he was supposed to be working not because of the contents of his conversation.

  • Ginger says:

    this make me very mad this has to stop this not funny anymore love animals please lets stop this now!!!!! this not funny!!!!!!!!!

  • emma says:

    I think if he ACTUALLY bbq’d a cat then we should string him up and slate him but the fact that he just joked about it isnt really shocking people say stupid stuff all the time its actually doing it thats sickening it reminds me of the fella in new zealand who ACTUALLY bbq’d his pitbull recently he did it because of his religion but promised never to do it again cause he didnt realise it wa illegal. I think we should concentrate on the people that actually do these horrific acts instead of the wannabe jokers who just think they are funnynot by saying these idiotic things.

  • Dee says:

    Relieved from “duty”? This low life should be charged with MANSLAUGHTER based on his NEGLIGENCE on the job causing 2 aircraft to crash! Not only should he be FIRED but he needs to do serious time behind bars!! The fact that he is completely insensitive to animal suffering is just more proof of his inhumanity and incompetence “on the job”. TOTAL LOSER.

  • DougEcks says:

    Please pick you battles better. To make this tragedy specifically about how awful it is to joke about cats is pretty self serving.

  • Lisa says:

    Maybe his humor was in bad taste but having him fired seems a little extreme….he didn’t actually hurt the cat. These are the types of issues that have people not take PETA seriously. Let stick to the real issues of not harming living breathing beings of all species.

  • jane says:

    Serves him right. Hope he doesnt find another job.

  • Jackie says:

    I was appalled to hear that this Air Traffic Controller was joking about barbecuing cats. There was an episode of Aqua Teen Hungerforce that was on Adult Swim. They had a scene where Shake microwaves a cat. I changed the channel as soon as I saw the cat go into the microwave so I don’t know what happened next but I heard it was terrible from other people who had the misfortune to view it. When I posted about this on their site people said “Oh it’s only a cartoon” ect. It’s been awhile since the episode was on but I thought I’d bring it up as an example of how our culture feeds into the type of sick humor that leads to a air traffic controller thinking barbecuing cats is funny. I feel if you would be appalled in the same action being taken towards a human baby then you should be appalled when you see it in animals who are just as defenseless.

  • Gina says:

    The nerve of some people. Ugh! How rude. Joking about those cute little pussy cats. Cold much?

  • Linda says:

    I love cats and good riddance to that idiot.

  • Brien Comerford says:

    THE FAA better use creative and humane means to reduce planes hitting birds collisions. I want travellers and birds to be safe. The dead cat joke was indeed paltry and wretched.

  • Edward says:

    I love cats but I am not caring for this article. Slow news day?

  • AAG says:

    What a craphead….making fun of an innocent dead cat and how to broil him. Evil talk and ridicule led to the demise of others. What a jerk!

  • Kurt K says:

    What the hell does this have to do with anything? I don’t think this is a joking matter.

  • Edward says:

    That is not all of the facts and you know it PETA. If people take the time to actually read the articles then people would know that both people were put on administrative leave with full pay. They would also know that they were put on leave because of making personal phone calls and NOT because they were joking about dead cats.

  • Rev. Meg Schramm says:

    If you are an air traffic controller making jokes about anything while your entire concentration should be on your radar screen can be a deadly mistake.