The U.S. Navy relieved Capt. Owen Honors of his command of the USS Enterprise aircraft carrier over a series of lewd, sexually explicit videos he made for the crew when he was the ship's second-in-command in 2006 and 2007. Honors also stars in the videos, which feature anti-gay slurs and simulated masturbation, rectal exams, and lesbian shower scenes, and the Navy said he showed a "profound lack of good judgment" in producing them. Still, was reassigning Honors to a desk job, effectively ending any career advancement, too steep a punishment? (Watch an edited version of Honors' video)
Honors got his due: "The Navy moved quickly and decisively to get in front of a bad situation," says Jonathan Capehart in The Washington Post. Even Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), hardly a lefty, thinks dry-docking Honors over his "wildly unfunny videos" was the right call. And the investigation continues, so Honors may not be the last person disciplined over this raunchy frat-house behavior.
"Capt. Owen Honors runs aground"
This is political correctness run amok: "We're relieving the most beloved aircraft carrier captain I've ever heard of" over a spliced-together reel of "the funniest parts" extracted from countless morale-boosting videos? says Pete Clark in The Atlantic. Honors is "the first casualty of the repeal of 'don't ask, don't tell,'" and the "friggin' political correctness" is "unbelievable." The Navy is acting like a corporation, but civilians don't live in their office for six months at a time, dealing with bombs and launching aircraft.
"An impassioned defense of Capt. Owen P. Honors"
The Navy had little choice: The "sexual jokes and anti-minority slurs" honestly aren't "all that shocking" by today's standards, says Luisita Lopez Torregrosa in Politics Daily. But "that doesn't let Capt. Honors off the hook." Our military officers should maintain a higher standard than the average stand-up comedian, and especially after the 1991 Tailhook sex-assault scandal, the Navy couldn't treat this breach of "taste and decency" as "just animal-house humor out at sea."
"Why the Navy captain's raunchy videos cost him his job"