"This does not bode well," wrote Larry Lubell, a Chicago insurance executive on his way to Austin.
A bit dramatic, given that 737 Maxes are grounded while Boeing tries to fix the software glitches that sent two of them crashing into the ground, killing 346 passengers and crew.
But also a reminder that even after the technical challenges are overcome, there will be the public relations stain, one that will take much longer to scrub out.
"Boeing's Tough Sell: Trust Us" headlined a story in The New York Times last Thursday, a tale that does not portray a company nimbly cleaning up its mess.
"Boeing is facing credibility problems," the story noted. That happens when you not only screw up, but then compound your error by doing a tap dance around the problem.
Go to the Boeing website. The second item — already a subtle wink that business goes on — promises "737 MAX UPDATES."
Click on that. Up comes a video of Dennis Muilenburg, chairman, president and CEO of Boeing, his blue eyes harmonizing nicely with his blue shirt; tieless, to show they are in crisis mode.
"We at Boeing are sorry for the lives lost in the recent 737 Max accidents," he begins.
A start. Then again, I am also sorry about any lives lost. Maybe you are, too. That doesn't mean we caused them.
"These tragedies continue to weigh heavily on our hearts and minds," Muilenburg continues, "tragedies" slyly implying we're talking about acts of God, instead of corporate corner-cutting, though hazily suggesting Boeing might have a closer association with these crashes than you or I do. "And we extend our sympathies to the loved ones of the passengers and crew onboard Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302."
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