etiquette champions

Steven Slater Is America’s New Miss Manners

I think it’s because he’s hit three things in the zeitgeist. First, Steven’s situation touched on something we all understand. We all talk about unemployment and how it’s hurt people, but it’s also affected those still in the work force. Those people are working harder for less money. Everyone is stressed, squeezed, and we all share and understand that. We all understand how hard we’re working and how we don’t seem to be getting ahead or being able to pay our bills. And we’re all still worried for our jobs. It also touched on the lack of basic manners and decency in society. When people yell out during State of the Union and congressional things — they yell, “Liar” — we’re looking at a loss of basic civility and manners. And that troubles a lot of people. They’re concerned about that loss. Then, of course, there’s the whole airline experience today. Steven said to me, “I used to supply Chateaubriand for people going to Europe on TWA, and now I throw a bag of Cheetos at someone who can’t be bothered to take a shower before they get on an airplane.” He captured those things in the zeitgeist and epitomized those things. He started a really interesting dialogue in society, and I think it’s a healthy dialogue.

—Publicist Howard Bragman, explaining why his new client Steven Slater is beloved by America [via]