Having a video leak can make or break a career. In the case of Captain Honors, his videos might prove to be damaging to his career.
The gist of the story is that while Honors was second in command of the Enterprise (the carrier, not the starship) he appeared in various videos with somewhat questionable content.
While the Navy is condemning the videos, the situation doe raise some matters worth considering.
On the face of it, Honors would seem to have shown bad judgment in regard to the videos. The first error was engaging in that sort of immature behavior, the second having it filmed and the third was distributing it so the crew could see it.
A leader, it can be argued, needs to set a good example for those who would follow him (or her). While having a sense of humor is proper in a leader, he should not play the clown or the fool. This is not appropriate for someone who has to command respect and expect obedience. As such, Honors should not have participa
ted in the videos.
Of course, it could be argued that a leader can, in fact, clown around in that manner and still maintain due respect from those under him.
What is the fact of the matter would, of course, depend a great deal on the nature of those under the leader and would largely be a matter for them to judge-after all, they would be the ones counting on him in battle.
Speaking of battle, it can also be argued that those serving in combat situations should be cut a lot of slack. After all, such situations create a lot of stress and if doing such things as stupid videos helps, then it would seem like a small price to pay. Of course, there is the obvious concern about whether such stress relief needs to be of the sort that appears in Honors’ videos.
Another concern is the matter of professionalism. While military professionals cannot be expected to live and behave like monks, it does seem reasonable to expect officers to act like professionals (and gentlemen/ladies). Being a professional means, in part, acting like an adult rather than (to use a stereotype) a frat boy or someone who is creating pilot videos for some awful new Comedy Central show. Of course, it could be argued that the lapse of professionalism in the videos is rather minor and hardly worthy of great concern.
After all, it could be argued, what matters is how an officer performs when on duty, not what sort of odd hobbies they might have. So, if Honors is a competent commander, then videos from years back should not be held against him.
On final matter is, of course, the concern that Honors used anti-homosexual slurs in his videos. Of course, that sort of thing is common fodder in comedy (this does not, however, justify the widespread practice). There is also the fact that when the videos were made, the military had a Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy. As such, it could be said that Honors was merely expressing more roughly the official policy towards homosexuality.