It was only a matter of time before the public would realize that the crash of the Costa Concordia involved far more than just the actions of a reckless cruise ship captain. Costa's quick smack down of Captain Schettino (photo left) was not an impulsive outburst by the Costa CEO Pier Luigi Foschi. It was undoubtedly a decision carefully thought out with the involvement of the Carnival decision makers in Miami.
If Schettino had to be lynched by public outrage to save the cruise corporations, so be it.
However, It seems that the much talked about "fly-by" of Giglio may not, after all, have been showboating of an unpredictable captain but initiated and approved by the cruise line itself back in Genoa. And if Costa knew about and ratified the dangerous maneuvers which took over 4,000 lives perilously close to the rocks, then what does this say about the safe operations of the entire Carnival fleet with its fleet of over 100 ships carrying hundreds of thousands of passengers every day?
The spotlight has now moved from Captain Schettino to Costa in Genoa and now to Carnival Corporation here in Miami. But where is Carnival's CEO Micky Arison?
Arison is trying to remain anonymous. But that's hard to do. After all, he is the smiling face of the Carnival "fun ship" fleet. He is the big name owner of a high profile NBA basketball team of superstars, seen at court side rubbing elbows with celebrities at the Miami Heat games. But he obviously does not want to be identified with this mess. Arison does not want his mugshot to be posted alongside the likes of bad guy Schettino or rat fink Costa CEO Foschi (photo right).
Two days ago I wrote that Arison and other Carnival cruise executives are ruining their reputations by not flying to Italy and speaking to the surviving passengers and crewmembers
Now the international press is calling Arison out.
Cruise writer John Honeywell of the U.K.'s Mirror wrote a strongly worded article today demanding answers from Arison: Concordia: Arison Must Act Now.
The London Independent followed suit by the article Concordia's Invisible US Owner Branded "A Disgrace."
Independent quoted Italy's La Repubblica newspaper asking: "Who is this mysterious boss and how has he managed to remain like a ghost since the tragedy?"
Business Insider was to the point with Carnival Is Failing Spectacularly In The Handling Of Its Costa Concordia Crisis.
Where is Micky Arison?" asks The Wall Street Journal in an article Carnival CEO Lies Low After Wreck.
The Miami Herald, which will usually shy away from any critical issues which may embarrass the cruise lines which advertise with the newspaper, published the article Carnival Cruise Lines Faces a Hostile PR Tide.
The Herald quoted two PR experts saying:
“Micky Arison should come out, and take ownership, and get in front of the story.
"I would have had him go to the scene. Micky is a likable guy and pretty well known. This is one of those cases where I think the presence of the CEO would have been helpful.”
These PR experts are right. Arison is well liked by cruise fans and travel agents. He is loved by the local NBA fans, particularly after he brought Shaq to Miami from LA and won the NBA basketball championship.
When the Heat won the NBA, Arison was photographed everywhere and with everyone, holding his prized trophy. He even took his trophy on a world wide tour, including taking it on Costa cruise ships. A photo (right) of Arison and Foschi, in happier days, show them with the NBA trophy aboard the Costa Allegra cruise ship.
But now with around 30 dead or missing from the Concordia wreck, Arison is nowhere to be seen. Arison has never stepped up to the plate to address unpleasant issues, like sexual assaults on his fleet of cruise ships, Carnival's avoidance of taxes, or exploitation of foreign crewmembers.
I don't see Arison appearing anytime soon before a microphone to discuss the deaths of his cruise guests either.
Captain Schettino: Karl Ritter
Costa CEO Foschi: Tano Pecoraro / AP
Carnival Ceo Arison: Reuters
Arison & Foshi with trophy: NBA.com