For the last week the tabloid TV shows and print media have been fixated on the tragic tale of James and Kati Kim, who were stuck in their car for nine days in a remote, snowy part of the Oregon Coast Range. Kati, 30, and the couple’s two young daughters were finally rescued; James, 35, unfortunately, was not: he died of exposure trying to hike out to safety.
“Hero Father,” went the headline on the Larry King Show, which devoted an hour to the Kims and other “miraculous survival” stories. ” “Hero Dad” was the headline on most accounts of the ordeal. Even Kati Kim’s father said, “He’s a very heroic father.”
Well, I don’t mean to cast aspersions on the dead, and I certainly don’t want to add to the burdens of Kati Kim, who now faces raising two daughters on her own. But James Kim was no hero.
In some ways the Kim story reminds me of the Jon Krakauer book 2006-12-13