Update: National Geographic has disabled embedding of this video.
But you can watch the whole thing here.
Will Cory Richards be okay? Will he survive what appears to be a small pulmonary embolism, or maybe a spontaneous pneumothorax? If so, will he return to Everest and continue his assault of the West Ridge as part of this groundbreaking iPad publishing stunt?
What about breakout star Andy Bardon, who captured the video you see above? How does Andy maintain his focus while Cory Richards is suffocating right in front of him? Does Andy ever think: This “expedition” is a case study in collective insanity?
And what about Chris Johns — Editor of National Geographic, and, effectively, the Executive Producer of this reality show. Will he spin off Andy Bardon, Everest Videographer into a separate mountaineering series / iPad app / lecture tour / Emerging Explorer grant? Will Chris put Cory Richards back on Everest to continue this death waltz? Has Chris asked the Everest story team to generate some cool data visualizations — pulse; respiration; blood pressure — that would show us precisely how close Cory has come to Death’s doorstep? Or have those graphics already been produced, but are only available to iPad subscribers?
Most of all: What exactly must happen during this publishing stunt to make Chris Johns wake up and say: Bring Cory home — immediately. Our Society will not underwrite and thereby enable a sadistic “adventure” where the only real questions are (a) do the characters — all of whom I’ve intentionally placed in harm’s way for this iPad reality show — make it out alive? and (b) how many paid subscribers did I lure to The Yellow Rectangle?
Put another way: How many people would have to die on this Everest trip before Chris said: Gee… that was a senseless waste of human life. Ten people? Five? Three? … One?