The big news here is that Nik Wallenda became the first person to walk across Niagara Falls on a tightrope this morning, but there’s an asterisk:
He carried a 38-pound balancing pole on a harness that hung over his neck. Against his wishes, Wallenda reluctantly dragged a tether behind him that would have caught him had he slipped from the wire.
“I just feel like a jackass wearing it,” Wallenda complained to his father at one point during walk.
Officials at ABC, which carried the event live but with a seven-second delay, had insisted that he use the tether.
This whole event must be puzzling to the libertarians among us. On the one hand, Wallenda’s freedom to fall to his death with thousands of people watching was impeded by the nanny-staters who insisted on the tether. On the other hand, ABC is a corporation competing in the free market, which makes the tether a visible consequence of the action of the invisible hand.