Down East 2013 ©
Flying with one wing: No need to wonder where the Portland Press Herald stands on the issue of whether Congress should authorize the construction of more F-22 Raptor jet fighters. In a July 22 story by staff writer Dennis Hoey , the paper barely bothers to present more than one point of view.
The article is headlined, “Scrapping of F-22 could cost Maine jobs.” How many jobs? A spokesman for Pratt & Whitney in North Berwick, where they manufacture some parts for the plane, said he didn’t know. It might be as many as 200 of the plant’s 1,300 workers. But it might be none at all, since P&W also makes components for the F-35 fighter, which will replace the F-22.
But that vagueness isn’t the real problem with the piece. What’s wrong with Hoey’s reporting (and his editor’s editing) is that the story is tilted toward the pro-F-22 side.
In his second paragraph, Hoey writes that the U.S. Senate’s decision to end production of the Raptor means that body is “siding with the Pentagon’s desire for smaller jets better suited to 21st-century wars.”
That’s it for covering the arguments of those who voted against the fighter. What follows is more than half-a-dozen paragraphs from supporters of the F-22, including Maine senators Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, making their unsubstantiated claims about job losses. Hoey also throws in some stuff that reads like it was lifted from a P&W sales brochure, informing us that, “The jet is a multi-mission aircraft that combines stealth, supercruise, advanced maneuverability and integrated avionics.”
It’s got supercruise? We’ve gotta have it. Even though I have no idea what supercruise is.
As for any detail on the arguments of the Raptor’s detractors, they’re nowhere to be found. Unless you look for more balanced journalism elsewhere on the Web .
When Hoey lands, somebody better check his gyroscope.
New blue: Gerald Weinand has left Turn Maine Blue , the Web site he’s operated for the last several years as a clearing house for liberal news and opinion, much of it his own.
In an e-mail, Weinand said the reason for his departure was “ownership issues.” He also said he’s set up a new site called Dirigo Blue  to carry much of the content he used to post on TMB.
Weinand said he isn’t the owner of the TMB site and became frustrated with his absentee landlord’s slow response to technical problems. TMB went offline on the evening of July 17 due to some sort of glitch and hasn’t been back since.
With Dirigo Blue online, it’s unlikely to be missed.