Tuesday, October 12, 2010

BALLAST OF A THIN MAN

BALLAST OF A THIN MAN: We were watching an interview with Bob Woodward about his new book on the Obama administration in which he didn’t identify any of his sources- except for the president himself- but rather used extensive interviews with White House staff to come up with what he called “the best available version of the truth”.

And that’s the true definition of good reporting.

But you’d never know it if you live in Hawai`i where the corporate creed has devolved news into a “that’s my story and I’m sticking to it” operation.

So it’s no surprise that, typical of almost all of yesterday’s reporting on the “auction” of the two Superferries, this morning’s Starvetiser said that the reason for the endeavor’s demise was that “the company encountered major problems, including legal challenges and inconsistent service.”

But as anyone with an unjaundiced eye knows Hawai`i Superferry (HSf) Inc. imploded due to a business plan- or more accurately a lack of one- that was designed to fail, many think intentionally since the whole venture was only a demonstration project for the current military use of the design.

But to our shock and awe, while watching the six o’clock broadcast of (what passes for) Hawaii News Now(adays) the usually banal and particularly uninformative Howard Dicus came on for his jittery Skype segment (not available at their web site) and reported some semblance of the “best available version” of the Superferry debacle.

After noting that most people think the HSf shut down due to the lack of an EIS and court rulings he conspiratorially leaned into the camera and, almost whispering as if letting a select few into the club of the informed, told the audience that what most don’t know is that they were unable to meet expenses and had been from the start.

News is often referred to as the first draft of history. But when history is written by lazy sycophantic corporate shills afraid to state the obvious, the need for a second draft and a better “version of the truth” is compellingly self-evident.

4 comments:

FactCheck said...

Usual load of crap

"demonstration project for the current military use of the design."

Considering Austal was already leasing to the military a similar model before the ferries were contracted to be built, this is just left wing paranoia (no prettier than RW paranoia).

The ferries were nothing more than pork for Trent Lott's home town shipyard.....And a stupid shot in the dark by Adm Lehman.

"After a competitive bid process, the (Austal built Westpac Express) HSV was first chartered in July 2001 for a "proof of concept" period. This was so successful that the Military Sealift Command signed a three year charter in January 2002"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MV_Westpac_Express_%28HSV-4676%29

"The concept of the Superferry was founded in 2001 and first announced by founders Timothy Dick, John Garibaldi, and Robert "Terry" White in September 2003 after more than two years of planning. Hawaii Superferry stated its plans to operate a daily service between the newly built interisland ferry terminal at Pier 19 in Honolulu Harbor to Kahului on Maui and Nawiliwili on Kauai, with later expansion of service to Kawaihae near Kona on the Big Island. The company claimed fares for a family trip to be similar to the equivalent airfare, car rental, and parking.[9]

In January 2004, the company formed a partnership with Austal to build two high-speed catamarans.[10] Construction on the first ship began in June 2004. Meanwhile, the company secured its first investors, including Maui Land & Pineapple Company[11] and Grove Farm on Kauaʻi.[12] and a MARAD loan guarantee of $140 million "

also from wikipedia

Brad Parsons said...

No @FactCheck, Howard and Andy have it right.

FactCheck said...

No Brad.

you're wrong.

I've given you the facts.

1) A similar vessel was in the military's hands in 2001
2) The Superferry wasn't contracted for until 2004.
3) After 9/11 the military got anything it wanted with a bow on it without having to resort to subterfuge.

I'll consider that Lehman was trying to piggyback a ferry off of defense spending perhaps but not the other way around. Makes no sense.

Got anything in response other than "Andy knows best"?

Brad Parsons said...

@FictionCheck

-Howard's point was that the HSF service was losing money all along. Except for maybe 1 or 2 months in the Summer of 2008, he is right.

-The vessel leased by the military in 2001 was not built in the U.S. They still had to show production capability in the U.S. to get the Navy/Army contracts.

-When the Superferry was contracted to be built (2004) is irrelevant to your point but relevant in that it was right before the first LCS with Austal was contracted for.

-After 9/11 LCS appropriations got cancelled or delayed at least twice. The Navy won't be getting everything they want with either LCS nor even JHSV, because of the constraint of a $1 Trillion deficit that the next Congress will begin to address.

-Lehman was helping to show the production capabilities in the U.S. so that the U.S. Navy could maybe start to build up again. He helped show the capability, although he did not expect events to transpire in the manner that they did. He did not go into it expecting to lose $90 million.

If I had the time to waste, I could debate circles around you on this, FictionCheck.