Saturday, November 5, 2011


AZAMBOGUS: When it comes to the local Kaua`i newspaper it takes an awful lot to flabbergast us.

But today's article headlining, on the basis of one unidentified source, that "Radiation feared in Airport shutdown; Airport worker: HAZMAT team was looking for radiation" might just take the cake for the all time most irresponsible piece of "journalism" (note the quotes) we've ever seen.

"Reporter" (those quotes again) Leo Azambuja quotes a single "airport worker" who apparently was speculating him or her self for the story which, if true, would no doubt make national headlines.

Who the heck would "go with" a story like this, especially with an apparent denial from the county and a lack of confirmation from the state?

Now journalists do sometimes report items from single, unidentified sources, But it is, as it should be, rare and the exception to the rule and done only under certain very strict circumstances.

If the source is well known to the reporter, in a position to know and has been extremely reliable in the past there may be a way to present the story with consultation and confirmation with the source by an editor. But publication should come only if every effort has been made to either confirm or debunk the story, especially one that could cause a panic if published.

If the call is made to publish the reporter and editor should then make every effort to inform the reader as to the reason for the single anonymous sourcing and any other information on the source that can be revealed. The information as to why the source is being protected should be included making it very clear at every point in the story that the statement is unconfirmed.

This is what a modern 21st century policy would yield at the NY Times, Washington Post or Associated Press.

In this case it sounds to us like the source just doesn't want to be identified because the story is probably bogus and based on idiotic, uninformed speculation.

But the fact that there is an apparent denial changes circumstances. Actually we have no idea whether there really was a denial from County Spokesperson Mary Daubert because Azambuja's reporting on that is so ambiguous:

County spokeswoman Mary Daubert said the HAZMAT crew tested the center checkpoint for toxic and hazardous odors and substances and found none, and found no radiation.

It's said almost as an afterthought and who knows how or even if the question was posed. You would think for something this important there would be a quote and clarity as to what was said by the spokesperson who's in a position to know.

It's no wonder that no one has picked up on this story even though the Honolulu Star Advertiser and Associated Press commonly, by agreement, re-report local Kaua`i newspaper stories. No one in their right mind would pick up a story like this without any confirmation or at least more information or other sources.

The obvious thing here is that, were this to be some stupid innocuous story like 99% of what appears in the local paper no one would care. But this has the potential to cause panic and people- especially visitors- refusing to go anywhere near the screening area or even the airport itself. Who could blame them?

And all based on a report from "an airport worker" who, for all we know is a janitor or someone who has no connection with the screening process and may have no idea what it would look like if someone was indeed testing for radiation.



Violets for Lotus said...

Thank you for helping me to define for myself how this story made me feel uneasy. It was so full of holes, it resembled Swiss cheese. I was near the airport when all the emergency vehicles were entering there, so I was eager to know what all the excitement was. The TGI piece just didn't satisfy.
I thought the same.... that if some of the allegations were true, shouldn't the island be on high alert and we'd be hearing about it elsewhere????

scotty sagum said...

all your descriptions of the source and story point to the most likely source we all know to be a babbling idiot, /////tim Skinner who along with hisprotector Roy sakata think TSA should go and give aviation security back to FAA who got us into this state in the first place!

Blahblahblah said...

Nice to know that others think Skinner is a nincompoop. If he's in charge, it's no wonder the airport is run for crap.

scotty sagum said...

indeed this is rediculous! we can easily see that the most likely "sourcw" is the babbling idiot with the phd who is in Lih administration. now that the state has no explanation for the cause, they still exect travellers and the workers to be in the airport not knowing if their health and safety are at risk. why would a tourist want to expose themselves to risk by coming to kauai? and we know this idiot just wants to shut down TSA, the only ones actually trying to protect us!