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Article on Boutique Air stunningly bad

The Sept. 9 Journal front-page, above-the fold piece on local airfares was stunningly deficient as reportage on several counts, especially given the importance of the matter locally.

The reporter’s statement on “accusations of price gouging” by Boutique Air – that “the airline has not raised prices to justify that claim” – was opinion, not reportage, a serious breach of journalistic practice and ethics, and wholly unsupported by the article’s substance.

Further, the reporter let Boutique’s representative get away with refusing to respond to the central issue of what were Boutique’s daily airfares, a serious breach of reportorial standards.

Then, letting the airline speak of its profits and their impacts on prices without distinguishing between gross and net profits (for any hotdog vendor knows the difference) and how that might actually affect airfares was nothing less than astonishing.

Finally, allowing Boutique to claim that higher airfares were a boon to the community was laughable; so much for “conservative,” free-market economic orthodoxy around here). Local air travel is a publicly-regulated and subsidized business, and the public has every right to know the particulars.

The Journal piece was little more than unpaid advertising for Boutique, and contrary to the community’s altogether legitimate interests.

Tommy Powers

Liederbach am Taunus, Germany

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