Showing posts with label Chicago Sun Times. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Chicago Sun Times. Show all posts

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Setting the record straight--the South Suburban Airport has NOT been approved by the FAA

Contrary to what has been printed in The BlackList Pub, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has NOT approved the building of a South Suburban Airport. The project will likely never be built, despite recent misinformation from IDOT Aeronautics Director Susan Shea and reported in Chicago newspapers.

For All Points-Of-The-View.

The following is the first sentence of a post in The BlackList Pub entitled, "Congressman Jackson Work Ignored As IDOT and FAA confirm south suburban airport WILL be built!"

"During Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr's medical leave and stories about his legislative record and November elections, The Sun Times and other local and national media have went to great lengths examining the impact of his legacy, so I found it interesting how The Sun Times and other media recently ran an extensive story featuring a top IDOT official confirming that the FAA is indeed approved the building of a South Suburban Airport with absolutely no mention of Congressman Jackson," writes Mark S. Allen, the author of a post in The BlackList Pub, which I assume is a blog serving Chicago's black community.

The tone of the article is the writers' frustration that Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. is being ignored for all his hard work on the proposed airport.

While Jesse Jackson, Jr.'s hard work is debatable in itself, a bigger problem is that the writer assumed what he read in the Chicago Sun Times, (see below) recently to be accurate information. It was not!

Fact is, the proposed airport--the Peotone Airport--has NOT been approved by the FAA as The BlackList Pub reported.

The misunderstanding came when IDOT Aeronautics Director Susan Shea reported erroneous information to attendees of an economic forum whose members happen to be rabidly in favor of the project. A Southtown Star reporter simply quoted Shea in a story without verifying the truth to her statements. The story was picked up by the Chicago Sun Times, which owns the Southtown Star. The result was a second story refuting the first. The second story quoted IDOT spokesman Guy Tridgell when he explained that FAA approval is a long way off. Ironically Tridgell is a former transportation reporter for the Southtown Star.

Read the complete explanation here.

Watching the process of a third airport during the past 27 years, I've seen much of this misinformation passed along from person to person like an old-fashioned game of Telephone--you know--where one person tells another person something and they tell another, and so on, always embellishing the story along the way.

That is what has happened here. It might explain why the project didn't end years ago. Rumors, lies, and innuendos have kept propping it up. Thank goodness the Internet allows a better accounting of who says what and to whom.

All the while, the people who live in the vicinity of this proposed airport continue to be victims of all those lies and innuendos, usually at the hand of government officials and their employees.

Mr. Allen should write a retraction in his publication stating that the proposed airport has not been approved by the FAA.
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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Chicago Sun Times shows how bad news travels fast; wrong news travels faster!

Chicago Sun Times              Chicago Sun Times 
Two of the many things that are wrong with journalism today is a total disregard for correctness and a new ambivalence toward an informed public!

Both examples were evident when the Chicago Sun Times attempted to report on the Peotone Airport.

Steve Metsch, a Sun-Times Media reporter, who writes for the Southtown/Star, which is owned by the Chicago Sun Times, covered a meeting Friday, July 27, of at the Chicago Southland Economic Development Corp. The resulting story was entitled, "Top IDOT official says third airport will be built."

He quoted Susan Shea, IDOT Director, Division of Aeronautics when she said, "To the naysayers, this is it. The FAA would not tell us this is the preferred place. This is where it's going to be," Shea said. "...I's going to be such an economic engine for the community out there, for the state. It is going to happen. It's just a matter of when. It's not a matter anymore of if."

The proposed airport being decidedly imminent would be pretty big news since it is a project that has been languishing on the IDOT radar screen for more than 27 years, if it were true.

Trouble is, it isn't true, as evidenced by Monday's story in the Chicago Sun Times refuting it entitled, "Despite report, Peotone Airport isn't a done deal yet."

Because the Peotone Airport has long been a hot topic, any news about it is often picked up by other media outlets across the country. The Peotone Airport is a national story, mostly because with a negative spin, such as its receiving the Golden Fleece Award, one which highlights government's wasteful spending. The Peotone Airport has been compared with IDOT's other failed accomplishments, the downstate Mid-America Airport, which has sat virtually empty for years.

If the story Shea tried to tell was true, it isn't hard to imagine that the initial story would have news value. That explains why it was picked up by Chicago TV news, and in local papers across the state. I saw it online at Yahoo News!

Trouble is, the initial story was picked up. The retraction was not.

This situation isn't new. IDOT has been counting on the media to do their public relations work for their pet project since a new airport was envisioned in 1985.

That is why opponents have had an uphill battle trying to fight the project. Despite having truth on their side and the project having a lack of merit, it is difficult to compete with a well-oiled public relations machine. The government uses the media every chance it gets.
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