The West Valley (Obstructed) View; F-35 Sensationalism Irresponsible

You may have read the front page story in Friday’s West Valley View newspaper where (in the first two paragraphs of the article) it was sensationally reported that;

  1. The F-35 is twice as loud as an F-16
  2. There were errors in the Luke EIS report upon which the public can comment at public meetings next week

The WVV article goes on to leave the reader with the impression that;

  1. According to the Mayo Clinic (WHAT?), increases in noise level will be clearly noticeable. (How did the Mayo Clinic get into this?)
  2. The errors cast doubt that the Air Force has any idea about the projected noise levels of the F-35 vs the F-16 since the WVV says that according to the Air Force, how the noise increases will affect West Valley residents, “has yet to be determined”.

The first two statements above are true, but in an example of media misrepresentation in order to make a story more sensational while masquerading as news, the impressions formed in the story in the second two statements are highly misleading and in my opinion border on irresponsible reporting in order to create a news story.  And in this case, wouldn’t you know, the WVV has gone sensational just one week prior to public meetings to be held on the Luke F-35 question.  This is a textbook case of a media outlet reporting only selected relevant facts, and leaving out other extremely relevant facts which are required in order for the reader to obtain an unbiased view of the issue.

pro·pa·gan·da noun \ˌprä-pə-ˈgan-də, ˌprō-\

 the spreading of ideas, information, or rumor for the purpose of helping or injuring an institution, a cause, or a person

I’ve given you lots of examples of this going on out here in the west valley before.

  1. Both the Obstructed View and the AZ Rep chose not to even report on the dirty hands of GY’s city council and city management around the prison debacle. Prison Debacle.
  2. And how about misleading reports about the mall ahead of the last elections?  The Mall
  3. Or how both papers reported on the city of GY satisfaction survey?  Media Truth?.  Here is what they missed; GY Survey.
  4. The AZ Republic even INcorrectly “fact checked” me (their version of “look how unbiased this news paper is”), published it in the local section of their newspaper for all to read, and then only corrected it in a few lines on the back page of the front page one day weeks later.  AZ Rep “Fact Check” of hgblog.

Let Me Explain

  1. At the point of sound generation, the F-35 is twice as loud.  That does not mean that at distances the same will be true.
  2. There were a few typos in ONE table out of a 218 page Air Force report. The same error was repeated in the same relative table for all of the bases being considered for F-35, not just Luke.
  3. I have confirmed today with Rusty Mitchell, Luke Director of Community Initiatives that NONE of the errors that are in the Air Force’s EIS report appear to change any of the computer generated expected sound curves included in the report. This includes the worst case scenario Fig. LU 3.2-7 which I included and referenced in my report on the Luke situation a few days ago. Here is the entire one table, two page error report. F-35 DEIS Errata Sheet Jan 2012
  4. All of the various Air Force sound curves such as in Fig. LU 3.2-7 which were generated for six different scenarios of Luke F-35 acquisition show that in fact, the Air Force has a VERY GOOD IDEA of what the impact will be to the community.  All one has to do is read and understand those figures.
  5. As with many topics, the impact on the surrounding community can NEVER be completely determined ahead of time. I have a pretty good idea that it will be a relatively sunny day in Goodyear tomorrow but I am not nor will I ever be 100% sure until the sun rises tomorrow.

So why does the West Valley View want to try to sensationalize these non issue topics in a front page article?  To sell soap?  If you read their recent editorial, they are very worried they’re going to lose their public notice business in the classifieds section to the internet. I’ve suggested before that the amount of dollars that local government spends with financially strapped local papers like the WVV and the AZ Republic may have an impact on what they choose to report on as well as how they do it.  They sure don’t want the next administration to stop advertising if they think they’ve been mistreated in the press.

I’ve still not figured out both papers’ logic when they both picked the incumbents in GY’s last election.  Their main reason stated was that they picked the incumbents because they were incumbents (experience counts!).  That is a disconnected view from the general populace who according to polls distrust incumbent politicians.

And don’t think that who the local newspaper endorses is not worth many, many votes.

Moral of the Story?

If you want to place a classified ad to sell your furniture or read Roy Azzarello’s rants, pick up a copy of the West Valley View.

If you want to get accurate reporting of the facts surrounding complex issues, keep reading howardsgoodyearblog.

Now go back to your naps Creekers, and wrap the fish in a local news paper.

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