It seems that feelings are running high regarding Hawaii Superferry’s departure from the Islands, prompting even usually circumspect people like Richard Borreca, the Star-Bulletin’s veteran political reporter, to succumb to the urge to rant. However, in doing so he threw accuracy by the wayside and revealed some eyebrow-raising personal opinions that reporters in the mainstream media typically strive to keep secret in the pretext of maintaining their “objectivity.”
I’m referring to an editorial he penned in today’s edition, entitled “No Sale! Hawaii continues to slam door on business.”
In it, Richard aligns himself with Sen. Sam Slom in bemoaning the departure of HSF as “the last in a list of businesses pecked to death by Hawaii's anti-business ducks.”
He goes on to state:
But thanks to the need for an EIS, the Superferry debate was transformed into a raging, foaming-at-the-mouth storm that even had bloggers like Kauai's Joan Conrow call Lingle "the devil, the personification of evil." Lingle tried to talk to Kauai residents and was booed and cursed, while Kauai farmers, contractors and residents who wanted to travel among the islands were silenced.
Whoa, Richard, hold on a minute. I would have thought a reporter with your skill and experience would have taken a moment to do some actual research before flinging out a statement like that, which is not only flat-out wrong, but could be damaging to me professionally. I never called Lingle "the devil, the personification of evil."
What I actually wrote, in a blog post referencing the build up to Lingle’s now infamous visit to Kauai, where she threatened those who continued to protest the illegal operations of the ferry with federal jail terms and even the possible loss of their children, was:
After announcing Thursday's 6 p.m. meeting at the Convention Hall, a DJ on KKCR suggested listeners might think about what sort of comment they'd like to make to the governor about "her imposition of martial law at Nawiliwili Harbor." He then played a song that conveyed his comment, and its chorus went like this: "shout, shout, shout at the devil."
Is Lingle the devil, the personification of evil?
The question intrigued me, because it just so happens I'm reading M. Scott Peck's "People of the Lie," which delves into the psychology of evil. In it, he defines evil as "opposition to life, that which opposes the life force" and "that force, residing either inside or outside of human beings, that seeks to kill life or liveliness." Evil people, he says, are those "who attack or scapegoat others, instead of facing their own failures."
How fascinating that this issue is again raised, as HSF and the Lingle Administration — and now their mouthpieces in the media — seek to attack and scapegoat others rather than face their own failures. And their failure is simple and clear: choosing to bypass the legally mandated environmental review process.
After bashing me and other Kauai residents, Richard goes on to slap the folks on Molokai who dared to speak out against plans to build luxury homes at Laau Point before tarnishing GMO opponents with unsubstantiated speculation:
This year also marked the end of Monsanto Hawaii on Kauai, ostensibly because of a desire to concentrate its efforts on Oahu.
Others speculate that the international firm has only so much patience with the constant protests and belaboring of the perceived evil of genetically modified plants before it says "Puerto Rico and the Philippines like us, Hawaii doesn't, so good-bye and let us know how everything works out with all the empty acres."
Richard wraps up by repeating the “whispering” among businesses that Lingle also will fail to have an undersea cable built to deliver electricity from windfarms on Molokai and Lanai to power-hungry Honolulu, implying that these same “anti-business ducks” will again be to blame. What's more likely is that it will fail because it's not financially viable, which is why, given its dismal passenger counts, Superferry was sinking.
From his editorial, it seems that Richard believes Neighbor Islanders and naysayers should just shut up, bend over and let business and development interests do what they will — especially if it benefits Oahu in the process.
By his reasoning, or lack thereof, if it’s good for business, well heck, then it must be good for Hawaii.