Want to see a perfect example of invasive bad journalism blooming in Honolulu? Read todays Civil Beat article entitled The Governor Who Cannot Govern.

It’s the best example I’ve seen lately ( outside of Breitbart News) of attack writing by way of omitting sources. That’s when people are granted anonymity to badmouth politicians or policies.

In this case, Blair claims to have interviewed many of Hawaii’s leaders who found Gov. David Ige to be “indecisive”, “a poor communicator”, and that he “looks weak.”

What else under that cloak of invisibility? “Not perceived as being in charge. Defers too much to others. Avoids conflict. Lacks the skill set to govern. Rolling disaster.”

Who said those things to Blair? “Some of the most powerful people in the state who work directly with the governor on a regular basis.”

So why not name them? “They would only speak with Civil Beat for this story if they were granted anonymity in order to not compromise their professional relationship with him and others.”

Oh, okay, in that case it obviously was permitted to set aside Civil Beat’s normal policy of requiring attribution in order to be transparent and fair.

So long as Blair cited as his sourcing “people familiar with the proceedings,” it was okay to report what principles thought of Ige’s performance in a 5-hour meeting on the Covid-19 crisis. They said he was “slow to respond, and being reactive to events rather than proactive.”

I’m not sure that justifies the headline that Ige refuses to govern, but that’s what Civil Beat is saying.

Blair is a veteran local journalist. The CB site lists him as its editor who “writes on how Hawaii’s political decisions impact local communities. Award-winning. In-depth. Special Reports. Services: Podcasts, Commentary.”

Chad Blair via Twitter

The CB biography says “Chad has worked as a journalist for Pacific Business News, Hawaii Public Radio and Honolulu Weekly. He has taught at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu Community College, Hawaii Pacific University and Chaminade University of Honolulu.

“A ‘military brat,’ Chad was born on an Army base in Alabama and later lived with his family in Germany, Illinois, Nebraska and Kwajalein in the Marshall Islands. He earned a bachelor’s degree in English at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, where he edited the school newspaper. He also minored in Spanish and studied for a semester in Mexico.

“He then earned a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in American studies from UH Manoa. His dissertation, “Democracy in Hawaii: Class, Race and Gender in Local Politics” (1996), was published as “Money, Color and Sex in Hawaii Politics” (Mutual Publishing; 1998).”

Published by Bob Jones

Journalist since age 19. St. Petersburg Times, Noticias y Viajes in Madrid, Overseas Weekly in Frankfurt and Paris, the Louisville Courier- Journal, the Honolulu Advertiser, KGMB-TV, NBC News foreign correspondent in Africa and Southeast Asia, and MidWeek columnist. LL.B LaSalle University Law. 3 years in the U.S. Air Force. Covered: Vietnam War, Iraq #1 in 1991. George Foster Peabody Award for distinguished journalism for reporting in China. Married to Denby Fawcett, one daughter. Brett Jones.

7 replies on “A Civil Beat Slip”

  1. Precisely my comment on the CB website. It also speaks poorly of sources who trade access for honest feedback to the administration, preferring instead to throw daggers from behind the curtains.

    1. Perhaps the article was written for just that reason, to point out just that.

  2. How dare you attack, Chad, you has been with an inflated ego. Chad has integrity! Something you are unable to recognize! You won’t even print a rebuttal!

    1. Patty, you are probably why Chad is so strange. Isn’t it time yet to let loosen the apron strings and let your boy fight his own battles? You do this same thing on CivilBeat, Honolulu Advertiser, iLind, and now here.

  3. I don’t believe CB knows how loyal and devoted the governor’s inner circle is. They protect Ige to a fault! They wouldn’t disclose anything to CB. Also, Ige was president of his high school class and … believe it or not, CB … has been a leader ever since. Yes, he’s shy and inarticulate at times and CB views those traits negatively. But, what CB views as deficiencies, many local people see them as “down-to-earth, humble and sincere.” A reporter must interview Ige face-to-face and ask Ige the tough questions.

  4. His piece makes me wonder: How many comments are real and how many did Chad make up to fit his “thesis” ?? Ultimately he has two choices.. id the critics or face some serious credibility questions concerning everything he pens from now on. CIVIL BEAT’s managers screwed up on this one. Anonymous “sources” on a big crime story, OK, sometimes. Anonymous “sources” on a story rating the Governor’s performance? Horsecrap.

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