I was surprised by a critical comment left here about the Civil Beat reporting by Adrienne LaFrance tracking down a rail delegation to Washington headed by Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle.
The commenter, using the name TMZ, wrote (in part):
What I’ve seen thus far from AL is far from professional reporting especially for someone maintaining a Washington “bureau”. Her reporting comes across as unpolished. Her style for ambushes is more like Ridaldo Rivera than a traditional journalist. Her goal seems to embarrass someone important first….report on the confrontation she herself created….second. Might make for good TV on late night but seems tacky to me.
I have a very different viewpoint.
Adrienne’s article on Thursday told an entertaining story with a serious message. What a great lede!
Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle looked like he had seen a ghost.
It conveys so much. The mayor was surprised and shocked that a reporter made it through or around the city’s elaborate roadblocks to reporting. That tells you something about what the mainstream media isn’t doing any more, or certainly not consistently enough.
HART board Chairwoman Carrie Okinaga actually winced, like she was nauseated or maybe about to cry.
Okay, this wasn’t your typical who, what, where, when lead to a boring transit story. But it conveyed quite an insight into how rail is being managed to give the public only the most managed information. I got much more useful perspective from this nontraditional reporting of a nine-minute interaction.
While we’re at it, it’s worth noting again that LaFrance also called out Denis Dwyer, the highly paid behind-the-scenes lobbyist who was escorting the Hawaii rail delegation.
Today I managed to find a few more historical tidbits about Dwyer’s Hawaii lobbying and politicking.
• Last year, Star-Advertiser reporter Richard Borreca mentioned that Dwyer put on a $1,000 per person Washington fundraiser for gubernatorial candidate Mufi Hannemann.
• April 14, 1995 memo describes a meeting involving Waihee, Dwyer, Norma Wong, Bishop Estate General Counsel Nathan Aipa, and Trustee Gerry Jervis, regarding the possibility of moving the estate from Hawaii to an tribal reservation on the mainland where it might gain certain immunities from federal law.
• October 4, 1995. Memo from former Gov. John Waihee, Dwyer, and Norma Wong, “Back Up Position.” This stems from the period where Dwyer was lobbying on behalf of Bishop Estate to stave off reforms in nonprofit regulations that could have crimped the high salaries and free wheeling style of Bishop Estate trustees.” Waihee and Dwyer, both working for the same Washington law/lobbying firm, laid out their strategy for proceeding in Washington if their attempt to forestall so-called “intermediate sanctions” failed.
• December 13, 1995. Memo from Dwyer to Lokelani Lindsey, Bishop Estate Trustee, “Talking Points for discussions with Senators Pryor and Bumpers.