An article this morning caught my eye: "Newest and Biggest Cruise Ship: Oasis of the Seas." The article contains the usual "wow-look-how-big-it-is!" style of writing which is most typically associated with travel agents. You know, those travel agents doubling as authors whose interest in describing this monster-of-cruise-ship is hopelessly intertwined with obtaining commissions by selling cruises.
Then I realized that the article (appearing in a Dallas newspaper) was written by Jane Wooldridge who is the business editor of the Miami Herald.
I have written about the Miami Herald and Ms. Wooldridge in several prior articles: Miami Herald: Asleep at the Wheel Regarding the Cruise Industry and Miami Herald - See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil.
There have been an incredible number of newsworthy developments involving cruise lines over the past five years - missing passengers, high profile sexual assaults, endless pollution fines, fires, sinkings, and five Congressional hearings involving Miami based cruise lines. But the Miami Herald wouldn't touch these stories. It did not even report on the passage of the first cruise crime bill in the 40 history of the cruise industry.
The Miami Herald's writers never publish anything negative or controversial which might embarrass their cruise line friends. Credible newspapers with real journalists are left to cover these legitimate stories - like the Los Angeles Times, the San Fransisco Chronicle, or the New York Times.
The Miami Herald sold out to the Miami-based cruise industry long ago. This latest article is just the same old cruise cheerleading that the Herald is known for. Consider the gushing adjectives chosen in the description of the mega ship: "wow ... amazing . . . revolutionary." Can you imagine a business editor anywhere writing such drivel? The article contained quotes only from other cruise enthusiasts, travel agents and the cruise line's CEO, Richard Fain.
The spectacle of the Oasis of the Seas raises disturbing questions which I have mentioned in numerous articles. But you will find no hint of controversy in articles by Miami Herald employees who consistently write travel pieces designed to sell tickets for their cruise line advertisers.
Is it just coincidence that the article uses the word "Wow" (caps in original), when the corporate mantra at Royal Caribbean is "Deliver the Wow?"
And the latest controversy of this Cloverfield-like-beast-of-cruise-ship sailing past the ruins of Haiti to the cruise line's "private destination" of Labadee seems to many like corporate malfeasance on steroids. But the Herald will look the other way.
See no evil. Hear no evil. Speak no evil. The tradition of the Miami Herald continues.
Newspaper vending machine Daquella Manera Flickr Photostream
Oasis of the Seas Kenneth Karsten via shipspotting.com