Mike Boyd’s Hot Flashes

There is something eminently refreshing – and exceedingly rare – about a consultant who pulls no punches. Which brings us to Mike Boyd, the highly quotable Evergreen-based aviation consultant, weighing in on the realities of the Blizzard of ’06, the historic two-day shutdown of Denver International Airport and an estimated 4,700 passengers who were stranded there right before Christmas.

In a news story about the potential fallout for Colorado’s ski industry by Joe Garner in today’s Rocky Mountain News, Boyd weighs in on what might happen next time something like this happens:

“They may go to Salt Lake, Lake Tahoe or, if they have no class, they may go to Vermont.”

While many pundits seem to be focused on ‘Well gee, there was just so much snow, what were they supposed to do?…’, Boyd also talks plainly about  what could be in store for Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper:

“Hickenlooper may be a nice man, but he had [a Nov. 7] election disaster and now he has an airport operations disaster, both on his watch,” Boyd was quoted saying.

“”You can’t do something about the weather, but you can do something about failing to pick up the ball and run with it. And DIA definitely let the ball drop this time.”

Boyd has been offering prognoses about all things aviation for a long time on the national stage, and he’s often right, if not dead on. As exemplified in his latest “Hot Flash,” an occasional aviation insight and perspectives segment that is featured on his website, Boyd shows his inability to suffer fools, and foolish reporting trends, gladly.

In this segment, Boyd is weighing in on he realities of “merger frenzy.” Despite recent declarations by many in the mainstream media, the consultant maintains, “most airlines aren’t playing.”

gos-sip: 1. A rumor or report of a sensational nature; 2. Chatty talk; 3. Casual discussion of topics based on weak supposition instead of specific information, hard proof or knowledge.

“That’ s pretty much the definition of a goodly percentage of the current reporting on airline mergers. Not always a lot of hard facts, but instead a flood of trendy not-to-be-questioned gossip, based largely on what was heard, read, or reported someplace else.

If Everybody Says It, It Must Be True. It’s the “everybody knows” process – stories that get repeated so often and in so many venues, that the simple volume of the repetition is accepted as the “factual” basis for the statement, with no need for further intellectual scrutiny. It’s mob journalism – you’re not required to question it.

“Over the past week some of the mis-reporting about airline mergers could rival the journalistic excellence of the Pyongyang Daily Bugle.

“All that’s necessary is that a “fact” is reported over and over again, or some university professor sticks his head up for air and makes an all-encompassing pronouncement that has no earthly connection with reality, and certain things become Tenets of Airline Merger Faith that must not be questioned.”

Boyd’s website indicates that he, his colleagues and their families are currently skiing. When they return on Jan. 2, he promises the next installment of “Hot Flash,” including his aviation predictions for 2007, which he promises is “almost all good news.”

It’s tentatively titled, “Murder-Suicide Pact At Denver International?”

Cara DeGette is a longtime editor and columnist at the Colorado Springs Independent.

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