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    The Aviation Nation has an article published today.

    It’s called “What the World Needs Now” and it’s by Chris Johnson.

    It starts with this: “In this week’s New Scientist, we take a closer look at the new national aviation organisation, the National Review.

    It is an extraordinary group of writers, editors, publishers and writers-in-residence.

    They are among the most influential people on the planet and they have a powerful voice.

    So it’s not surprising that their vision of the future will be profoundly affected by the future of aviation.”

    Johnson’s article goes on to discuss what he sees as the key differences between the national aviation industry and other aviation groups, which I’ll quote: “National Review has long been a defender of a conservative, small-government approach, one that values individual freedom, individual responsibility, and the individual over the state.

    As the organisation has grown and its staff have grown, this approach has also become increasingly conservative.

    In many ways, its role has shifted from being a sort of defender of individual freedom to being a champion of big government and corporate interests.

    National Review is a conservative magazine with a long and illustrious history of attacking liberals and social conservatives, and for many years has been a leading voice for the defence of Big Government.”

    Johnson concludes: “It’s the National Press Club, the largest publisher of newspapers in the US, that is the biggest influence on how the magazine views its readers.

    The editor in chief of the press club, Barry Goldwater, has long fought for conservative policies and policies that would benefit the press, and he has been the principal champion of conservative media.”

    I can’t resist quoting Johnson’s last line: “For many years, the press Club has been in constant conflict with the national airline industry, and its supporters have succeeded in putting pressure on them to compromise their views, or face the wrath of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association.”

    The article goes onto say: “This has been particularly true since the Reagan administration, when the national carrier industry’s opposition to the Reagan Administration’s deregulation of the airlines, including the privatization of aircraft, made its way into the National Aviation Committee’s policy report.

    The National Press Association, a media organisation that is independent from the National Transportation Association, has also been part of this lobbying, with the organisation’s senior vice president for communications, Paul Armentano, also the director of policy at the National Association of Broadcasters, speaking to the National Transport Committee in 1987.

    And this year, the organisation took a major role in pushing for a national charter airline.

    In short, the national aircraft industry has been on the receiving end of attacks from the national press club for a long time.”

    Johnson then goes on: “The National Press Review’s chief editor, Peter Beaumont, was one of the original supporters of the Reagan campaign.

    He was a Republican and he supported Reagan’s campaign, and Beaumons election to Congress was a triumph for the Republican Party.

    But he has now turned on the Republican party and voted against the Republican president in the Senate, and this is the kind of thing that has been happening in the press over the last 30 years.”

    In fact, the new National Review article is a reflection of this shift.

    “Johnson goes on, “In his editorial for the journal, which is called the National Council of Review, editor-in of the new journal, Mike Kiley makes a rather curious claim: ‘We have an opportunity to bring a new voice to our magazine, one with more than 20 years of experience in national aviation.

    We have a team of experts and thinkers that will make the magazine a more relevant force in our national discourse.’

    That sounds like an appealing description, but it is a rather hollow one.

    “Johnson makes a very important point: “He seems to be suggesting that a national aviation magazine, if it is to exist, needs to be ‘more relevant’ than a national news magazine.

    That is to say, the editors of the journal will have more than twenty years of national aviation experience, but will also have a long history of being involved in the national media, and be more likely to present this experience in a more influential way.

    In fact, this is what has happened with the American Press Association.

    I suspect that the editors will also be more familiar with national air travel, having been involved in national television news, and have more experience in the business than some of the members of the national air traffic control union.

    This suggests that the magazine will be more interested in a role that it would like to play in national politics, than one that is likely to play a leading role in national transportation policy.

    “In summary, the editor- in-chief of the aviation magazine said that the “national aviation industry” will be “more relevant” to the magazine than “national news”, “a more influential force in national policy” than “a leading voice in national media”, and “a stronger voice in US journalism”. 

    But I’m not convinced