So, you landed a big king salmon this summer? It can't
compare to the colossal king Alaska Airlines plans to land this morning in
The Seattle-based carrier has painted nearly the full
length of a Boeing 737-400 passenger jet as a wild Alaska king, or chinook,
salmon. The airline has dubbed its flying fish the "Salmon-Thirty-Salmon."
It's a bold promotional move to celebrate wild Alaska
seafood and also the carrier's role in hauling millions of pounds of fresh
salmon, halibut, crab, shrimp and other seafood out of the state each year.
The plane is kind of cool looking, in a creepy sort of way:
But here is what was buried deep in the article on the "bold" plan:
A local nonprofit agency, the Alaska Fisheries Marketing
Board, gave Alaska Airlines a $500,000 grant to paint the jet. The money came
out of about $29 million in federal funding U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska and
his congressional colleagues have appropriated to the marketing board, created
in 2003, to promote and enhance the value of Alaska seafood. The senator's son,
state Sen. Ben Stevens, is chairman of the agency's board of directors.
Maybe they can use the plane to fly the route to New Orleans. The scary part is the article plays this whole project straight up, as if it is perfectly normal and natural, even bold and innovative.
Spending other people's money, taken from them by force, on projects they don't necessarily support, does not make you bold, or compassionate, or caring, or innovative. It just makes you a politician.