Sometimes I’m Not Sure Of The “Right Write” For This Blog

DISCLAIMER:  I’m not trying to start a forest fire here.  Just openly wondering.

This blog has always been about what I find interesting.  And yet, as it’s grown, it feels to me that you (Faithful Reader) have a stake in what’s written.  You show up every day, read what I have to say and make these little spikes in my Google Analytics become bigger and bigger mountains.  I’m grateful.

Last night I wrote about Delta’s IT SNAFU that lead to stopping all flights from taking off for 4+ hours.  Things are getting back to normal, but there are many folks who are inconvenienced this morning.  I know quite a few and I feel badly that their travel week is off to a bad start.  But, that’s not the point of my post today.

My friend Jeanne posted this morning about Donald Trump intimating that the airport protests from this weekend were linked to the Delta outage, not his executive order.

Remember That Disclaimer?  This Is Not A Political Post

As a general rule, I’ve shied away from writing anything political on my blog.  Every once in a while we veer into politics as it relates to the airlines and anti-trust immunity, like the current American/Qantas situation. Those posts don’t get negative backlash and are very topical.

It’s a factually correct statement that the protests started 2 days before the Delta outage. 

And yet, Jeanne is getting comments asking her to stop discussing politics.  I can’t speak to Jeanne’s motives for publishing the post.

But, it does make me wonder what you, Faithful Reader, wish you’d see/not see on my blog.

That’s a factually correct post that I could have easily written myself, regardless of how I feel about the President.  I certainly have strong views on the subject.  I expect most Americans do.

I’ve called out airlines and hotels dozens of times when they’re not being honest with us.  Am I supposed to not comment on aviation-related matters that directly involve the President?

I’m honestly not sure what my answer is, which is why I’m asking you to weigh in.

Just curious?  What are your thoughts on posts like Jeanne’s?

The post Sometimes I’m Not Sure Of The “Right Write” For This Blog was published first on Pizza in Motion

50 Comments

  1. Maybe I’m in the minority here, but I’m all about the travel and miles and points aspect for most of the blogs I read. I specifically avoid reading about politics, because it only serves to frustrate. Even my twitter feed had been carefully cultivated to avoid politics. Of course, at this point, I’m not sure that its actually possible given this weekend’s events, which admittedly do cover both topics. That said, in my opinion, enough real and digital ink is being spilled on politics, no need to add any more to it.

  2. Honesty in reporting, of any kind, is critical, now more than ever. If a travel-related claim of that magnitude (Hundreds and in some cases, thousands of people are protesting and holding up signs in airports because of “Delta”) is made by anyone, or any public official, and your choice is to ignore it or look the other way to avoid controversy or conflict…well, you know where my point is heading. There is no point in reading blogs or information resources that skirt the truth. Thank you for asking this question.

    1. This is where I am, exactly. While it might be out of place to post a long rant on healthcare or whatever, aviation-related topics are why I come to blogs like these; the fact that Jeanne’s post was addressing factual information and not an opinion makes it even less of a question. Totally appropriate, appreciated, and expected.

  3. I read posts on travel and that is why I read your blog and Jeanne. I don’t like when bloggers go political or in her case push affiliate items on Amazon that have no relation to travel. It’s fair to say that it’s her blog and she can do what she likes. On the other hand I look to Boardingarea blogs for travel and award news related to blogging. I don’t mind affiliate marketing or credit card stuff as long as it’s related to travel and honest, yes readers can tell.
    Btw keep up the good work on your blog. I enjoy it a lot.

    1. You know, you are the first person to ever give me that feedback about Amazon deals, so I’m glad you did.

      I like to post deals that I think are great as I find them in my personal hunting, but I’ll think about this more when posting them.

      1. Nice feedback Jeanne. I really appreciate your game geek side but with so many blogs out there it makes it hard to stay focused. What is good it tieing shopping deals to airlines portals etc. Of course. Not trying to be negative as I love your blog.

        1. I enjoy Jeanne’s post on Amazon and do check some of the deals she posts. And if Jetblue is offering points, ties it all together! 🙂

      2. I actually enjoy reading about your Amazon deals. They are usually travel related and there are fewer female bloggers that peak my interest like you do. So keep up the good work.

    2. Dan, thanks for weighing in. Appreciate your perspective. I don’t expect to start posting political statements. Just curious how folks will react on things like this that sit between the two worlds (IMO). Thanks for your thoughts.

  4. I’ll read if I find it interesting and if I don’t I won’t. Nobody pays to read you. No subscription, no editorial control. No one seemed to have a problem when you wrote about having to euthanize your dog, and that wasn’t travel related. It would be hugely hypocritical for any of those people to say “leave politics aside, stick to travel”. Your blog, your content. Keep up the good work.

  5. Keep writing about what fascinates you, my friend. Your tribe appreciates your candor and insights. Every once in awhile, it is OK to rock the boat (or bank the aircraft?). Heck, if you are not pissing off someone, try harder!

  6. Travel is political, and this is all related. It’s not like Jeanne was writing about the machinations of some Senate sub-committee and their legislative rules, or the nominee for Sec Education or something “only political.” Even people who avoid “politics” benefit from knowing about things could impact their travel.

    But really Seth is right, and you should write about the things you’re most passionate about, otherwise it’s not fun for you or your readers.

  7. No politics. Keep the integrity you’ve earned with a great blog. Politics will only drive the conversation too far afield of our core interest: Travel

  8. Write the truth. The indisputable facts and truths. Let others decide on their own if they accept the facts or not. Follow your heart and your inclinations. If some people don’t like the the truth as you know it, so be it. You can’t write in fear of what others may think. I agree that these are very strange times perhaps the strangest I’ve experienced in my 56 years of living. We are expected to suspend our disbelief of what we see and know from our own experiences. That being said, write what you know and write your interests an let others decide whether to read or accept it.

  9. I agree that you should write about a story like this where politics directly affects the travel/points game. The presidential order has implications on travel, so why not write about it? I’m one of the few that doesn’t have a real opinion either way yet of Trump, but think his blame of delta is absurd.

    Although most commentators add positively to the discussion, these political articles will always bring out the intellectually challenged who can hide behind the anonymity of the internet. Not posting basically lets them win…as it discourages discussions of topics they would probably not like discussed.

    Keep doing what you are doing as I think a great majority of your readers appreciate your work…whether we agree with you or not!

  10. There is no virtue in ignoring a fact because some people have deemed that fact political. Politics are a part of life, and arguably affect travel as much as anything. The actions of this administration have the potential to affect who may be allowed to enter this country, which countries Americans are able to visit and under what restrictions, security procedures that determine how and who can fly in America and how Americans are perceived when they do travel internationally.

    A world in which people decline to discuss that fact that the President is making claims that are 100% provably false because it may offend the political sensibilities of some readers is a world where Americans can quickly lose many of the freedoms we take for granted.

  11. I’d prefer if travel bloggers avoided political commentary – especially if one wants to avoid so-called “fake news.” One person’s fake news gospel is another person’s gospel. Plus, unless you are willing to dig a bit deeper than a CNN headline, you’ll be called ignorant for not digging past the surface (and with the travel ban issue, there is a lot under the surface). The when you do comment, you’ll leave ~50% of your readers (assuming an even split) anywhere from annoyed to furious. Further, you’ll be accused of digging into the “wrong” sources. Plus, you’ll be accused of selectively picking your political travel travel topics (as per Rene above – write when they’re intersecting). Lastly, why the interest in politics now? Seeing the hysteria re Trump, there were political travel topics that were ignored over the past 8 years (e.g. UNESCO designations) – Some (many?) will wonder, what’s the big deal now? Why comment only now when there is a new administration? (refer above to the 50% comment). In short, it’s simply not worth the time or effort.

    1. Visiting, it’s not really a “now versus earlier” sort of discussion. My general philosophy was that I could have seen myself writing about the same topic as Jeanne this morning. It was a busy morning, so I didn’t. But, having written about the Delta meltdown last night, I could have easily written about this element of the story this morning. I wouldn’t have considered it political fodder before seeing some of the reaction to Jeanne’s post. I still don’t, but it made me think.

    2. Ed, So many of my friends have dropped social media outlets, when the politics took all the oxygen out of the discussion. I don’t want to see your followers start dropping out of your blog. Keep it all about maximizing our travel enjoyment and new strategies.

  12. Thanks for asking.
    I am a strong believer in the theory of comparative advantage, and your credibility with me is a consequence of your superior understanding and knowledge of travel related subjects. After all, the subtitle of your blog is “Life is too short to fly coach.”
    You have a (sizable) captive audience, so I understand that the temptation to use your blog as a pulpit is strong, but what’s the point? Assuming a good portion of people don’t care (making up numbers: 33%), and the remainder is roughly equally split, you’ll likely end up annoying / alienating 67% of your readers.

  13. I would hope people remember that what is just politics to some is a very real part of life for others. I am the daughter of two Iranian immigrants and unlike some of your readers, I don’t have the option of ignoring stuff like this. It disheartens me that some of my fellow Americans refuse to confront issues like this because it makes them uncomfortable.

    Me and my husband have already started to alter some of our travel plans based on the new President. We are likely going to cancel an upcoming trip to Morocco. Also, some of my husband’s relatives who reside in England were going to come to the US for a visit, but we will now probably travel to them instead. My husband is also probably going to turn down a promotion because in this current environment there a places in this country where we just don’t feel it’s safe to raise our child. This is a very scary time for me and my family and anyone who is willing to speak out gives us hope that things may not turn out as bad as we fear.

    1. +1

      Thanks for sharing your perspective, as you say, for some this stuff hits home 100%, regardless of whether it shows up in a blog post or not, and you don’t have the privilege to ignore it as it is clearly impacting life choices.

      I think the more this grows (I’m sure it won’t stop here), and other countries exhibit similar policies, some others will find their choices (be it travel or otherwise) impacted as well.

    2. +1 +1 +1

      If this site is truly about information related to travel, I don’t see how censoring current events is honest to its purpose (especially assuming that you are interested in sharing/discussing the topic).

      Some of your readers may absolutely not care about politics, or they may love/hate Trump. Does it matter? Their travel plans can be disrupted given what’s going on in our airports. Worse, some of them can ignorantly make travel plans and find themselves unable to return home. Visas issued by the US government are being invalidated, green cards were ignored for some time, and there have been talks of permanently revoking some of these documents. If your readers were exclusively American-born US citizens with friends who are exclusively American-born US citizens, yeah they may find the drama a bit irrelevant… otherwise, what unfolded this weekend is a BIG DEAL in the world of travel.

  14. I follow your blog to read about the travel and miles and points and prefer not to read about politics. I just skip over those posts. I would hate to see too many political posts as I may end up skipping over your blog. And I don’t want to do that. I love your blog the way it is.

  15. Seth is right! What I like to read in blogs are honest reflections of one’s experiences and interests. What I appreciate in blog’s like yours and Jeanne’s is that I trust and respect your words, and if they include political comments, so be it! I am adult enough to appreciate or dislike them without whining. I see that people are more likely to feel it is politically motivated when speaking of Trump (vs other political figures) but if they are looking to escape it, that will be a tough job in the next 4 years.

  16. I agree- no politics. We are inundated with it in every other phase of American entertainment. For many, including myself, travel and travel hacking is a great opportunity for escapism. I am not curious about travel bloggers political views, and I generally avoid those blogs which are known to commonly enter the political arena, regardless of which way the blogger tends to lean. OMAAT is one of my favorite blogs for that reason, among others.

  17. I appreciate the travel-only blogs as well since I can go to Fox for my right-wing spin and CNN/MSNBC for my left-wing spin. Regardless of how much someone thinks they are only presenting the facts, they generally get their bias into it. For example, when I read President Trump’s statement I don’t gather him saying the people are protesting Delta but rather that the combination of protesters and Delta’s outage caused more pain/chaos for travelers than the ban (still Trumpesque but not as ridiculous).

  18. This is your blog, right? Write whatever the h*ll you wanna write about. If it veers more towards politics and people stop reading I assume you’ll get kicked off boarding area. But if you’re writing about what you want, why do you care if you’re on boarding area? Personally, I don’t care. If it seems interesting I’ll read it. Then again, if you’re a closet homophobic, racist, mysoginistic Trump supporter, then I doubt I’ll ever return.

  19. I don’t have any interest in reading about politics on travel-related blogs. When I see political topics, I click away. When I see them often on a site, I delete the bookmark to that blog and stop visiting.

  20. Overall I would would to see no politics in peoples’ blogs and based on the last election I stop reading many blogs and removed people from my twitter and my facebook. The blogs that I do read that step into this territory so I read very little now but overall most of the boarding area blogs are politic free.

  21. Imagine one day the EU decides that no American citizen may enter Europe. Who here will still whine about, “stop it d**n bloggers, don’t post this political click bait”?

    Now that our administration has barred entry for people from 7 countries, and Iran has returned the favor, is it really just an inflammatory political topic? By saying that the actual current event is different from the hypothetical example, one would indicate having no interest in anyone from (and no interest in anyone with friends/family from) those 7 countries, and having no interest in ever visiting (and no interest in anyone with interest in ever visiting) Iran.

    It’s hypocritical for us in the travel enthusiast community to preach the freedom of travel, while simultaneously have a preconceived notion of what is an what isn’t an important destination.

  22. Write what you care about and eff anyone who wants to bury their head about the terribly dangerous direction this country has taken. You’ve got a bully pulpit so use it. Silence is aquiesence. If mouth breathers can’t stand criticism of The Buffoon In Chief then let them go read their alt-right propaganda on Faux Newz and Breitbart.

  23. What Seth said (oh goodness, I did it again…) I expect you to have some personal bias, but since I know you will respond and defend it, it’s actually a very healthy discourse. I also know it will have a “travel-spin.” I don’t want to read the same travel/miles+points blog topic/headline everywhere. What I like about many one-person blogs is that I know I am hearing your “unfiltered” and “personal” views. It’s sort of refreshing, when you consider how vigilant one needs to be these days when reading “mainstream” news. I

  24. Write what interests you. 🙂 I simply skip over reading any blogger’s posts that don’t sound like my cup of tea but even things with a differing perspective is often a good read.

    However, after writing a recent post that kept with my focus on travel/hotels but also happened to be related to politics I was given some clear feedback that I should stay away from politics in the future.

    Here’s the post/comment in case you are curious, but you can remove the link if you prefer – http://magicofmiles.boardingarea.com/2017/01/31/old-trump-hotels-tweet-new-humorous-responses-mockery/

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