Friday, June 14, 2024

The Clickbait News Part XXXIV

OMG! Boeing is going bankrupt!  Not exactly.

A recent article online says that Boeing's plane orders are "tumbling" and of course, if you read the comments about the article (which are NOT from Airbus trolls and don't forget it!) you'd think that Boeing was on the brink of bankruptcy or something.

Granted, Boeing is facing a lot of issues, but seems to be working through them.  A lot of the "problems" I think, are just people piling on.  Online sleuths have divined a sinister plan to assassinate "whistle-blowers" - but that of course, is just ridiculous hyperbole.

While it is good that people bring malfeasance to light, bear in mind that a lot of people who obsess about exposing what they see as wrongdoing, are, well, a little unhinged.  There was a guy in the famous Scientology copyright case, who spent all his time online trying to debunk Scientology.  He was pissed-off because he gave them a lot of his money and felt used.  Rather than move on and move away, he decided to dedicate his life to "saving" other idiots from joining the cult respectable mainstream religion.

Well, one thing I learned is that idiots don't need saving, and the guy ended up in court and sort of losing it all, on the altar of being an activist.  Sadly, a lot of these "little guy standing up for the rest of us" types are more than a little crazy.  Consider the windshield wiper guy - they made a movie about him, but it wasn't quite the heroic battle they made it out to be.

I mean, I get it - it is all Edgelord to make ominous comments that Epstein didn't kill himself but was assassinated before he could turn State's evidence.  But the reality is, people kill themselves in jail all the time, which is why they take away your shoelaces when you get busted for even a traffic violation. Jail is depressing as hell.  Besides, Epstein was the defendant - he had no leverage to get a plea deal.  And they already had the names of the perpetrators - and victims willing to testify, too.

But as GM learned the hard way, attacking your critics only serves to embolden them.  Ralph Nader would have faded from history if not for the fact GM sic'ed private investigators on him.  Nader wrote a similar scathing critique of the Volkswagen but no one cared because Volkswagen didn't react.  When someone calls you names, it only is effective if you act like it bothers you.

It makes no sense that Boeing would assassinate a "whistle-blower" after they already blew the whistle. Only in the movies does killing off an informant quash information.  Good thing those whistle-blowers never wrote anything down or documented anything!  The whole premise is just childish bullshit.

Anyway, getting back to the article, they make a big deal out of the "fact" that Boeing sold "only" four planes last month and none of them were the 737 Max.  OMG!  The chickens have come home to roost!  Shut down the production lines!  Lay off the workers!  Boeing is going broke!

Well, not exactly.  At the very end of the article after you scroll through several ads, is this teeny, tiny, tidbit:

Despite the slow pace of recent sales, Boeing still has a huge backlog of more than 5,600 orders.
Now it is hard to find reliable numbers online about how many planes Boeing "delivers" in a given month.  I have seen numbers as high as 50 and as low as 24 (recently, due to FAA scrutiny, I suspect). Even using the upper-end number, Boeing has over a nine-year backlog of plane orders - enough to keep them busy for nearly a decade.

Of course, in the wacky world of commercial aviation, an "order" doesn't mean much, other than saving your place in line.  Orders are made and then rescinded all the time (in fact, Boeing lost one order last month, reducing its "sales book" to three for the month).  An order for a plane that may not be built until nine years from now might not mean much, other than a generalized desire to eventually replace aging aircraft at some point.

The point is or isn't that Boeing is good or Boeing is bad or the 737 is a shitty plane or not. The point is, "news articles" like this are pointless piling-on clickbait designed to get engagement. And they know that people will click on a "Boeing sucks!" article as they are the whipping-boy du jour and hey, maybe someone is shorting the stock.  Well, not "maybe" - right?

And a "tumble" to four sales in one month is about as relevant as The Chevette Index - drawing conclusions from limited data.   Not to mention correlation versus causation.  Perhaps one reason Boeing sales might be slowing is that with the backlog of orders, airlines might be looking more closely at Airbus.

Sure, you can say a lot of bad things about Boeing. For example, how they used an anti-dumping complaint to try to destroy the Canadian aircraft industry (and not for the first time!).  Boeing took a radical step in designing the 787 "Dreamliner" which tried out too many new technologies (e.g., composite fuselage, lithium-batteries) all at once - and paid the price.  Every aviation pioneer who tried "too much, too soon" paid the penalty and lost sales to competitors who took a more incremental approach.  Airbus learned this with the A380 as well.

That might explain why they pushed out the 737 MAX based on an antiquated design, rather than starting with a clean sheet - they had run out of clean sheets after the 787.  Perhaps!

Or perhaps, like Lockheed, they will realize there is far less risk - and a guaranteed profit - in military sales and eventually will leave the passenger airliner market, particularly if China is able to ramp-up its efforts down the road.  It could be a different world in 10 years.

But in the meantime, this "article" is just trash - designed to get Boeing-haters to click on it, just as Newsweek has gone to an all-Trump-hate format.

I never bother to click on Newsweek articles anymore.  In every case, the click-bait headline overstates the case if in fact, does not manufacture it.  This sort of shit only provides ammunition for Trump's claims of victimization.

Click-bait.  Ugh.