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JetBlue CEO and LGB Director Bond Over Burgers, While Long Beach City Gov't Bashes Bloggers

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JetBlue at LGB (Photo by mrkathika via Flickr)

JetBlue at LGB (Photo by mrkathika via Flickr)
It all started with a blogger: Last week news broke that budget airline JetBlue was thinking of pulling out of Long Beach Airport (LGB) after their CEO said as much to the blogger behind Although formal meetings are on the books for LGB's Director, Mario Rodriguez, and JetBlue CEO Dave Barger back east later this month, the pair wound up having an impromptu lunch at In-N-Out Burger on Thursday.Barger had told the blogger he was "upset at the lack of progress on planned terminal improvements at the city's airport set off a storm of controversy," according to the Press-Telegram. Rodriguez, who has been in the role of Director at LGB only since the end of February, has not made public what they discussed during the casual meal. The stakes are high, however, since JetBlue operates just shy of three quarters of the flights leaving LGB daily, and have been a significant part of LGB's success since they began using the airport as a local hub in 2000.

For his part, Brett Snyder, the blogger behind, spent his week defending his posting after the Long Beach City Council and the mayor criticized his article, and offered some harsh words about blogging itself, reports the Press-Telegram. The paper quotes Mayor Bob Foster, who said, "We should not take blogs as professional journalism," while Councilwoman Tonia Reyes Uranga added: "This is a blog, give me a break. If we start spending this much time on a blog, we're really in trouble."

As the world of media finds itself in a state of flux, members of the "new" media often find themselves at odds with the brick walls of tradition. The Press-Telegram sought Snyder to explain his perspective:

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"I just felt the need to defend blogging," Snyder, a Long Beach resident, said in a phone interview. "There's no question there are a lot of bad blogs out there, and that you have to be careful about where you get your information, but that blanket statement - that we should not be paying attention to blogs - just got to me. There's a lot of good blogs out there."

Snyder adds that discrediting the act of blogging doesn't do much to further the conversation between JetBlue and the Long Beach Airport, and, ultimately, to criticize the platform in which the information appeared is irrelevant: "It doesn't matter if this was written on a bathroom wall. It came directly from the CEO of the largest airline at this airport. Does it really do any good to try to discredit blogs or traditional media in the process? No."