Sky News Discovers Unsafe Skies – Ten Months After Mother Jones

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We’re delighted to see that Rupert Murdoch’s Sky News TV channel hasn’t canceled its Mother Jones subscription. Yesterday the British satellite channel’s website reported that Boeing had “knowingly bought thousands of unsafe and unapproved parts from a subcontractor.” The parts in question came from Ducommun, a supplier based in Carson, California, and included chords and bear straps, key elements of the fuselage that the FAA designates as “flight safety critical.” Sheila Kaplan’s Mother Jones article broke this story last October and followed it with a three-part series on MotherJones.com. Kudos to Sky’s U.S. correspondent, Andrew Wilson, for getting the people who made the original allegations, three internal auditors at Boeing, to appear on camera for the first time. Perhaps the further attention will motivate the FAA—which initially dismissed the whistleblowers’ claims without even inspecting the aircraft in question—to be more vigilant as it revisits the investigation. Or not. In April, an FAA spokesman told the Washington Post that “We’re confident we came to the right conclusions in the first case.”

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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