Parsing Propaganda in the 'Documentary' on Lambert Airport's Runway Expansion

For most of its 90-minute run-time, the documentary Hard Landing At Lambert tells the dramatic tale of how St. Louis City bulldozed thousands of homes in Bridgeton subdivision in the early 2000s in order to build a billion-dollar runway for Lambert International Airport.

But the film, released last week in three parts on YouTube, has been met with concern and dismay by city and airport officials, who on Thursday interrogated the film's executive producer Travis Brown during a meeting of the Airport Advisory Working Group — the same group on which Brown serves as a lead consultant on the subject of privatizing Lambert.

Brown is now facing accusations of conflict of interest and circumventing his duties as a project leader for a process city officials often neutrally describe as an "exploration" of privatization. And Brown isn't just some hired marketing help: He's the chief lobbyist for billionaire financier Rex Sinquefield and the founder of the Sinquefield-funded nonprofit Grow Missouri, a group that itself serves as the linchpin in a deeply strange arrangement in which Sinquefield pays the city's consultants to "explore" privatization.

 

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