Northrop Vs Boeing: Round 28? And Things Completely Different

Boeing CEO Jim McNerney

We’re talking tankers and sock monkeys, because…we can.

In the latest volley over whether or not the Air Force tanker contract should be trashed, Northrop Grumman will hold a conference call Tuesday morning with analysts (reporters can listen) “to discuss the KC-45 tanker program.” If there’s news, I will report it. The call comes a day after a coalition of conservative groups held a news conference to protest the $35 billion deal going to Northrop and its foreign partner, EADS.

Boeing continues to aggressively fight to get the competition re-opened, taking out ads, offering up interviews with tanker program VP Mark McGraw. But where is Boeing CEO Jim McNerney in all this? Other than some remarks released as part of a company press release, McNerney has been silent. Northrop Grumman CEO Ron Sugar has appeared on our air to defend his victory. So has EADS/Airbus CEO Louis Gallois.

We’ve asked Boeing to make McNerney available but have been turned down. If this contract is so critical to the company, if the loss is such an outrage, why isn’t the CEO out in front? One person told me, “That’s not his style.” Perhaps the company is concerned that if McNerney talked to reporters, he’d also have to answer questions about the 787. Well, he would.

The Defense Department yesterday awarded contracts totaling $816 million to buy jet fuel for the next year. Nearly half of the money is going to Valero . And all of the fuel used for midair refueling will be carried in those aging tankers that have yet to be replaced.

The business of art continues to run amok. Seattle-based artist Monika Lidman has made a sock monkey. A six-foot tall sock monkey. That’s anatomically correct. You’re going to have to search for images yourself (hint: use the word “Verkstad” in your search). Lidman has named the Giant Sock Monkey “Mr. Johnson.” Hey, at least he’s made from recycled materials.

Office Dwight Shrute
Office Dwight Shrute
Office Dwight Shrute

FlashNews reports that when new episodes of “The Office” start airing on NBC April 10th, some plotlines may involve ex-girlfriends of Dwight Shrute (Rainn Wilson). Producer Greg Daniels says he’s also considering playing with the concept of time “like Lost does. We’ll add some sci-fi elements and have Dwight keep a hatch under his desk.”

Questions? Comments? Funny Stories? Email