February 11, 2008

Much of the blame for the bubble and crash should fall on your local newspaper and their lazy reporters. But they'll be gone soon too.

(If you want to know why most local newspapers suck, and completely failed their readers when it comes to the housing bubble, just read this.)

So many things had to go wrong for the housing bubble to grow to the point that it did. And one of the biggest reasons was the failure of the mainstream media, especially the local papers around the country.

Take Phoenix for example. When it was obvious to sane people (and a few bloggers) that a classic financial mania was underway, you had the Arizona Republic and their unqualified reporter on the beat Rolodex-of-Realtors Catherine Reagor allowing cheerleading REIC to spin unchecked about how everything would be fine, that it was a new paradigm, and that prices wouldn't go down. And we all know how that turned out.

Making matters worse, papers like The Republic were full of REIC ads - a good 10%+ of their revenues in a day and age when they needed every penny they could get now that revenue is plummeting, and you just know they did everything they could to not bite the hand that was feeding them. Report on the housing crash? No way! They're paying our salaries! Let's have them write articles for us!

I swear, most days picking up the Arizona Republic during the mania felt like it was the Housing Times. Or the Hustler for Housing, complete with centerfolds.

The Republic even lets the most discredited realtor in Phoenix, Greg Swann, pollute their paper with a column parading as news with no fact checking or disclaimer (or warning for bad advice!).

America is a mess today because the MSM failed in its traditional oversight role. And I think it's blogs who are helping right this ship. We're now serving in the vacuum created by the downfall of newspapers.

So I think it's time to declare the death of the local REIC-supported media - newspaper and TV. Goodbye, and good riddance I say. I hope to see strong national print, online and broadcast media, which hopefully has the resources and ethics to do its job, although that is suspect too (Fox News). But just look at your local paper, and its sea of real estate ads and fluff stories, or god forbid turn on the death-and-destruction car-crash-and-murder local TV news, and you'll see what I mean.

Goodbye Arizona Republic. Goodbye LA Times. Goodbye Las Vegas Review Journal. Goodbye Miami Herald. You failed your readers, you failed America, you got polluted by the REIC, and now we all pay the price.


Frank@Scottsdale-Sucks.com said...

"Take Phoenix for example. When it was obvious to sane people (and a few bloggers) that a classic financial mania was underway"

To a lot of the idiots who live there, it's STILL not obvious.


Anonymous said...

The internet killed papers just like it killed realtors

Anonymous said...

GOOD BYE chicago sun times and tribune !
you still don't read about how bad it is here. the city proper is in a huge buble but is dilluted by the CHICAGO METRO AREA which includes 7counties. and when you call on a property and ask the square footage the realator informs you that "we don't use square footage in chicago".
what a croc of shit !

Anonymous said...

to those who subsribe to actual papers, why? they're a waste of paper, messy, expensive, etc.

Anonymous said...

Everybody, stop buying newspapers. That's what you call an "imperative"

Buzz Saw said...

The quality of the writing in my local rag is atrocious. Really, it is an insult to every intelligent person. That is what they get because they only pay peanuts to the peons, and they wouldn't hire anyone smarter than they are even if they did. Luckily for me they are running out of money. This one belongs to a conglomerate of over 300 small newspapers, and they are almost all losing money. As soon as the REIC stops paying for propaganda they will go down in flames. Print media is dead anyway, what a waste of everything!

stuck in So Pa said...

Anonymous said...
The Internet killed papers just like it killed realtors

February 11, 2008 8:17 AM
============================ The Internet didn't kill papers; the papers put the guns in their own mouths.
Gone are the days of Woodward and Bernstein. "Deep Throat" would NEVER reach the front page in today’s world.
Don't print anything bad about Dumya; it will piss off the right wing. Don't print anything bad about "Operation Oil Grab," it will piss off big oil. Don't print anything bad about government (nuff said!) And for God's sake, never, never, NEVER print anything that might offend anybody who now or in the future might take out an ad!
That pretty much leaves us with the garden living section. I'm going to miss my local paper...no, not really.

Marky Mark said...

Just as a small general observation. My two local and very liberal newspapers were RE cheerleaders 24/7. My one semi-conservative newspaper had at least had a few articles/columns about the bubble starting in 2005.

FYI - The semi-conservative newspaper is gaining subscriptions - the other two are on the ropes.

If you live in Philly - you know whom I am talking about.

Marky Mark

hype it up said...

The local newspapers are nothing more than public opinion manipulators for supplementing various Chamber of Commerce agendas.

Anonymous said...

I live (sold house at bubble peak and now rent apartment) in Scottsdale, AZ.

Many people have no clue what is going on.

They don't follow it.

They will have an hour-long conversation with you around the water cooler about who the next American-Idol will be, but change to economy/house prices; pffff. They look at you like you are some tin-foil hat wearing wierdo who sits in his fully stocked basement studying the National Enquirer 24/7.

They will all be voting this year too. Scary.

Anonymous said...

The only worthwhile role for newspapers is muckraking.

America is drowning in corruption and conflicts of interest.

Fat, overpaid journalists have been AWOL for a long time.

About the article you linked to, only thing is if that editor had any INTEGRITY he would have resigned long ago. Instead he continued to collect his fat paycheck. And then delivers a lame parting shot as he skates into retirement. He's a loser.

Anonymous said...

You can't completely blame reporters, since they also have managers/editors who review and approve stories. Let's face it, newspapers are businesses, and NEED advertising money to stay afloat. If you really think you'll get unbiased news from a newspaper/CNN/local TV, you better have your sanity checked. They're all businesses and they all have to suck up to the advertising tit. That being said, once the housing meltdown became so apparent that even the MSM couldn't ignore it anymore, they all had to give in and run with it or end up looking like the sycophantic suck-ups they really are.

raynla said...


I hope everyone here is watching the last season of HBO's THE WIRE.

It's showing the corruption of the Baltimore Sun.

Anonymous said...

Incredibly a few days ago the AZ Republic had a front page story about how it might be a good time to buy in San Diego. For those of you who don't know, San Diego is the favorite place to excape the summer heat here.

FaceDown said...

For the last 3 weeks the Denver Post has been combining the "Denver and the West" section with the "business" section. They used to be separate sections in the paper but have now been scaled down into one.

Today was a new low for the paper, however. They just had one section where they combined the front page, Denver and the West, and business. Advertising revenues must be falling through the floor.

Circulation has been falling for a long time. I suspect that the recession/depression we are in/entering is hastening the contraction. I see the proof every day in the size of the newspaper.

honica jewinski said...

How does that old saying go??????
You can't believe anything you read in the jewspapers?????

Frank@Scottsdale-Sucks.com said...

"They will have an hour-long conversation with you around the water cooler about who the next American-Idol will be, but change to economy/house prices; pffff. They look at you like you are some tin-foil hat wearing wierdo who sits in his fully stocked basement studying the National Enquirer 24/7."

That totally blows my mind how anyone there could be oblivious to it, unless they're in TOTAL denial.

I talked to someone who still works at a realtor firm in Scottsdale (it used to be one of the top ones, now it's hanging on by a thread) and as of now they only do short sales, because that's the only current r.e. activity in Scottsdale.

I mean, geez, go drive through DC Ranch Marketplace which is 60% vacant thanks to the crash. Or the CPK shopping center on Scottsdale/Shea that is 80% vacant. How could people still be in denial?


Anonymous said...

Media in the US needs an enema, we need federal laws to break the media conglomerates. Both broadcasting, and print.

It's the big companies like ClearChannel, that "advise" hundreds of outlets what stories to stress--that have undermined the concept of free press in America.


DaveO said...

I remember reading an article about how in the MSM, there are only 4 different corporations who control the media but there used to be something like 30 corporations in the early 80s. I think the point of the article was that there is much less diversity of what you hear from the associated press than there used to be because of mergers and other crap like that.

Anonymous said...

Here in Green Bay the reporters only seem to cover the local football team.

Anonymous said...

I live in NY, on Long Island, and the local paper, Newsday, is still running stories like "How to use creative jumbo financing to purchase a luxury Home." This is reckless, irresponsible
and unacceptable. These papers have no journalistic integrity at all.

alba said...

When you watch tv, you're really only viewing commercials, with some entertainment to attract your attention. Same with print. Its a business, not a public service.

The shift for entertainment and news is changing, and all traditional forms of media are in trouble: tv, movies, radio, music, newpapers. News print companies are furthest behind the curve, and the ones most affected by the internet. AZCENTRAL.com is quite a good website, as newspaper companies go, but probably not financially viable in the long- term. Greenspan had no interest in pumping newspaper sales, just pumping the economy.

Anonymous said...

In Philadelphia we had 2 papers controlled by the same owner for many years. In the 60s, we had 3 papers, The Daily News was noted for sports writers and they were good at it. The afternoon paper was conservative, The Evening Bulletin, but that paper went out of business. Then The Inquirer, which was noted for good and outstanding investigative reporting.
Now in the current issues, the Daily News was turned into the "Bro" paper. It was lowered to about the intellectual bearing of the POPEYE SCHOOL OF EDUMACASEGON. Terrible reporting, vanity everywhere talking about hollywood stars,etc. A section called YO! Now finally about to go down with a recent raise in price again. Then there is the once great Philadelphia Inquirer. A persecution paper is what it has become. From stupid picture associations with movements to just bad reporting and the usual nonsense of Madonna, Britney Spears, etc. They did not once take on the corrupt administrations of our last few mayors. They were afraid to say a word. Now, they are going down.
The winner will be the Philly Metro, a paper begun by The Southeastern Transportation Authority of all organizations! Their "quickie" news to be read on the bus or train is better than the long drawn out stuff of the Inky or the Daily Noose. Good bye and may what is left of the pink journalists be given their just reward in the unemployment line that they helped to create here.

Anonymous said...

newpapers are in the money-making business, and nothing else. to even pretend that they have a journalistic mission or mandate to protect us is naive.

Isreali Revenue Service said...

Honica J3winsky, you are hilarious!

ChicagoRefugee said...

My (new) local rag totally lost me with their mindless, over-the-top cheerleading for our new "immigrants." Actually cancelled my subscription when they ran a puff piece on an Iowa town that has become 50% Mexican w/i the last 5 years. The kicker was when they went to the high school and asked the "hispanic" kids whether they'd been the target of any name calling, abuse or intimidation - and DIDN'T ask the "white" kids the same question. Yep, whenever there's "ethnic tension" it's always the pale folks fault, that's right!