By Greg Hunter’s USAWatchdog.com
Just about everywhere you turned yesterday, the mainstream media (MSM) was talking up the good news in the latest Case-Shiller Home Price Index report. For example, the online version of USA Today had a headline that read “Spring buying boosts home prices, market still sluggish.” The first line of the story said, “Prices rose 0.9% in July over June, marking the fourth-consecutive month of increases for the Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller index released Tuesday.” But, buried in the same story was this little piece of information, “When adjusted for seasonal factors, home prices were essentially flat in July over June, S&P’s data show. “The housing market is still bottoming and has not turned around,” says David Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at S&P. July home prices were down 4.1% year over year, according to S&P’s index of 20 leading cities. Minneapolis and Phoenix led the declines, with prices in those areas down about 9% year-over-year.” (Click here for the complete USA Today article.)
What a spin job! “Prices were essentially flat,” and “July home prices were down 4.1% year over year.” Shouldn’t the headline have read something like “Home Prices Decline year over year– Flat for July”? Why does the MSM try to spin good news out of a rotten situation? Why do they think it is their duty to make a story look better than reality? I was in the MSM for most of my career, and I know what its duty should be. Give it to the viewer or reader straight. There is not a single inaccuracy in the USA Today story, but the spin and omissions are stupefying. Would you like an example of what I am talking about? Sure you would.
USA Today and many other news outlets such as CNBC and Fox were touting a little talking point from the report that said, “. . . 17 of 20 cities in the Case-Shiller index showed unadjusted increases in July over June. . .” This would make you think Wow! We must have a turnaround in real estate going on. Look at the actual chart from the Case-Shiller report, and focus on the last row of numbers on the right under the heading 1-Year Change (%):