Mainstream Media Spins Real Estate Recovery

Posted at 8:16 PM (CST) by & filed under

By Greg Hunter’s

Dear CIGAs,

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 (%):