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Wednesday, November 01, 2006

L.A. Times "Press Release Journalism" Continues

A picture is worth the proverbial thousand words.

The front page of the L.A. Times features a story on Measure H. To demonstrate the "affordable housing crisis," the story includes a graph, on Page 1 of the paper, showing that the average asking rent in 1994 was $897, whereas today it is $1,760.

"Wow," you are supposed to think, "that's nearly DOUBLE!"

If, however, the authors of this puff PR piece had contacted, say, the person who set up the official website for "No on H," he could have pointed out a bit of Econ 101: there has been inflation throughout the economy during that same 12-year period. He could have told them to go to website of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and use the "inflation calculator" feature there to adjust the figure for overall inflation. (http://www.bls.gov/cpi/)

What would the graph show then?

The graph would show that, ADJUSTED FOR INFLATION IN CONSTANT DOLLARS, the average asking rent rose from $1228 to $1,760. But of course, that doesn't make for as dramatic a graph, especially if you put "0" at the bottom of the Y-axis instead of, say the $500 they used in the paper.

And why, one might ask did the average asking rent rise by about $500? Well, how about the large number of brand-new apartments that have been built, units the prices of which are not artificially depressed by rent control laws?

No, that wouldn't go along with the developers' play book for duping you into giving them money.

Anyway, at least we know what a dramatic change the new publisher has effected at the paper: now when reporters reproduce press releases from special interests, they do so using a slightly differnt font.

Oh, and by the way, Ms. DiMassa and Mr. Hymon, the tax will last 30 years, not 20 -- not that you care about getting your facts straight....


Anonymous Anonymous said:

Can we get a separate string about how LAUSD spent, in the July 1-Sept. 30 period, $35,000 for education consultant John Mockler; $10,000 for state Sen. John Burton, D-San Francisco; $52,500 for the lobbying firm Rose & Kindel; and $60,000 for the law firm Sonnenschein Nath Rosenthal LLP, and $15,000 to transport parents to and from demonstrations against the AB 1381.

The geniuses over at the district love to spend our money. And, let's find out what Glenn Griztner at Sonnenschein did for his money.

November 01, 2006 7:58 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Three posts in a row about H. Jesus Christ Walter...we all know you're a right wing moron...but PLEASE find some diversity in your rantings.

November 01, 2006 8:14 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

H is for horrible
R is for rotten
Our City Council
is what we have gotten.

Like hands in a whore's
lace underpants
that moves and grooves
and makes the clowns dance.

Taxes and fees will
come our way.
Our Council says
"shut up and pay"

They all presume that
we'll vote for them again
and also presume that
we'll vote for their friends.

But presumptions are like
jumping on a trampoline with no net.
On Tuesday next
wanna place a bet?

H and R will go down in flames
The Council will cry
it's the end of
their games

They'll find themselves
left out in the cold
and replaced by others
who know it is so....

that H is for horrible
and R is for rotten
A lesson that will be
not easily forgotten.


Will Turner
Bard of the Black Pearl

November 01, 2006 10:04 AM  

Blogger Joseph Mailander said:

we all know you're a right wing moron...

But I know socialists who are against this tax!

November 01, 2006 12:34 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Photo taken at John Kerry speech the other night at PCC (i.e., "Education will help you go far, without it you'll end up in Iraq"). What makes it funny is that the two education geniuses in the photo are Nunez and Villaraigosa. Kerry was right. Now that the mayor has taken over the school district, our kids are doomed.


November 01, 2006 12:45 PM  

Blogger Walter Moore said:

Right wing?

So now it's "right wing" to want to prevent millionaires from abusing government programs to rip off taxpayers?

The word you're looking for to describe my politics is "populist."

November 01, 2006 1:23 PM  

Blogger Walter Moore said:

P.S. I guess the staffers are back from their junket!

November 01, 2006 1:24 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

once again the "LA ANTONIA TIMES" mixes EDITORIAL content with the news page. After reading Scribe Hymon P.R. ,err, reporting on the virtures of Prop. H. I then turn to the Op-Ed page and Surprise, a "YES ON H EDITORIAL". The "PEOPLE'S EDITORIAL CO-OP" has once again declare that the middle class is the pocket book of our "PEOPLES PARADISE OF HIS POLLONESS". Duly noted also is the nose dive that is the daily readership of the "OLD GREY HAG ON SPRING STREET". The "FELLOW TRAVELERS" that make up the editorial board at the "LA ANTONIA TIMES" have once again miss the opportunity to reach out to an endanger demographic of Angelenos, The Middle Class family

November 01, 2006 4:13 PM  

Blogger Walter Moore said:

How long do you think this city will last after the last middle class family leaves?

November 01, 2006 6:20 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Long enough to wish Hahn had won.

November 01, 2006 7:24 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:


I recommend the following book by Lou Dobbs if you're interested. As the Publishers Weekly review states, though Dobbs "is a self-confessed 'lifelong Republican and a strong believer in free enterprise' his opinions have evolved away from mainline GOP and corporate dogma."

War on the Middle Class: How the Government, Big Business, and Special Interest Groups Are Waging War on the American Dream and How to Fight Back

November 01, 2006 8:42 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I believe that Los Angeles will outlived the fail policies of "HIS POLLONESS". There are many average "JOE's and JANE's"(OR IS IT "JOSE AND JUANA"??) that want a life in this city that is crime free and offers oppportunity for the "AMERICAN DREAM". Before you think that I been guzzing the "KOOL-AID", there is a ground swell of people who are waiting to turn on the "LIBERAL ELITE" who tell them what to vote for, not what is in the best interest for thir families. "KEEP TO THE KEYBOARDS AND IGNOR THE ELITE AT THE "LA ANTONIA TIMES"!!

November 01, 2006 8:51 PM  

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