I stopped my subscription of over 30 years to The Los Angeles Times about four years ago. I look forward, with much anticipation, to buying seven copies of the last edition to give to my grandchildren so they will be able to understand what a newspaper was.
Unfortunately, they will not have a copy of a "real newspaper" to compare it to, but if they do their own research, they at least have a starting point. My forward looking also includes the complete banishment of the main stream media with their pseudo unbiased approach from anything other than cassettes. As my hero, the late great Paul Harvey would say, "stand by for news!"
This morning, as I was walking to my office from the restaurant where I had breakfast, I glanced at the headlines of The L.A.Times which said in bold print: "Real Estate Craters to 1980 Levels." The newspaper had found a zip code in Lancaster, Palmdale and Hemet where they claim prices had dropped that low. If you haven't heard of these cities, let me tell you why. Lancaster and Palmdale are two cities that are north of the Greater Los Angeles Basin, North of the San Fernando and Santa Clarita Valley, and when you get there you are smack dab in the middle of the desert. Realistically, you are about 50 to 100 miles away from anything in any direction. The main claim for these cities is they were going to build the new Los Angeles International Airport there about 30 or 40 years ago. Didn't happen.
Hemet is a retirement community full of "snow birds" who come every year to escape the ravages of the snow, primarily in the Midwest of these United States. Finding lower prices in these areas is neither newsworthy nor a great job in ferreting out a news story. What this does show is the complete lack of objectivity, creativity and business acumen that has taken a once great newspaper and turned it into light reading while waiting your turn at the dentist's office.
Now it's time to look at the mainstream network news stations, if we must. How in the world could they lose out to cable stations to begin with, and why do they keep slipping? They slip because they do not deliver the news. They in fact deliver the news with innuendo and thinly veiled bias. When that is impossible, they simply skip the story. It is time to face facts; politics rules when it comes to news. So instead of fighting it, why not just have two news stations: MSNBC and FOX NEWS. If it tickles your fancy to have a leftist spin to all you hear, so be it. If you can't take your news unless it comes from the right, you can have it your way. This gives the rest of the airways to new and important reality TV to soothe the tired minds and souls of the general populous. We could expand more expose shows as you never know who is going to come out of the closet, or divorce their spouse or disown their parent(s) on any given day.
Why am I writing this column? Once upon a time in America, there was a public conscience that only cared about making our nation the best country in the world. People in the public eye could live a normal life without fear that if they crossed the line, they would be exposed to the world. Over the years, we have moved away from this lofty goal to first attacking anyone and everyone that has public recognition, and then to attacking our own country. My question is what purpose does all this serve? Does the phrase "let he without sin cast the first stone" mean anything at all?
The front page story of The L.A. Times cited above could easily be put next to the obituaries as it was dead upon arrival. It was pure sensationalism and pandered to the general public who read only the headlines. Instead of building up one of the most essential industries in our country, it was trying to create more doubt and fear. You would think the Times was "shorting" houses!
What good comes from the left when they report all day and night on the murder of Dr. Teller, the abortion doctor, and spend almost no time on the terrorist killing of an army recruiting officer? If I didn't know better, I would think the left would rather train divisions of doctors to be able to perform abortions and disband the entire military of the United States. As I stated above, there isn't a public conscience in the news room of America anymore, for the most part, but are there any people with brains left?
As a Californian, I get up very early to watch the financial stations and get the breaking news that is important to the mortgage and real estate markets every weekday morning. I know that the two most important products of these shows are entertainment and controversy to try to spice up what some would consider less than exciting television. Those who are regulars on the shows and guests are free to speak their mind, and all usually do at the same time which makes the entire segment worthless, but they do show respect for the institutions they represent and the way financial business is conducted in this country. Whether the information they dispense is right or wrong, in my opinion, there is a single thread of solidarity with the fact that this is a free country with a great foundation that doesn't need to be attacked or dismantled, but rather appreciated and improved. I believe that is what should have been the mantra of the mainstream media and I am afraid that they have gone so far that it can't be turned.
So let's all sit to the left or the right of our favorite television and enjoy it our way. It certainly won't help to bring this nation together but at least people might actually believe, once again, what they are listening to. That would be a step in the right direction. Next thing you know, our politicians might actually consider representing us once again, but that might be taking this column a little bit too far out.
Roger Schlesinger's Mortgage Minute is heard on hundreds of radio stations and daily on the Hugh Hewitt radio show and Michael Medved shows. Roger interacts with his hosts and explores the complicated financial markets in order to enlighten his listeners and direct them along their own unique road to financial freedom.