NYT’s Warped Sense of 'Average'
Perhaps the average New York Times reader makes $250,000 a year, but the average American family? Not quite.
And yet the Times, and its media colleagues, continue to feature sob stories from rich families in stories supposed to illustrate the pain the housing “crisis” is causing for middle- and lower-income families.
“Not since the Depression has a larger share of Americans owed more on their homes than they are worth,” New York Times reporters Edmund Andrews and Louis Uchitelle wrote in a February 22 article. “With the collapse of the housing boom, nearly 8.8 million homeowners, or 10.3 percent of the total, are underwater.”
In an effort to personalize the “drowning” feeling, the reporters profiled three far-from-average homeowners, including Stuart Breakstone, who recently had to cover the $65,000 he still owed on a mortgage when he sold his house. It's unfortunate, but at least Breakstones had the $65,000.
Should people, especially lower income borrowers who are struggling, feel badly for the Breakstone family?According to the Times, Breakstone is a lawyer, and his wife Lori is chief of customs agents at Memphis International Airport. Together the couple earns more than $250,000 a year. That's more than five times the U.S. median household income.
Collie Tuttle and Jane and Kevin Naus presented equally “tragic,“ yet equally unwavering scenarios. Yet another in the media’s long line of exaggerations meant to blame business and naysay the economy.