Wednesday, October 13, 2004

News Media Enablers

If one only looks at the squaliformes as their PR firms continue to portray them, the average consumer would get the idea that victims bring these problems on themselves. Stories are almost always published in terms of the victim having bad credit and/or some problem came along and made it hard for them to keep up with the payments.

The stories where the victims actually take the squaliformes to court apparently aren't interesting enough to follow, especially when somebody knows somebody who knows somebody in the newsroom to keep that kind of story from even being looked at before the case disappears in an out of court settlement.

Instead of talking to the people who know something about the scams, the average reporter sees a press release about something like foreclosures then talks to one or more of the squaliformes spokespersons and maybe a couple of blind and deaf regulatory bureaucrats. Of course, all of them have a vested interest in supporting the myth of the importance of the valuable service being provided to consumers. Nobody wants to test them on the collateral damage being done.

What other industry could have multi-multi-millionaires and billionaires (who got that way by vicitmizing consumers) without investigative reporters and video camera crews crawling all over them? If it were defense contractors or drug or oil companies doing this there'd be full blown encampments outside the gates of their estates with helicopter flyovers at least once a week.

Part of the answer is pure business. One shouldn't wonder why the newspapers and radio and TV outlets don't want to have articles and stories about lending predators appearing when real estate, automobile and lender ad revenue is especially important to the bottom line.

"Sure, Joe, I'd love to run another forty spots on your TV station, but that story whatsername is running, you know, that series with questions about...yeah, that's it, the predatory lending, we just don't need that crap so we're going to focus on radio for a month or two...sorry."

This Court sees the hand of highly paid public relations firms making sure the industry's image has just the right glow, starting with how important it is to make sure people have access to credit. They also know how to make sure unwary, unsuspicious and in-a-hurry reporters have instant access to just the right contacts with just the right answers. And these PR firms also know how to influence not only reporters, but producers and assignment editors when it comes to what is and what isn't considered news. The quid-pro-quo is alive and well in the news business.

But the next reporter who comes before this court with another one of these superficial squaliformes-approved kind of puff-piece stories is in for a rude and public shock.
[(Note from the Clerk of the Court: His Honor is referring to the cattle prod he keeps next to the .45 Colt on the bench.)]

The Honorable Judge Roy Bean.

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