Monday, October 06, 2008

Dean Baker Criticizes Washington Post for Quoting Lereah So Often

Dean Bake Criticizes Washington Post for Quoting Lereah So Often as an 'Expert' on the housing market.

First, reporters should recognize that people employed by an industry lobby have an ax to grind. They are not neutral observers. This means that it was incredibly irresponsible to have David Lereah, the chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, as the Post's most widely cited expert on the housing market. Lereah was in the business of selling homes, not helping Post readers understand the economics of housing. The paper's reporters and editors should have known this.

I agree entirely with Dean Baker's criticism of the Washington Post. It should be noted that it was not just the Washington Post, but many others in the media also relied primarily on 'expertise' from paid shills working for the real estate industry's various trade group. These paid shills actively promoted the interests of their employers even when the facts flew in their face.