There was actually a fair amount of news yesterday, even if it will all be forgotten by noon in the avalanche blatherthon of New Hampshire’s primary. It’s hard, channel-surfing, not to get sick to your stomach with the ignorant-to-buffoonish analysis that is supposed to pass for punditry. If we’ve learned anything from the ludicrously bipolar coverage — Hillary’s a lock, no wait, she’s dead! … ‘New Populism’ reigns supreme, er, McCain is King! and on and on — it’s that the pop generalizations just don’t work. No wonder The New York Times ran Sunday’s op-ed piece observing that the news media and TV advertising simply aren’t factoring into electoral decisions any more. It’s word on the street, baby…take it to the bank.
OK, this was supposed to be about yesterday’s headlines, and we’ve got some good ones, even if the material beneath them could use some word off the street as well. Housing prices, as you’ve been reading here on HA since the Fall 2007 days of “can’t happen here” local headlines, have been verified statistically to have hit the wall. Both papers have lead stories, The Times being the better reported while still relying on the impeccably unbiased, rock-solid reliable Windermere Services Co. for the upside. The P-I has a hilarious quote about the market having bottomed out and prices actually on the rise. Maybe they should interview these realtors about the benefits of relaxed marijuana laws. Reality-check that quote with The Times piece: “He wants to sell his Granite Falls home of four years. But he’s feeling ‘very unsure, just like most’ about whether the local residential real-estate market has hit bottom.’
I for one would hereby like to say I am not unsure: PUT DOWN THAT DOOBIE! IT HASN’T HIT BOTTOM! OK????
One clue comes from a conversation I had last week with a Seattle realtor about a North End property:
Realtor: “It’s been sold on contingency.”
Me: “Contingency? Now there’s a term I haven’t heard in awhile.”
Realtor: “Oh yes, it’s coming back.”
I checked a couple of days later. The house is back on the market, guess that contingency didn’t work out (wink wink).
You learn a lot walking the street and talking with folks. It does require passing on the budget meetings and getting out of the damn office.
If more reporters did that, we might not have to rely on state audits to uncover Port corruption. In a world of an aggressive press, there would be daily stories about the need for heads to roll at the Port. Instead a passive media sits on its hands and waits for the Justice Department to do something, so they will have some official source to quote.
What else… With Starbucks stock slowly sinking in the West, the coffee giant canned its CEO and is bringing back none other than icon Howard Schultz to run the operation. With the Sonics no longer a pother, Schultz can now focus on doing for Starbucks what he did for Seattle basketball…no wait, that doesn’t read right. Howard we luv ya! But bringing you back isn’t going to make Peet’s and Herkimer and Zoka and the whole new “greening” slash localization of coffee go away, to say nothing of jittery aging boomer nerves. One word: Tea. It’s the new espresso.
There’s other stuff too, including the Zoo’s insemination of Chai in a story that misspells Alyne Fortgang’s name and could use a hard-nosed followup, but tell you what. I’ll leave them for tomorrow’s headlines, make that headline, reporter. Once again I dodged the elections bullet, but for tomorrow there will always be jaw-droppers like this.