How is the housing bust like Hillary Clinton's campaign?

The real estate industry and the Senator from New York both blame the media for their woes

By Andrew Leonard
May 20, 2008 3:30PM (UTC)
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Politico's Ben Smith reports, with his source being Politico's Ken Vogel, that Bill Clinton is blaming the media for how the 2008 campaign for the Democratic nomination for President has played out.

In Lexington, Ky., on Monday, Bill Clinton said:

"By their own admission, this has been the most slanted press coverage in American history."

Like Ben Smith, I'd like to know who exactly has admitted such shocking, irresponsible bias. But as a member of the "media," I am aware that there is a conflict of interest inherit in my doing so much as daring to comment on the accusation. But that won't stop me. Here's a rule of thumb: When someone starts to blame the media for their own miseries, it means the game is over, they know they've lost, and now they're just trying to avoid taking the heat by spreading collateral damage as far as possible.


Let's not even dwell on how 24x7 television news coverage of Jeremiah Wright's sermons might have challenged Barack Obama's campaign. How the World Works is instead reminded of Countrywide CEO blaming "the left-wing anti-business press" for his problems, and luxury homebuilder CEO Robert Toll blaming the New York Times for scaring buyers away from the market. I could also refer you to a post published here on the housing bust in September 2006, in which then-chief economist for the National Association of Realtors David Lereah blamed "negative news stories" for newly manifesting homebuyer "hesitancy."

In September 2006! When the housing bust had hardly taken its first shaky baby steps! Today, in a shocking display of insensitivity towards his former employers, Lereah tells us that the worst is still to come. If anyone should know better than to spread such negativity it should be him.

The "media" have many faults. But the implosion of Countrywide, real estate values, and Hillary Clinton's campaign have a lot more to do with the product, than how the press handled their public relations.

Andrew Leonard

Andrew Leonard is a staff writer at Salon. On Twitter, @koxinga21.

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Related Topics ------------------------------------------

2008 Elections Barack Obama Globalization Hillary Rodham Clinton How The World Works