« Fuck the Opera Web Browser | Main | The Mutual Joys of Work and Accomplishment »

Nationwide News Media Bias

AP via News8Austin: Report: Poor cannot afford most rentals in the U.S.

WASHINGTON -- Small apartments are out of reach for most minimum-wage earners. That's according an annual report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

The group finds the typical worker needs to make more than $15 an hour to afford the average rent and utilities on a two-bedroom apartment.

More than a quarter of the population makes less than $10 an hour.

The low-income advocacy group report cites government numbers showing that hourly wage increases over the past year have failed to keep up with increases in rent and utilities.

The group also said government spending on Section Eight vouchers hasn't kept up with demand. That program helps 2 million poor Americans pay rent.

Copyright 2004 Associated Press, All rights reserved.

That's the whole report available on News8Austin's website. It's about as condensed a news blurb as you can get. And it is missing something, and that something is a glaring omission.

A dissenting opinion.

So I went looking for a larger report and found this.

AP via The Seattle Times: Report cites scarcity of low-income housing

Again, zero dissenting opinion from people who oppose having the government "pour money into programs that help poor people pay rent, and must preserve and build more affordable-housing units," as the coalition's executive director, Sheila Crowley, demands. All we get are stats and a whole lot of unspoken tongue-clucking about the obviously low minimum wages and disgustingly high housing costs across the nation. There is but a single direction to go for the uninformed and ignorant readers of this larger article to take: the assumption that of course the state should continue meddling in our affairs and taking our money to redistribute to others. Those who disagree simply hate the poor, have no opinion of the wealthless classes, and have no useful solutions to their problems.

This kind of press release journalism, dear readers, is what I refer to as bias in the media. It is the art of the left out, the unsaid, and the uncovered. It reports a single thing and neglects the greater context. I don't believe any media outlet (including this blog) has an obligation to report all the sides to every story nor even guarantee everything written is completely true and factually correct. I do seriously question how stories are written, edited, and chosen to be published. There's where biases manifest themselves. You can see mine in the topics I choose to cover.

I felt compelled to check on other new media outlets to see if they followed this pattern. I tried to limit my search to those online newspapers and magazines that didn't just post the whole AP text without changes. The results? Every link below lacks a dissenting opinion, a different take on the causes and fixes for the housing problem, or someone sounding a note of caution to throw more taxpayer money at the issue.

  • Poor in U.S. struggle to afford rent, group says, Green Bay Press Gazette
  • Rental Study Released, The Appeal-Democrat
  • Rental costs in Connecticut among highest in the country, Newsday
  • SJ ranks No. 7 for expensive rents, San Jose Mercury News
  • Least Affordable Rents in Nation Found in State, Los Angeles Times
  • 'Housing wage' tells a story, Seattle Post Intelligencer
  • Mass. wages render affordable housing unaffordable, Boston Globe
  • Fatter Homes Pricing Out Poor, Forbes
  • 7th least affordable, Honolulu Star-Bulletin
  • Housing out of reach for many, Portsmouth Herald News
  • Mininum wage pays for 1-bedroom apartment in only 4 US counties, Minneapolis Star Tribune
  • Nevada tenth nationally in rent for two-bedroom apartment, KRNV
  • Minimum Wage Makes It Difficult to Rent, The Ledger
  • Report: Rent out of reach to workers, Arizona Daily Sun
  • National survey says rent too high, Colorado Springs Gazette
  • Working poor are struggling to pay rent, Deseret Morning News
  • Report: Glaring disparity exists between rent, minimum wage, Cleveland Plain Dealer
  • Need a 2-bedroom apartment? You must earn $15.37 an hour, Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel
  • Gwinnett out of reach for minimum-wage workers, Gwinnett Daily Post

    Out of every link I clicked that wasn’t a sheep-like repost of the AP template was just one that offered an opposing opinion from a local representative:

  • $5.15 an hour won't pay the rent, Chambersburg Public Opinion

    Illustrative? I think so. This is by no means a comprehensive search or an exhaustive study. But it does demonstrate the severe difficulties in getting anti-statist, limited government, or even just status quo cautionary opinions in the news to combate this slow ratchet-like crushing of liberty and private property.

    Comments will be held for moderation so they won't show up immediately. Please be patient.

    By commenting here, you take responsiblity for what you write. Any grievances with what is posted in my comments should be directed to the person who wrote them, and that is not necessarily me.

    I reserve the right to delete any comment I wish as this is my property you are commenting upon, but I'm pretty laid-back so it isn't likely to happen unless you are some psycho idiot jerk. Oh, and unless you have my permission to promote your good or service, you are wasting your time: unsolicited advertisements will result in comment deletion and URL banning. This blog ain't for you spammers or the crap you want to sell.