Morning Report: Homeownership rate lowest in almost 50 years 10/21/15

Stocks are higher this morning as a couple big mergers are announced. Bonds and MBS are up.

Mortgage Applications rose 11.8% last week, as purchases rose 16.4% and refis rose 8.8%.

Education opportunity: It is better for Millennials to buy than to rent. The catch: Millennials like the urban environment and in the hot markets like San Francisco and New York, they are priced out of the market. Not all urban areas are bad however: Here are the affordable places:

UBS is closing down its Manged High Yield Plus Fund. Is that a harbinger of bad things to come? The closing of a BNP Paribas fund in 2007 is credited with starting the financial crisis, though I remember the first tell being the inability of banks to sell the debt associated with the Alliance / Boots merger. High yield has been struggling lately as over-extended energy exploration companies are getting hammered by low oil prices. While we don’t have a residential real estate bubble anymore, it could still cause some ripples in the bond markets.

Freddie Mac is looking to expand its offering of low downpayment loans. The government is worried about people being shut out of the mortgage market, particularly low income borrowers and those with difficult to document income. Fannie Mae is looking to make income documentation easier.  Note that the homeownership rate in the US has fallen to 63.4%, about where it was before the US began the Great Experiment In Expanding Home Ownership, which began with Bill Clinton’s HUD around 1994. The last time the homeownership rate was this low? 1967. This represents a lot of pent-up demand for purchase business and is an opportunity.

47 Responses

  1. Wow! Frist!!

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  2. Biden’s not running

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    • Bummer. Would have made things interesting. I guess we can be sure now that the justice department will not be pursuing Hillary’s criminal activity.

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  3. I guess we can be sure now that the justice department will not be pursuing Hillary’s criminal activity

    The DOJ’s interest in hillary’s email begins and ends with keeping it out of the hands of the press and republicans.

    There was never a chance that obama’s DOJ was ever going to actually investigate hillary. she could be caught with a severed head and 5 million in cash in her freezer and obama wouldn’t care…

    And, neither would the MSM, except to say republicans are making too big of a deal about it and suggesting it would merely be a partisan witch hunt.

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  4. And, neither would the MSM, except to say republicans are making too big of a deal about it and suggesting it would merely be a partisan witch hunt.

    Your faith in the partisanship of the Lamestream Media is touching. Given all the Hillary Clinton Benghazi red herrings the New York Times has published, I gotta wonder how they would treat someone they weren’t in the bag for.

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    • yello:

      Given all the Hillary Clinton Benghazi red herrings the New York Times has published, I gotta wonder how they would treat someone they weren’t in the bag for.

      I suppose you also think that since Pravda occasionally criticized individual communists, it wasn’t in the bag for the Communist Party.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I gotta wonder how they would treat someone they weren’t in the bag for.

    the way they treat every single Republican?… Nah, they don’t treat democrats that way..

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  6. Here is someone who wants obama to ban guns… And she has obama placemats too..

    http://www.democratandchronicle.com/story/opinion/guest-column/2015/10/09/obamas-legacy-guns-ban/73682284/

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    • Brent:

      Here is someone who wants obama to ban guns… And she has obama placemats too..

      The most amazing thing about the story is the blurb at the end. An institution of higher learning in this nation has actually seen fit to hire this fool as an educator of young minds.

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  7. I am curious if she thought obama could just ban guns by an executive order. I wouldn’t put it past her…

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    • Brent:

      I am curious if she thought obama could just ban guns by an executive order.

      It seems as if that is precisely what she thinks. Although to be fair, given Obama’s posture as Chief Executive, you can’t entirely blame her for having that impression. As you know, he has a pen and a phone.

      http://thehill.com/regulation/pending-regs/228093-obamas-pen-and-phone-barrage

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      • It will be interesting to see what this SCOTUS does with the latest 2dA cases before them.

        They are sort of winging it here, but I think the signals are mixed.

        Most legal historians will say that the Constitution meant Congress could not take away the right to bear arms from the people so that states could raise militias. Incorporation of the 2d through the 14th to apply to states and localities is a new idea, but because all the other Rights have been “incorporated” it was by no means a stretch to do this with the 2d. Of course, the 2d has more explicit states rights language in it than do procedural rights like juries, defense attorneys, silence, search and seizure, etc.

        This SCOTUS has given a sort of laundry list of what can be prohibited. We shall see on the new cases how that plays out specifically.

        If a Justice lawyer or FBI agent finds a smoking gun in HRC’s emails we will hear about it, whether or not there is a prosecution. That is the nature of the beast and making your bones by shooting down a star is not a partisan exercise.

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        • Mark:

          Most legal historians will say that the Constitution meant Congress could not take away the right to bear arms from the people so that states could raise militias.

          You might find this linguistic analysis of what the 2nd amendment actually says interesting.

          http://www.constitution.org/2ll/schol/2amd_grammar.htm

          Incorporation of the 2d through the 14th to apply to states and localities is a new idea, but because all the other Rights have been “incorporated” it was by no means a stretch to do this with the 2d.

          It seems to me that under the prevailing interpretation of the 14th amendment, the 2nd must be incorporated.

          Of course, the 2d has more explicit states rights language in it than do procedural rights like juries, defense attorneys, silence, search and seizure, etc.

          I think the language explicitly recognizes individual, not state’s, rights. That is precisely why the logic of prevailing 14th interpretation (such as it is) pretty much requires incorporation of the 2nd. “The People” and “the states” are two distinct things under the constitution, as demonstrated by the 10th amendment, which reserves all power not delegated to the feds to either the states “or” the people. So the 2nd amendment, in referring to the “right of the people”, pretty explicitly recognizes an individual, not a state’s, right.

          As we’ve discussed in the past, I would gladly trade the right of states to ban firearms for a more sensible understanding of the 14th’s due process clause, but that is almost certainly not in the cards.

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        • Scott, the textual as opposed to the historical arguments always sound like how many angels can dance on the head a pin.

          A perfect example of where textualism and originalism are in disagreement.

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        • Mark:

          A perfect example of where textualism and originalism are in disagreement.

          I don’t see how they are in disagreement in this case, unless I misunderstand what you are claiming as the originalist argument. Basically all the textualist argument says is that the right is not conditioned by or restricted to the explanatory clause. And to say that, historically speaking, the purpose in recognizing and protecting the individual right to bear arms was so that states could raise militias is not to say that the right to bear arms for other purposes is therefore constitutionally violable. It is, afterall, a right. So I don’t see how they are in disagreement.

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        • It is, afterall, a right.

          But is it a natural right? And if so, who conferred it? And why do so few other advanced democracies recognize it?

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        • yello:

          But is it a natural right?

          Ultimately yes. Or, more accurately, it is the consequence of the natural right to self-defense. Although that has no bearing on what I said to Mark.

          And if so, who conferred it?

          No one “confers” natural rights. That is exactly the distinction between legal and natural rights.

          And why do so few other advanced democracies recognize it?

          I’m not quite sure how true your premise is, but to the extent that it is true, the reasons are surely varied, including a governing elite that has inadequate understanding of what rights are, or one which values other things more highly than that particular right.

          Of course, pursuit of this line of discussion doesn’t make much sense in the absence of agreement over what the word “right” even means, an agreement which you have always demonstrated a deep reluctance to establish.

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  8. If a Justice lawyer or FBI agent finds a smoking gun in HRC’s emails we will hear about it, whether or not there is a prosecution. That is the nature of the beast and making your bones by shooting down a star is not a partisan exercise.

    I would imagine high powered Democrats are untouchable, and going after them is a career killer. Look at Jon Corzine, who would have been thrown in jail if he were anyone else for tapping customer money to pay his firm’s bills. Look at Franklin Raines, who paid himself tens of million in bonuses based on fraudulent accounting. No one said boo to him either.

    I think if you are a powerful democrat, you have a get out of jail free card. I suspect there are non-partisan investigators out there, but since both these guys got a free pass it tells me the directive on high is to only look at republicans, not democrats.

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    • I never understood how Corzine got away with tapping investor funds. Your explanation is as good as anyone’s. But on Raines, he was in litigation for perhaps seven years and finally won. So right or wrong, no one gave him a free ride.

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  9. @yellojkt: “Your faith in the partisanship of the Lamestream Media is touching. Given all the Hillary Clinton Benghazi red herrings the New York Times has published, I gotta wonder how they would treat someone they weren’t in the bag for.”

    There are levels of partisanship and, of course, the mainstream media isn’t monolithic. Fox, clearly, would agitate against Hillary. So would ABC, who seems friendlier to Jeb! than Hillary. I would guess NBC and CBS would tend to fall in the “minimally report anything incriminating” camp.

    But if your press organization and generally partisan or liberal, it doesn’t mean you think Hillary should be the standard-bearer for liberals or Democrats.

    Might as well blame Trump for lack of Hillary-email coverage, as he’s sucking up all the oxygen in the room. Also, if you take away an emotional investment in the failure of HRC, the email story gets boring and that whole Benghazi stuff happened in another country. Boring! While the NYT may not be concerned with ratings, CNN and CBS and NBC and the rest are.

    Also, November 2016 is still far away. Bias in media reporting tends to at least appear more significant as election day nears. There are already liberal magazines, etc., that demonstrate their bias (quite rationally) 24/7. The mainstream media is only more likely to show their bias when it matters, say leading up to a significant SCOTUS decision. Even then, the expression of that bias is generally an expression of shared-bias (that can vary) in each new organization, can change when show runners or managing editors or ownership of a network changes, and is informed by ratings.

    And then there’s Dan Rather (and apparently there is a movie trying to whitewash his and CBS’s decision to go to air with a made up story . . . I look forward tackling a similar biopic related to Brian Kilmeade at Fox News sometime).

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  10. @brentnyitray: “I think if you are a powerful democrat, you have a get out of jail free card. ”

    Many powerful Republicans do as well, at least to an extent. At least . . . for now.

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  11. … of course, it helps to have folks to throw under the bus. Thanks, Scooter Libby!

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    • KW:

      … of course, it helps to have folks to throw under the bus. Thanks, Scooter Libby!

      Who do you think threw Libby under the bus? I think he got screwed by the prosecutor (Fitzgerald, I think) not anyone in the admin.

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  12. @ScottC1: I have no inside knowledge, but assuming it was entirely Fitzgerald, I think the “acceptable level” theory was operating. The folks in the top tier (Bush, Cheney, Rove) were never likely to get in serious trouble, and I’m not sure even a break-in at the Watergate would result in impeachment or resignation these days. Or anything of actual consequence. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that modern day presidents don’t tape every conversation they have.

    Although an excellent illustration of the mainstream narrative (regarding my other comment) can be found in the Valerie Plame affair.

    Christopher Hitchens covered it more realistically in Slate:

    http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/fighting_words/2006/08/plame_out.html

    But on the whole the Majority Mainstream Media Bias (the MMSM) was clearly to treat the Plame affair as Very Serious and that it was not remotely a politically motivated attack by liberals and partisans (thus, the very anthesis of Benghazi).

    Of course, the New York Post and National Review and others covered it

    http://nypost.com/2014/12/22/outing-valerie-plame/
    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/416681/runaway-prosecutor-who-almost-lost-iraq-arthur-l-herman

    National Review touches on how Fitzgerald railroaded Libby.

    A quote from NR: “We now know — and not just from Miller’s book — that virtually every element of that story is false.”

    While National Review is a conservative publication, and thus a “bogus source” in the parlance of the Plum Line, I think the reality of the Plame affair (and the appealing scandal of its falsehood, conveniently ignored by the MMSM) indicates a general leftwards bias of the majority of the “mainstream” media, although in all fairness one should consider Fox News and talk radio as part of the mainstream media now, because it is.

    On the other side, The Nation still insists that Plamegate was what they always said it was: a Rovian plot to get back at Joe Wilson!

    I love this line from The Nation: “So is anyone apologizing? For ruining Valerie Wilson’s career?”

    Seriously? In what way is Plame’s career been ruined? She wasn’t working in the field, anyway, and was never going to return, and she’s now a published author, paid speaker, and probably far wealthier (and feted by the left) than she ever would have been had Plamegate never happened. But I’m rambling, so I’ll stop now . . .

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    • KW:

      I have no inside knowledge, but assuming it was entirely Fitzgerald, I think the “acceptable level” theory was operating.

      I don’t think it had anything to do with “acceptable level”. It was more like “We have to prosecute somebody for something after spending all this money investigating a non-crime, and this is the only thing even remotely plausible.”

      The prosecutor had nothing on anyone regarding the original charge, ie outing Valerie Plame. He knew from the very beginning of the investigation who it was that had actually provided Novak with the information (Richard Armitage), and it wasn’t even clear that outing her was any kind of a crime in any event, since she wasn’t actually under cover. There was no one either above or below Libby’s level that was guilty of anything related to the original charges. In fact Libby himself was convicted of lying to prosecutors and the Grand Jury about how he found out about Plame, ie he was convicted of something related to the investigation itself, not any activity that precipitated the investigation. So it is hard for me to see how one could view Libby’s prosecution as somehow protecting someone at a “higher” level.

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  13. “So it is hard for me to see how one could view Libby’s prosecution as somehow protecting someone at a “higher” level.”

    It protected Fitzgerald! 😉

    Or, at least, it could be seen as potentially doing so.

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    • KW:

      With regard to your broader point of equivalency:

      Many powerful Republicans do as well, at least to an extent.

      I think that is conceivably true with regard to actual prosecution. That is to say, if an R controls the DOJ, he may be less inclined to pursue charges against another R than against a D. But with regard to the media, which is what I think Brent was talking about, I don’t think it is true at all. High level or influential R’s are not insulated from concentrated and sustained media campaigns against them in anything like the way that high level or influential D’s are. Sure, FOX can usually be relied upon to attack D’s, and will be less inclined to go after R’s, but MSM campaigns require broad dissemanation to capture the public’s attention and FOX just can’t compete with the rest of the MSM on that front. It preaches to the choir, but the agnostics aren’t hearing it. When the NYT or the WaPo publish attack articles, they get picked up by the broadcast media, and become filler for smaller newspapers throughout the country. Multiply that out by a sustained, daily campaign and that is a lot of info working its way into the public consciousness. That just doesn’t happen with FOX produced attacks, which the rest of the leftist MSM will tend to ignore. Just look at the Planned Parenthood videos to see how effective this kind of media protection can be.

      And BTW, precisely because of the above, that R-led DOJ which might be inclined to look away at some high-level R wrong doing is going to be significantly less able to do so than a D-led DOJ. So even that equivalency isn’t quite, er, equivalent. I just think it is ridiculously obvious that the D’s have a huge advantage when it come to MSM coverage of scandals (and even non-scandals) because the media is so overwhelmingly leftist.

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  14. Isn’t unrestricted free speech much rarer right internationally?

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    • McWing:

      Isn’t unrestricted free speech much rarer right internationally?

      The left would clearly like to push us in that direction, too.

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  15. I just nutted.

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  16. @mcwing: “in UK, the words “politically correct” are now a politically incorrect microagression”

    Finally! Now, we just need to get to the point where having an opinion on anything is a politically incorrect microagression.

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  17. Well, that was my shortest refractory period ever. Double nut.

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  18. @scottc1:

    I think that is conceivably true with regard to actual prosecution. That is to say, if an R controls the DOJ, he may be less inclined to pursue charges against another R than against a D.

    Or, in some cases, a colleague. Particularly, I think the higher up the ladder someone is, the less likely they are to want to pursue charges against a potentially powerful person. I always love it when people talk about pursuing Bush and Cheney for war crimes, as if such a thing might actually happen. The Obama administration is going to pursue the former Bush administration for war crimes, when those crimes would be not dissimilar to the Obama administration’s own activities? If they believe, as some apparently do, that the first priority of a HRC admin is to bring Republican politicians to “justice”, I’m afraid they have another thing coming.

    But with regard to the media, which is what I think Brent was talking about, I don’t think it is true at all. High level or influential R’s are not insulated from concentrated and sustained media campaigns against them in anything like the way that high level or influential D’s are.

    This may be true, but it is not as true as it once was, and is less about the media that the cooperation of Republican politicians and donors in accepting the DC media narrative. Or wanting to get on the right Sunday shows, or be invited to the right parties.

    Sure, FOX can usually be relied upon to attack D’s, and will be less inclined to go after R’s, but MSM campaigns require broad dissemanation to capture the public’s attention and FOX just can’t compete with the rest of the MSM on that front.

    Here, I have to disagree. Fox outperforms all the other cable networks, usually by 2 or 2.5 times, and often outperforms all the other cable networks put together.

    And Fox’s ratings are dwarfed by Rush Limbaugh (13.25 million), Sean Hannity (12.5 million), Dave Ramsey (8.25 million) and Glenn Beck and Mark Levin both at 7 million) and Similar to folks like Michael Medved, Bill Bennett, Dennis Miller, and Laura Ingraham. Rush Limbaugh’s ratings alone are larger than pretty much every liberal talk radio host put together.

    Although I would mention that Google is apparently spamming their search results with how horrible Limbaugh’s ratings are, and how the end is near for Rush Limbaugh, in every possible search for Limbaugh’s ratings (rather than providing the obvious result, as it does in so many other categories: what Limbaugh’s ratings actually are), so one might argue the liberalism of big Internet companies is becoming more relevant than the MSM in the modern era.

    Things change a little on the web. The National Review website is ranked 808 by Alexa. DailyKos is 272. But Drudge Report is ranked 135. IJReview is ranked 77. FoxNews.com is ranked 44 compared to the New York Times, which is ranked 27 and Washington Post at 47. DailyCaller is ranked 753. But then, MediaMatters is ranked 3156, and AlterNet.org is ranked 1212. Glenn Beck’s The Blaze is ranked 265, while The Huffington Post is 32. Democratic Underground is 2872, though, so it all kind of balances out.

    The point being, conservative news outlines and those with a rightwards bias are well represented in contemporary media. This was not true before the era of Rush Limbaugh and Fox News and the Internet, but it’s true now. They are part of the MSM, and the problem is not that the left controls the microphone, but that people are self-selecting to expose themselves primarily to only the content they desire, so liberals listen to liberal news and conservatives listen to conservative news (or watch, or read) and rarely shall the cross over . . . and if they do, it’s rarely to thoughtfully consider the content.

    It preaches to the choir, but the agnostics aren’t hearing it.

    I don’t think it only preaches to the choir. And agnostics interested in the full story will get exposed, on the Internet, to Drudge or National Review as well as liberal sites. When you move to the Big 3, ratings are higher than for cable news (naturally), but even so all 3 get a cumulative average of about 24 million viewers, a number less than twice the size of Limbaugh’s audience, and given that a number of conservative talkers compete with Limbaugh’s timeslot, I think it’s highly likely that conservative talk radio exceeds the reach of the Big 3. Who, while left of center, are not MSNBC or Democracy Now or the dailykos. Most of their bias is revealed in what they choose to cover and how much time they devote to it.

    And even then, they aren’t monolithic. While CBS and NBC seem friendly to Hillary, ABC has not been, and ABC is almost 8 million of those 24 million viewers. ABC has also been hostile towards Trump, but relatively friendly towards Jeb! . . . which I suspect has more to do with Disney owning ABC than anything else.

    Rush, years ago, suggested that he and others like him provided balance to the liberal news media (and noted the ratings indicated liberals and agnostics tuned into his show on a regular basis, so he wasn’t just preaching to the choir). But, he pointed out, the entertainment media is dominated by liberals, actors and comedians and musicians are 90% liberals, and it is how deeply entrenched they are in music, movies, and television entertainment that continues to give them a cultural advantage. Jon Stewart’s ratings were small comparatively . . . but larger than most shows on CNN or MSNBC. SNL gets more viewers than most shows on Fox. Avatar was the biggest film of 2009 and Cameron is liberal, and the movie was largely an environmental and “superiority of native cultures” polemic (and big corporations are evil, natch).

    When the NYT or the WaPo publish attack articles, they get picked up by the broadcast media, and become filler for smaller newspapers throughout the country.

    Those smaller newspapers are becoming increasingly irrelevant. Maybe not there yet, but they are. Also, the WSJ (the number one paper in America) and the Washington Times can also feed a few stories in.

    Multiply that out by a sustained, daily campaign and that is a lot of info working its way into the public consciousness. That just doesn’t happen with FOX produced attacks, which the rest of the leftist MSM will tend to ignore.

    Or mock. I just disagree that the MSM (news media) is the vector. Mostly, they also preach to the choir, if ratings are any sign.

    Just look at the Planned Parenthood videos to see how effective this kind of media protection can be.

    Anyone who wanted to see the videos for themselves could do so. Anyone who didn’t want to presumably had already made up their minds. It was exposed and made available in a way that never would have happened in the media landscape of 25 years ago. And it was ultimately the GOP who made it an argument about funding of PP rather than about the content of the videos (and if there was anything in them that could be prosecuted).

    And BTW, precisely because of the above, that R-led DOJ which might be inclined to look away at some high-level R wrong doing is going to be significantly less able to do so than a D-led DOJ.

    The Washington Press Corps are inescapable liberal, which is a problem in terms of the coverage of scandals—and how Republicans choose to worry about how they will be covered.

    I just think it is ridiculously obvious that the D’s have a huge advantage when it come to MSM coverage of scandals (and even non-scandals) because the media is so overwhelmingly leftist.

    Depends on the scandal (and how the Republicans choose to frame it, which is usually not with a great deal of competence, which gets into the idea that liberals regard government as a great thing, so it tends to attract their best and brightest, while conservatives don’t regard the government as an attractive career prospect, so we don’t always field the best folks) and the preponderance of liberals in the DC press corps, specifically. But things are far different now in terms of what sort of media is available—it used to be that the Big 3 and the NYT controlled the narrative completely, and no alternative voices were allowed. That is simply no longer the case, and the exposure of the conservative news reportage is fairly broad. We are much better off now than we were a quarter of a century ago.

    Entertainment media, on the other hand, is dominated by liberals and leftists, as are many Internet technology companies, and I think that is where conservatives have a difficult time making headway, and where the “education” of political agnostics is almost 100% liberal. And the message is almost always: liberalism is awesome! Enlightened people are liberal! Good people are liberal! The outcomes of liberalism are always positive, and conservatives are always wrong!

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    • KW:

      Anyone who wanted to see the videos for themselves could do so. Anyone who didn’t want to presumably had already made up their minds.

      Yes, but you ignore the huge number of people who don’t even know about them.

      It is definitely true that, media-wise, things are better for the right today than 30+ years ago. The rise of FOX, talk radio, and the internet has had a significant effect. But overall the media is still heavily weighted against it, and it matters. The NYT may not control the narrative completely, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t still have a lot of influence.

      The problem isn’t, as it once might have been, an inability of the average guy to be able to put together the “full story” if he wants to, for lack of enough outlets with a diverse enough point of view. For sure, if one wants to see the PP organ harvesting videos, they can be easily found, as can both left-leaning and right-leaning narratives of the controversy. But one must first know about their existence and have interest piqued before one would ever seek them out. How does that happen? The left-leaning media has much more power to help make that happen – or help prevent it from happening – than you seem to want to credit it.

      For people like you and me, who are engaged on a daily basis with politically oriented information providers (left or right), awareness happens easily and all the time. But most people aren’t like you and me. Most people aren’t visiting the Plum Line or NRO or Huffington Post on a daily basis, or even at all. They pick things up second hand, through buzz, through popular culture. And that is much more dependent on what the NYT is putting on its front page (along with all of the knock-on effects via the leftist-captured entertainment media) than what FOX is leading its news show with. The chances that a story becomes a STORY are far greater if the NYT puts it on the front page every day for 2 weeks while it is ignored by Bill O’Reilly than if Bill O’Reilly opens his show with it every day for 2 weeks while it remains ignored by the NYT.

      So is the media environment better for the right than 25 years ago? Sure. Has the playing field leveled out? Not by a long shot.

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  19. @Scottc1: “Yes, but you ignore the huge number of people who don’t even know about them.”

    Anyone who didn’t know about them wasn’t watching the news, because there are a million more interesting things out there. That’s another problem.

    “The NYT may not control the narrative completely, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t still have a lot of influence.”

    The influence in DC probably being the major problem.

    “How does that happen? The left-leaning media has much more power to help make that happen – or help prevent it from happening – than you seem to want to credit it.”

    I’m honestly beginning to think Facebook and Google have more power in that respect. The only reason NYT remains relevant is they help to set the narrative for folks at Facebook and Google, although they have their own biases and those make their way into the national narrative. But with Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, I think the MSM is simply increasingly less relevant, and low-information folks who do ingest a lot of television get their politics, via osmosis, more from The View and SNL and Modern Family and Family Guy than the MSM.

    And while buzz is the main vector for such people to become aware of anything remotely political, I think the MSM is less and less important for that, except perhaps as a “talking points memo” for people who are already biased, and go on to write it into their next film script.

    “Has the playing field leveled out?”

    I think the playing field has actually leveled out quite a lot, although I don’t know that it could ever be completely even. But ultimately having conservatives take over the NYT or NBC would not change much in terms of what buzz is generated and what memes are propagated, because they simply aren’t the funnel the news must go through in order to reach the masses. Which is not to say conservatism has equal access to the population, or the culture, because it doesn’t, I just don’t think the problem is the MSM at this point.

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    • KW:

      The only reason NYT remains relevant is they help to set the narrative for folks at Facebook and Google

      Yes, it does, along with many other places. Which is precisely my point.

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  20. Liberals generally go into journalism in the first place. Aside from NoVa, I can’t really think of many conservative journalists. Even the journalists that write for the WSJ and Bloomberg, journalists tend to use the liberal framing of issues.

    I’ll bet it is almost impossible to get hired for a major newspaper if you are openly conservative or libertarian.

    My favorite example of liberal bias is that fact that Matt Drudge scooped the entire media world over Monica Lewinsky. There is no way the rest of the media world didn’t know about it – they were actively suppressing the story.

    The nice thing is that people trust the media less and less any more, which helps a bit.

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    • My favorite example of liberal bias is that fact that Matt Drudge scooped the entire media world over Monica Lewinsky. There is no way the rest of the media world didn’t know about it – they were actively suppressing the story.

      There is a sex worker who just recently came forward claiming that David “Diaper” Vitter (R-Big Easy) was a client and got her pregnant. He requested that she have an abortion but she gave it up for adoption.

      WaPo today ran a fairly long story about how Vitter is trailing his Democratic opponent by nearly 20 points and blames his troubles on old sex scandals without mentioning the latest allegations at all.

      While it would be easy to claim that WaPo is covering up for a prominent conservative, it seems more likely they are just reluctant to go with a story which hitherto has not been strongly substantiated. Major news outlets are very prudish in that regard but once the dam breaks they cover it relentlessly.

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      • Is there a difference between a “sex worker” and a prostitute?

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        • Is there a difference between a “sex worker” and a prostitute?

          “Sex worker” is a broader term which could also cover porn stars, phone/video sex performers, strippers, and the like. But this woman probably fits in the escort end of the hooker/whore spectrum.

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        • yello:

          But this woman probably fits in the escort end of the hooker/whore spectrum.

          Makes this claim from the article somewhat questionable:

          … she knows he was the father because she wasn’t sleeping with anyone else at the time.

          Like

        • Makes this claim from the article somewhat questionable

          Absolutely. However at the extreme end of the escort/sugar baby end of the market, exclusivity is a marketable option. And this is where the term “prostitute” starts to overlap with “kept mistress”. It’s where the payment plan changes from ala carte to retainer.

          Like

  21. @brentnyitray: “My favorite example of liberal bias is that fact that Matt Drudge scooped the entire media world over Monica Lewinsky.”

    Which was a good an example of the sea change as I can point to. In the previous system, the story never would have come out. Ever. Period. Ultimately, everybody had to cover it to some extent, and the entire world knew. And the results were predictable: most liberals were fine with it and thought the conservatives were out of their mind, and most conservatives objected, for some reason, to the married president having sex with barely legal interns in the Oval Office and then lying about it.

    I don’t know why the MSM suppressed the story. Everybody knows it’s fine when Democrats do it, and is only bad when Republicans do it, because it makes them hypocritical and gives the lie to their “family values” bs, so it’s *horrible* when a Republican politician has an affair. But fine when a Democrat does it, because they don’t value fidelity or commitment or not-having-sex-with-interns-while-at-work so it’s all just a private matter.

    Liberals go into journalism because who the hell else wants to be a journalist? Even so, most of them are crusaders more than reporters, and that’s a whole ‘nuther issue. My feeling is the liberal media matters much less than it used to. According to Gallup, trust in the media returned to its all time low in 2014:

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/176042/trust-mass-media-returns-time-low.aspx

    Although, frankly, it’s still way higher than it ought to be. But ultimately I feel like the left really holds the advantage now and even more so in the future by how dominant they are in the entertainment industry, amongst popular entertainers, and in Internet companies like Google and Facebook and Twitter (and straight out super-popular technology companies like Apple). I just don’t think they have a serious monopoly on the news any more (and at many levels they know it) and cater mostly to audiences whose biases they agree with. They may set the topics of conversation in DC, but in general I think memes on Facebook and Twitter are doing that more and more, and the power of those rests with savvy social media activists . . . and the people that populate those companies and make the decisions. Most of whom are liberal.

    Like

  22. Yes, if they’re servicing Republicans they’re poor, abused sex workers.

    If they’re servicing Democrats they’re dirty whores. See “Bimbo Eruptions” and “Drag a ten dollar bill through a trailer park”.

    Like

  23. @mcwing: “Yes, if they’re servicing Republicans they’re poor, abused sex workers.”

    Media bias!

    As George Orwell said: “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”

    Both Vitter and Carville are from Lousianna? Coincidence? I think not!

    Like

  24. @yellojkt: “While it would be easy to claim that WaPo is covering up for a prominent conservative, it seems more likely they are just reluctant to go with a story which hitherto has not been strongly substantiated. Major news outlets are very prudish in that regard but once the dam breaks they cover it relentlessly.”

    They are waiting for there to be more there there. Whether you are a biased news organ or not, it makes sense to have data on the actual facts. In the case of Lewinski, I think the story was probably pretty solid, but I’m sure there were numerous factors that were part of the decision to sit on the story, not the least of which is a long tradition of not running stories about president’s and their mistresses.

    However, even if WaPo was highly biased in favor of Democrats or Republicans, it doesn’t make much sense to hammer a story where the facts may come back and bite you in the rear (something more likely to happen with sex workers, for obvious reasons) so in either case I would expect them to keep their powder dry (there are other “news” outlets that traffic only in innuendo and gossip . . . thus, how we know that Hillary only has six months to live!

    Like

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