Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Shoot, Shoot, Shoot That Messenger

In case you haven't noticed, offense is the new defense. Whenever someone can't defend themselves against the facts of the message, they resort to ad hominem attacks and beat up the messenger. Case in point: James J. Cramer, a columnist with He blames all the bubble talk on underpaid journalists in his recent column headlined "Fed Up With Housing Misinformation."
We are at a really and truly bizarre moment where the papers and the television shows are all filled with how buying a condo's now worse than buying eToys common on that secondary in 2000.

We are convincing ourselves -- typically through journalists who couldn't afford or didn't buy homes -- that owning an apartment's dumber than paying $30 for Webvan and owning a beach house is like buying the Viant $100 secondary.
Why don't I believe that Mr. Cramer knows the homeowner status of all the journalists who have reported on the housing bubble lately? Besides that, what difference does it make? To say that one must have purchased a home to accurately report the housing market is ludicrous. It's the same as saying only politicians can understand politics. I'm sure objective coverage of government would abound if that were a requirement. Mr. Cramer offers a specious argument to those who want to deny reality. He picks and chooses which reports and studies to acknowledge, which people on both sides of the issue certainly have done before. But, far worse than that, he actully dares stoop so low as to attack Greenspan's wife:

If the Fed is paying attention only to the journalists who write about the bubble -- good chance of that by the way, and don't forget Alan Greenspan's married to one for heaven's sake -- then we are still in for pain and you should lighten up on this rally.
Whoa! What is this, Swiftboat Veterans for Real Estate?

I'm no fan of Greenspan, but c'mon. I'll post the link to Mr. Cramer's column, but really, does anyone have time for such uneducated assaults on our intelligence? I just want to thank him for writing for an online publication so that no trees had to be killed to publish such nonsense. Now someone will be able to put those trees to some other useful purpose, like building a house.

And by the way, Mr Cramer, technically, practically and by most any thinking person's definition, you're a journalist.
"columnist n : a journalist who writes editorials (syn: editorialist)"

Find the entire Cramer column at this link.

— The Boy in the Big Housing Bubble