The Problem with Round Tables

Most television news/opinion shows include a “round-table” segment. And usually, seated ’round the table, are journalists. The problem? Journalists’ opinions are only as good as their sources, generally speaking.

Frequently, the table is beset with journalists who have merely read the democrat/special interest talking points, or at best, asked questions of the press liaison to clarify those talking points.

Today’s example is Michelle (MEE-shell) Norris of NPR on Meet the Press. Ms. Norris fluently explained that undeserving homeowners (speculators, bad credit, etc, [Obama Adm. Off’s]) needed to be given taxpayer money because “if your neighbor’s house is foreclosed upon the value of your house will go down”.

In the words of former Vice President Cheney: So?

Did Ms. Norris bother to ask the so? question? Typically the answer is something along the lines of that it will affect your proceeds from a sale or your ability to refinance.

Again, so?

The proper question would be to ask what is the magnitude of the impact of some people not being able to refinance or having reduced sale proceeds? What sort of impact is there? And keep following up as the answers get vaguer and vaguer. As a percentage of households the sale/refinance set is very small. The subset of that group that has to sell or refinance is smaller still.

The Meet the Press round-table was so uniformly uninformed, that not member could contemplate “doing nothing” when it came  to the housing market.

The only options ’round the table seemed to be how much to support the President.

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