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Freedom of the Press?


Controlling the Message

A poll reported on FOX News yesterday told America that over 60% of us are paying very close attention to the economy and the financial mess on Wall Street- this would be a great thing if the pundits on the issues actually had a clue what was going on.

Irresponsible Rhetoric

I’ve heard on a daily basis that you cannot get a home loan, and each day I’ve reached out to local lenders and asked if anything has changed. Over and over again, I am told that money is flowing fine, and not to listen to the news. Well, that’s great, but 65% of the country is listening to the news, and if it’s wrong, then over 65% of Americans will more than likely believe what they’re hearing.

Who’s in Charge?

I’ve heard over and over again after 9/11 when George Bush called on Americans to go shopping, to spend money, that the country did exactly that. I have to wonder, if the opposite is being said to 65% of Americans today- don’t bother, our economy is dead. Who’s in charge around here? The media? Who determines the course of America’s future- the press? After all, all we heard all weekend was to not to invest in the market, and it surprises me that folks were surprised when a massive sell off occured after the opening bell Monday morning.

Apparently They Control the Message

This isn’t an attack on the free press, but it is an attack on the pulpit they’re being given in a so called crisis. If you give the press enough room they’ll hang us all if no one steps up and leads on the issue. Someone needs to step up, someone needs to set the correct message, someone needs to set records straight, otherwise, the solutions being formulated will only be met in the end with a larger challenge- a paralyzed market.

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Recession/Depression is the New Reality

It must be true, because I heard it on FOX, CNN, MSNBC, CBS, ABC, NBC, and on the radio. Why must it be true? Because no one is leading on this issue but the press and they’re leading with a Headline that says “DOOM!”

The credit crunch is real, the ability for businesses to get credit is a huge reality, but I’m not sure that scaring Americans into mattress stuffing is an answer that will help small, medium, nor large employers.

So I’ll Do My Part

Yes, you can get a home loan, yes, you can buy a house, and yes, you can save a ton of money when you buy one, and no, the quick flip is not a great idea, but the long term investment of home ownership is.

Help your local small businesses by doing some shopping, call your stock trader and see if there are any choice bargains and pick up a few shares, take your family out to eat, trade in that gas guzzler for something a little more efficient. I don’t care what you do, so long as you don’t allow your fears to overtake you.

I realize that what I am saying is not a gut wrenching analysis of the economy and financial problems in the market, but rather, a snapshot of a country that is gripped with fear that is being fed between each commercial break- by what we call “the free press.”

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Benn Rosales is the Founder and CEO of The American Genius (AG), national news network. Before AG, he founded one of the first digital media strategy firms in the nation has received the Statesman Texas Social Media Award and is an Inman Innovator Award winner. He has consulted for numerous startups (both early- and late-stage), and is well known for organizing the digital community through popular offline events. He does not venture into the spotlight often, rather he believes his biggest accomplishments are the talent he recruits and develops, so he gives all credit to those he's empowered.

6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Steve Simon

    October 7, 2008 at 11:00 am

    Understand the reason Mr. Benn;
    The press on a National basis is liberal to conservative over three to one.
    They, the left wing portion of this body knows that the crisis hurts the chances of the party of the President and helps the party which is challenging them.
    There has been almost non-stop blame for the already beaten to a pulp “GW”. It is absurd to blame this individual for this situation.
    I have written quite a bit on this over the last few years:
    The CRA,
    R. Rubin’s rules re-write in 1995,
    the 2.5% reserve for FNMA & FHLMC instead of 10%, diversity numbers, etc.etc.
    As you said private money would have picked through this enormous pile looking for bargains like a herd of shoppers at the “closeout” rack, had the Government not acted in the grandstand manner in which it did.
    The lobby efforts of the secondary players was huge and it worked…
    I would guess this propells the Big “O” to the Oval office; which was the goal of the media from the git go.
    Just my thoughts.
    PS Ironic though, the crisis and the bailout, the very factors that gets him in may make this one of the toughest four year sessions in that chair, ever… be careful what you wish for:)

  2. Missy Caulk

    October 7, 2008 at 11:50 am

    Benn, wow, this was powerful and I so agree. Thanks goodness, I don’t sit in front of my TV everyday and become a part of my psyche. I heard someone say today on a blog the banks should be nationalized. God help us if this happens.

    Steve, I am with you on you analysis.

  3. Matt Stigliano

    October 7, 2008 at 1:33 pm

    Benn – Loved this! I’m tired. Tired of being made to believe the world in crashing in around me. Sure, things aren’t as great as they could be. I’m not saying that by any means. Of course, I’m also tired of hearing agents and brokers in my area insist there’s NOTHING wrong. No matter which side of the story you’re on (“the sky is falling” or “everything is just fine”), I don’t care…just stop feeding me crap (you referring to the world, not YOU as in Benn). I’m tired of spin. I’m tired of statistics that are pulled to justify ones position, but don’t paint the whole picture – just the rosy (or gloomy) part you want painted.

    I’m bored. I’m tired. And I’m happy…happy that someone like Benn can say this without making me feel like I’m being told what he’s been trained to tell me by someone else.

    If we could all speak this frankly to our clients everyday (not just when the world seems to going down in flames – according to the TV) I think agents just might finally remove some of the negative stigma that has been associated with them by people who feel we’re overpaid, sneaky, used car-salesman. This kind of honest talk, without sounding like you’re “above someone” is what the world needs. Thank you Benn…for giving me the feeling I have after reading this and also for making me know that I am on the right path.

  4. Mark Eibner

    October 7, 2008 at 5:17 pm

    we’re at it again Freedom of the Press?: Welcome to get our of your feedreader weekend!.. https://tinyurl.com/4s3ass

  5. Lisa Sanderson

    October 7, 2008 at 4:57 pm

    Well said, Benn. And ditto what Matt said. I just want some spin-free information and I am sure everyone else does too.

  6. Mark Eckenrode

    October 7, 2008 at 5:21 pm

    from an objective standpoint, this is all following a great marketing process. unfortunately, it’s persuasion and influence in the hands of some bad people who are simply using the mass media as their communication channels.i wish it was just as simple as “damned media” but it ain’t.

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