Home Store In Memoriam Deborah Newsletter Forum Topics Blogfeed Blogroll Facebook MySpace Contact Us About

Fox Shaves 30 Years Off of a Bad Housing Sales Number

Reported by Melanie - January 28, 2008 -

The Commerce Department announced today (January 28, 2008) that new-home sales,

[U]nexpectedly fell to a 12-year low in December, ending the worst sales year since records began in 1963 and signaling little prospect for a recovery,

but, natch, Fox seriously downplayed that extremely bad news.

Neil Cavuto opened his show with a Fox News Alert (FNA) about an industrial accident in San Francisco and a FNA about mudslides in Southern California and a FNA about an "all clear" being declared at the White House after some sort of incident across the street at Lafayette Park. He went to Carl Cameron for a report from Florida and aired a segment about McCain and Romney before Mr. Fox Business News got around to what happened on Wall Street.

Reporter Cheryl Casone tucked news of the housing numbers into a general report about today's activity, saying nothing more than, "We got some new home sales numbers this morning that weren't that good..."

Immediately after Casone's report, Cavuto introduced Ed Gillaspie with, "So, if the economy's doing so well, why the heck stimulate it?"

Gillaspie muttered something about anticipating "slowed growth" and having "concerns about the adjustment that's going on in the housing market" and about how housing prices "go up, prices go down."

It wasn't until a "news" break (it kills me that Fox inserts "news" breaks into its "news" shows) that there was any semblance of actual "news" about the numbers:

Painful new numbers for the real estate industry today. The Commerce Department reports that sales of new homes fell more than 26% last year. That makes it the worst housing year on record since 1991.

Comment: Since 1991? Where does Fox get that number? There are articles out there that say things like, "the biggest decline on record, surpassing the old mark of a 23.1 percent plunge in 1980," but that speaks to the size of the decline not to the actual sales number, and it doesn't say when records began, i.e, in 1963. But hey, if you're a "news" outlet and you can shave nearly 30 years off of a statistic and get away with it, why not, huh?