Inflation works in news reporting too

In the past couple of months Democrat Bill White has been uncovered as having netted over a million dollars from a company that he consistently told the press he didn’t make any significant money from – it must be nice to consider a million dollar-plus net profit to be insignificant.

We’ve also learned that while Houston’s mayor, White steered contracts to another company that he then profited from. There are other items too, plus the fact that he is still hiding his tax returns covering the time he worked in the ever-so-ethical Clinton White House.

Since the state press has rightfully covered these questionable happenings, they seem to feel obligated to run stories designed to make Governor Perry appear to be the same type of shady-deal investor. Perry’s never been a well-off money guy in any sense and so, all they’ve got is an empty home lot that he bought from a friend and later sold at a profit – very modest profit when compared to Bill White-sized numbers.

Is the old story newsworthy? Yes. But, it is way overboard to write paragraph after paragraph of nothing but circumstantial speculation, as did the Dallas Morning News, in an attempt to make the one sale of a small lakeside house lot by Perry, appear to be a Bill White-style financial scandal. (Note to the DMN: There is nothing that requires a buyer or a seller to value their private property at the rate set by some appraiser. If that were required, I’d have missed several very good deals on used cars!)

Filling a story with reliable liberals giving negative opinions about an elected Republican’s life is not reporting it’s trying to build a very small, clean, and open transaction into something that looks ominous. Or, put to put it a different way, making a short story into a multi-pager by adding nothing but speculative opinion from second and third-hand sources shows that a writer is attempting to make more of a story than what actually exists.

Robert Pratt is host of the top-rated Pratt on Texas radio program which can be heard at www.PrattonTexas.com

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