Saturday, April 26, 2008

AlJazeera in the Burgh?

I'm not trying to be bombastic, that headline is literally true. Not quite sure what to say on this... but the English version of Aljazeera has a video feature about the Pittsburgh economy on its YouTube channel. It's curious at the very least, and certainly provides no context. It does paint the economic miasma picture for sure. I can't fault the source any more than I question this PBT headline yesterday which can be misconstrued: Record number of foreclosures in Pittsburgh region in first quarter which I swear they already ran. It has a bit of context with past numbers, but its core fact is that there were 1,187 foreclosures in the entire Pittsburgh region in the first quarter of 2008. Actually if you read the AP version it does not say this is a 'record' number of foreclosures, but actually the 'second highest since 2000' which is a far far more equivocal statement. Most regions of the country are experiencing all time record foreclosures each and every month these days. The stories here all focus on the fact that foreclosures this quarter are 'up 7%' which I am sure is correct. Yet, the previous month the factoid was that Pittsburgh region foreclosures were actually down an unheard of 30%. That must have been some 'record' for sure, yet was barely mentioned in the media.

But that is 1,187 personal tragedies for sure. How many in Cleveland, a region of similar size? According to this source, there were not one but 50 THOUSAND foreclosures in the Cleveland 2007. How bad is it in Cleveland? Even Habitat for Humanity is foreclosing on owners.


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