Sunday, May 17, 2009


This post was submitted by our regular commentator ...."Carioca Canuck". Guest articles are welcome and can be submitted to

This article reflects "my personal views and opinions" and expressed under the charter and its posting here is not a defacto endorsement by the blog owner nor GOOGLE.

Just what is news anyways ?

The collapse of a government, the egregious murder of a citizen by a criminal, the theft of money from a restaurant, the opening of a new neighbourhood business or a school, a proposed increase in civic taxes, transit parking being converted from free for the day to $3.00 a day....etc.....this is what is commonly referred to as news. Hard news. The Calgary Herald, and the other "newspaper" minions of Canwest Corp, in addition to the Canwest GLOBAL TV stations call themselves a news organization, but today, as they have many times in the past, they have crossed the line once again. Using the term "news organization" when describing this company should be taken with a grain of salt, no wait, you're probably going to need a dump truck full when you are done reading.

All over this continent the print media is losing revenue dramatically, companies are collapsing outright, employees are being laid off in record numbers, assets are being sold to fund operations, and that staple core of the print media's revenue, the advertiser, has run for the hills with their wallets firmly in hand, wherein they have found that the greater consumer reach and lower cost of the internet to be to their greater benefit.

So where does this leave The Calgary Herald, other newspapers, it's TV stations and their owners Canwest Corp ? With a .30 cent share price, you guessed many other "news organizations" they are on their death bed in the opinion of some analysts, potentially facing bankruptcy and struggling for revenues. So what is a "news organization" with the power to spread whatever message they wish, as no one controls what they say or print, to do in these tough times whilst trying to stay afloat ? Grow revenues of course !! When I was young, I tried to make a deal with the devil. I said "Satan give me $1MM and a Lamborghini and you can have my soul when I die"........well, I never got the money or the car, so IMHO on that day, the devil did not exist. But today I am of the opinion that there is a devil....and it is the "Real Estate Industrial Complex" or REIC. The REIC is comprised of the media, home builders, real estate sales organizations, lending institutions and the government. So, is Canwest making a deal with this devil, or have they already done so ? Let's see shall we........

In the weekend edition of the Calgary Herald, you will see an abnormally high page count of advertisers from the REIC. The Herald's usual Saturday and Sunday editions which on some days are comprised of 120 + pages have had between 40-50 full pages of RE specific advertising over the last two years. In fact I have commented on this point some 5 + times here on this blog over the same period. Now what is wrong with that you say ? Well, nothing quite frankly, newspapers have to sell advertising to stay in business in order to print the "news". But the wheels at the Calgary Herald have fallen off the wagon some time ago.

Kathy McCormick is one of the real estate writers for the newspaper. I am not going to criticize her personally for the content of her articles, for if she didn't do what she was told to do, she'd probably be pouring coffee for Timmies. Here is her latest scribe, entitled "Dream Within Reach" in which she waxes eloquently about how record low rates, dropping housing prices, etc, etc, you know the story, make it a perfect time for first time buyers to pull the pin and figuratively blow themselves up financially down the road. Read the article closely, and you'll note that the Calgary Herald is going to do a 6 WEEK series on this phenomena !!!! Geesh......I wonder how much that cost the REIC ? Did any of you who read it see the disclaimer "ADVERTISING FEATURE" posted prominently anywhere in the text or heading of this "news" article as well ? Didn't think so. They won't even let us leave comments as that feature has been disabled for this article......ROTFLMAO !!!!

And then you have the eternal "permabull" Calgary Herald writer Marty Hope. He also can't be faulted for what his pen, or keyboard puts forth now can he ? After all, delivering the Herald as an unemployed writer would be most humbling. In the same edition, he gets his turn to glibly inform us of the power of that mysterious naive and clueless milquetoast......the first time home buyer. He appeals to them mercilessly, as they are the only group that can save the REIC from total and utter collapse. Again though, you see no "ADVERTISING FEATURE", nor comments section, indicating that this hyperbole must be the gospel truth and is not to be decried by those pesky basement dwelling renters.

Now Derek Sanker from the corporate parent CANWEST "news" service has his turn at bat in the same edition as well. "Paul Anderson and his wife Sue felt like they could only dream of home ownership. Much to their surprise, and after some negotiating, the couple was approved. "I looked at my wife with a tear in my eye and realized I might get a house," says Paul, 42." Please excuse me while I get a towel.......not for the tears, for the puke on my keyboard. Absolutely positively none of these articles are "news" or even "news worthy" in the clearcut journalistic sense of the word......none of them have "ADVERTISING FEATURE" posted cleary, nor a comments section. And here's why........

Mario Toneguzzi ("toneguzzi" is Italian for pile of gibberish) recently posted another "news" article for the Herald about how buyers are coming back into the market and raving about how sales have gone up over last month. Doouuh !! Look at the historical patterns and you'll see that happens every year at this time. Yet in this "news" article they left the comment feature on, and that is where you'll find the most accurate and digestible information about the state of Calgary's real estate decline. But it pisses off the REIC when they do that.......bloody basement dwelling renters again with their opinions.....heh.

So what do you, Bubble Bloggers, have to say about the Calgary Herald and the Canwest GLOBAL news organization ? Are they in bed with the REIC ? At $10,000 + per full page of Calgary Herald advertising is the REIC the only thing keeping them afloat ? While you are formulating your comments which I eagerly await, I will remind you of one thing beforehand. RE/MAX is the sole sponsor of the Canwest/GLOBAL TV evening "news"............
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