Lügenpresse

And judgment is turned away backward, and justice stands afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter. Yes, truth fails; and he that departs from evil makes himself a prey.

– Isaiah 59:14–5

Intellectual mendacity in academia and journalism has long been a personal bugaboo, well before The Age of Trump. Indeed, the Donald is the full culmination and epitome of the lies and sophistries which an American lügenpresse has long been precursor. Trump could truthfully declare, in the immortal words of another oddly groomed celebrity of Gotham, “You idiot! You made me!

Yet another example of intellectual mendacity, or at least of deceit, emerges from Bloomberg News in regard to the recent reversal of fortune of house prices in Toronto. According to Erik Hertzberg, who seems to be go-to-guy for all things Canadian for that media empire, “Even amid the sales decline in May, Toronto benchmark prices were up 1.2 percent last month.

Where does Hertzberg of Bloomberg News derive this statistic when the primary source of housing information for the Greater Toronto Area declares an across the board 6.2% precipitous monthly decline on an average basis, and a 6.6% decline on a median basis?

Month

Average Price

Average Price

Median Price

 

TREB

CREA

TREB

February 2017

875,983

727,300

715,000

March 2017

916,567

772,500

765,000

April 2017

920,971

811,300

760,000

May 2017

863,910

821,400

710,000

It appears that Hertzberg of Bloomberg News acquired his statistics from a different source just as the market has reversed or whenever it befits his agenda. For in some prior reports of GTA house prices, his stats are taken from the TREB reports as in the  average price of 920,971 for April, a 0.5% increase from March. But for March and May, Hertzberg swaps over to information provided by the Canadian Real Estate Association. (Home price increases in March were reported as 4.6% by the TREB, and 6.2 by the CREA.) If any consistency can be detected whatsoever in his method of reporting, it is in putting forth a best face on any given situation; a hallmark more of the corporate shills on CNBC than that of a genuine journalist who serves the good of his audience.

In the end, these dual sources for Toronto prices will roughly correspond. However, the deliberated inconsistency in the immediate, (even if the reporter technically covers his behind by citing the source), serves to demonstrate what manner of man Hertzberg is, and adds to the general discredit of his profession. This becomes particularly pertinent when Hertzberg’s Bloomberg article is published by Toronto’s National Post before a local audience who largely know of the recent frenzy and tumult in the housing market.

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