I’ve grown to really dislike the Business Insider. I consult it regularly because for every two bad articles they provide a good one. They provide excellent access to people like Peter Schiff, John Mauldin, Marc Faber and Gonzalo Lira. But the tendency is for them to be liberal in orientation; so the editors themselves, while begrudgingly recognizing certain fundamental laws of economics, nevertheless are quite often shills for the Obama administration, the Democrat party, and Keynesian style economics.
But today a flicker picture appeared in their article on poverty in America and the increasing gap between rich and poor. Gus Lubin writes: ”
While politicians gloat about our “recovery,” our poor are getting poorer, our average wages are still falling behind inflation, and social mobility is at an all-time low.
Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/facts-about-inequality-in-america-2011-11##ixzz16WCVJ23N
Now I wasn’t very interested in the charts and statistics that Gus Lubin wished to present. I was interested in the photo of the desperate man with the sign saying “Homeless Please Help!” and the background behind the man. The scene was familiar. If I’d seen it once, I’d seen it a million times: Mt. Wolverine and the Chugach Mountain range which forms the backdrop of my home town Anchorage, Alaska. I lived twenty years on the foothills of those peaks. I went to Flicker which was linked to by Business Insider as the source of the photo. The photo is from 2005 and is presumably of a native Alaskan.
Now this is just bad and unethical journalism. The story of this photograph is not remotely related to the widening gap between rich and poor in America in 2010. Sorry. Other narratives are more suitable: Perhaps the man was a stranded Inupiat, Yupik or Athabaskan man, far from his village home–maybe he had a problem with alcoholism. Who knows the story behind this photo? It looks really sad. But what does it have to do with the Business Insider article? This man was standing at this Anchorage street corner five and half years ago, over two years before the recession even started.
P.W. – I’m also finding out more and more that this type of shoddy research and bad reporting are par for the course with the major media. Good catch.