While I’m making friends at our local journalistic counterparts, I thought I’d share a recent hilarious news item from the San Diego Daily Transcript called Forum to explore real estate market.

If you lack the required subscription, the first two paragraphs summarize the article well enough:

George Chamberlin, executive editor of The Daily Transcript, will moderate a session on the economics of the current housing market at 9 a.m., Saturday, Feb. 24 at the Del Sur Ranch House.

The “Why Buy 2007” roundtable discussion will also feature analysts Russ Valone and Al Nevin of MarketPointe Realty Advisors.

A number of questions spring to mind.

  • Can it really be considered a “roundtable discussion” (a “panel discussion,” as on the Del Sur website, or a “forum” as from the article title) when there are only two participants, both from the same real estate consulting firm, who appear, from their frequent media appearances, to have identically bullish opinions on the housing market?
  • Similarly, do they really need a moderator for such a panel? Is it required that he also be a strident housing bull?
  • Does anyone attend this panel, which is paid for by a homebuilder, consists of what may be San Diego’s three highest-profile housing optimists, and is called “Why Buy 2007,” and expect to hear anything other than how much of an idiot they’d be not to buy a home? Is this actually helpful to anyone?
  • Finally, if Chamberlin wants to spend his weekends hosting sham panels for local homebuilders, I suppose that’s his business — but do the folks at the Transcript truly consider this a legitimately newsworthy event?

— RICH TOSCANO

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