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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Monday, February 27, 2017

Morning Call Report About Allentown Is "Fake News"

Recently, The Morning Call published a story claiming that Allentown ranks #79 of the 100 best places to live. It would probably be more accurate to say that The Morning Call regurgitated a story from U.S. News and World Report. While Allentown may in fact be a very nice place to live,  this is honest-to-goodness "fake news."

Here's why. The Morning Call story is about Allentown the City, yet the U. S. News and World Report ranking is based on statistics for what is known as the Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) or "metro area," not the city. All of the statistics - population, crime, education, income, etc. - are MSA based. It's a neat little trick to use positive statistics for the entire region, which happens to include Bethlehem, Easton and four counties, one in New Jersey as well as Carbon County. The Morning Call story perpetuates a myth to make Allentown more attractive to investors. Its first obligation should be to the truth, not real estate sales.

Are there six colleges and universities in Allentown? Where? 207 schools in Allentown? Where? This is shoddy reporting. Billy Givens, the original bottom-feeding blogger, liked to call Allentown's newspaper The Morning Call Girl. This story certainly demonstrates that Billy had a legitimate criticism.

36 comments:

Doc Rock said...

Like CNN, The MC's job is to tell us what to think!

Anonymous said...

Morning Call is taking lessons from Trump University

Anonymous said...

Shoddy reporting? Or is this the detailed account you get in a four-paragraph blurb?
The Call's blurb actually stated, but in a manner not well designed for reader comprehension, that the stats were MSA-driven: "Out of large Pennsylvania metro areas, Allentown came in behind Harrisburg (No. 34), Lancaster (No. 41), Pittsburgh (No. 58), and Philadelphia (No. 77), but was ranked ahead of Scranton (No. 86)."
Yes, it is shoddy writing and editing (is there any other type of metro area but a "large" one?). All they needed to do was insert a phrase explaining that "Allentown" encompassed the entire Lehigh Valley market for purposes of the survey. You got a point: But the Call is regularly guilty of poor editing, not so much spreading fake news.

Anonymous said...

The "poor editing" started with U.S. News and World Report. The local "reporter" and "expert" who drafted the Allentown description only chose to speak to the city and disregarded the rest of the MSA. She extolled the virtues of the "Allentown" Renaissance and spoke about the beautiful architecture in downtown Allentown, as if no other development had taken place anywhere else in the MSA or that the region had no other remarkable architecture and history to speak of. It was misleading at best and shameless boosterism at worst. I believe Mr. O'Hare's use of the term "fake news" was meant to add a little humor to his criticism of the Morning Call for their, at times, shoddy reporting and even, more frequently, shoddier editing.

Anonymous said...

There are lies, damned lies and statistics.

Anonymous said...

The cheerleaders of the NIZ are doing everything they can to promote Allentown and fill the apartments in the Strata complex.

... follow the money. Deep Throat, 1973

Anonymous said...

Wfmz got it wrong, too. They did the same thing - reported like it was on Allentown on the list, and not the LV and beyond.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like J.B. and the Boys cheerleader, [the Morning-Call], are trying to drum up renters. Take a leisurely stroll two-blocks off of Hamilton Street and you'll find yourself in a virtual paradise. Just like their joke of a Mayor, the writers, editors and publishers of this hoax of an article, should come down to earth for a reality check.

Bernie O'Hare said...

" All they needed to do was insert a phrase explaining that "Allentown" encompassed the entire Lehigh Valley market for purposes of the survey. You got a point: But the Call is regularly guilty of poor editing, not so much spreading fake news."

Point taken. WFMZ had a similar story,but made clear the report is really about the entire LV, not just Allentown. Even the LVEDC made that clear in its own synopsis.

Bernie O'Hare said...

7:42, I am blaming the Morning Call and the Morning Call only.It is their job to tell the truth. A truthful account would have in no way denigrated Allentown, but would have helped it.

Anonymous said...

The Morning Call is a complete joke. They should consider printing it on double-ply paper to increase sales.

Anonymous said...

@6:47am

I don't know how long you've lived in the area but for years and years and years WFMZ got their stories from TMC. It was almost laughable at times. Unfortunately these days it seems that TMC gets scooped multiple times daily by Lehigh Valley Live. I don't know why people give WFMZ a pass because they are a joke how amateurish they are.

Bernie O'Hare said...

9:00, I completely disagree.I think WFMZ is now a very solid news source.The web reporting alone makes it better than either of the papers. Its local scoreboard is also faster to get the results of a game than either paper.I would rate WFMZ as the top news source in the LV. The Morning Call is still trying to make a game of it and provides some coverage. The Express Times has become a bad joke. It still does a decent job of covering sports, which is something of a miracle considering its limited staff. But that is it.

john detzi said...

Boy, I guess Trump was right about
fake news

Monkey Momma said...

Here's the Allentown write-up in USN&WR:

http://realestate.usnews.com/places/pennsylvania/allentown

It was apparently written by a Cedar Crest College Non-Fictional Writing teacher. Looks like she's starting to dabble in some fiction, though. Some of her prose on Allentown (and it is Allentown specific, not MSA, as 4:47 indicates) reads like something out of a Pawlowski wet dream!

"Homes around West Park ooze Colonial Revival and Queen Anne charm. "
"Business is booming in the Hamilton Street Business District, home of the PPL Center, where the Philadelphia Flyer's hockey farm team, the Phantoms, play."
" Allentown's convenient location, commitment to healthy living and celebration of the arts make it a great place for active folks to settle down."

I mean...can you imagine reading all this and then visiting downtown Allentown???? This list of best places to live makes me wonder how much cash exchanged hands between cities or MSAs and US News.

Bernie O'Hare said...

To some extent he is correct in his assessment of a mainstream media that sacrifices honesty for proximity to power. But where he goes wrong is when he labels critical commentary or factual reporting as fake.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Monkey Momma, To be clear, I am not bashing Allentown and I know you aren't either. Much of Allentown is quite beautiful. But the report is flawed.

Anonymous said...

@9:10 BOH

Respectfully disagree 100% about WFMZ (channel 69 as opposed to website) as I find them lacking. If they would just stick to the Lehigh Valley and not worry about Berks County I might think differently. I learn nothing from them! I want to like the Morning Call, I really do, but can't anymore. Too many 'top 10's, polls and '5 things you need to know today'. I think the Lehigh Valley Live (Express Times) is the best for local coverage.....besides here of course.

Anonymous said...

Just another indication that the whole deal is one big scam and the Morning Call is part of it.

Anonymous said...

The problem with "widely accepted" media is the elitism of having reporters who hold a degree in journalism. A journalism degree isn't so much a benchmark but a restraint. Far too many of our journalists seek to "change the world" versus just report what is happening.

Do biases exist? Of course. But having folks who have low impact college degrees claiming an elevated status is absurd. Report the true facts and we'll decide what to make of the facts. Picking winners is an eletist endeavor earned by no one.

It's been a long time coming but Bernie has emerged as a dominant information force for the Lehigh Valley. Hopefully he has a succession plan for when he decides to stop informing.

Anonymous said...

Monkey Momma,
The Cedar Crest College instructor who wrote the piece on the
City of Allentown and not the Allentown MSA, for U.S. News and World Report, doesn't live in the City of Allentown. According to her Linkedin profile, she lives in Bethlehem. I guess Allentown didn't "ooze enough Colonial charm for her." We know Bethlehem does and Easton, too.

Anonymous said...

Completely agree that Lehigh Valley is an increasingly great place to live. Mis-representing the article to say Allentown is the subject was pathetic journalism by MC and WFMZ and local people figured it out instantly. What about Allentown's failing public school, system, 2% EIT!!! (double what they pay outside the City), crime, drugs, higher insurance deductables, corrupt government etc. Anything worth enjoying in Allentown can be enjoyed by non-residents absolutely free. Agree downtown is improving, but I'd love to see some real sustainable efforts to make Allentown better including abandoning ASD to integrate into suburban districts, non-resident user fees for Trexler Park, Rose Garden etc., establishment of a per unit apartment impact fee and of course election reform to allow district voting or elimination of party identification in City elections to give all residents a chance not just those with a (D) next to their names.

JoshLCowen said...

Without the job opportunities 'outside' of the City of Allentown there would really be difficult times in the city. To credit the city without noting the hundreds of its citizens boarding Lanta buses each morning across the street from the Morning Call is a disgrace to journalism....if that's possible.

Anonymous said...

"folks who have low impact college degrees"

Reverse elitism? I have no education and proud I=of it. We are all doomed!
Welcome to Trump's America

Anonymous said...

All news is fake in that someone owns it with a narrative to push.

Free press is an idea, a nice idea, but we made it up like Mother Goose. It does not exist.

Just like all governments are fake corporate illusions enforced at the point of a gun or a hidden dagger.

Anonymous said...

It's all oh so SoDoSoPa

Hank_Hill

Anonymous said...

Bernie,
Long winded, all three are one in the same, Advertizementalists part of the soul sale sectors subdivizional divisionsts at best. I personally love the downtown fishbowl effex of the little cesspool.
You on the other hand are topnotch, winning top reporter for years!

Anonymous said...

Some of the brightest and most productive people that I know didn't finish college. Lacking a college degree doesn't make one uneducated. Holding a low impact degree and engaging in misinformation to further a desire to change the world is the definition of uneducated.

Anonymous said...

"Holding a low impact degree and engaging in misinformation to further a desire to change the world is the definition of uneducated"

Once again a nonsensical statement to uphold an opinion that does not have a factual basis. Amazing.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Actually, I would consider a degree in journalism to be low-level, compared to other fields of study. And the article identifying Allentown as a great place to live, based on data about the entire Lehigh Valley,is classic misinformation.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"It's been a long time coming but Bernie has emerged as a dominant information force for the Lehigh Valley. Hopefully he has a succession plan for when he decides to stop informing."

That's really sad. I would like to stop or cut down on blogging and start working on a novel before I die, but it seems something keeps cropping up. And there really is no succession plan.About two years ago, I met a recently retired lawyer who said she wanted to start blogging, and could do it here. She could cover some topics much better than I, and would be able to attend meetings. She was going to contact me after her vacation, but likely had second thoughts.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Now, now anon 1:22, remember Thomas Jefferson?

"An educated citizenry is a vital requisite for our survival as a free people"
Thomas Jefferson.

Stupid college graduate, what did he know!

george schaller said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Morning Call is the local "News Of The World" ... yes they do that too.

Which is why some use burners.

Geoff said...

I'd say most journalists I've met have no journalism degree, or at least not a bachelors.

We have writers on big papers for national security and foreign policy who have good educational backgrounds and are real experts. Wanting to learn is a feature of great writing and writers!