Saturday, December 27, 2008

David Lereah Surfaces! Or, "They said he was some kind of scientist . . ."

Just in time for the New Year, the former NAR hack shows up to admit that he was "spinning" with his economic pronouncements in the run-up to the housing bubble.

No news there, of course, but what does seem newsworthy is Lereah's claim that, "I worked for an association promoting housing, and it was my job to represent their interests. . . . I would not have done anything different. But I was a public spokesman writing about housing having a good future. I was wrong."

Here's the important distinction: Lereah was never a "public spokesman"--at least that's not how I ever saw him ID'd. He was always and everywhere presented as the NAR's chief "economist".

If David Lereah had been just a "spokesman," there would have been nothing wrong with his misleading, stupifying, claims. But he wasn't being asked for comment all those years--he was being asked for actual economic analysis. He wasn't Baghdad Bob--he was the Big Tobacco "scientist" presenting data about how smoking isn't harmful for your health.

There's nothing wrong with prostituting yourself, however distasteful it may be. But when you prostitute your profession, there are supposed to be consequences.

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