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NPR and Fair Housing: Is “Liberal Bias” Creating Fake News?

February 1st, 2017

Credit: iMediaEthics.

A recent op-ed by Mike Gonzalez, a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation, puts a new spotlight on the coverage provided by NPR and poses serious questions about how the organization covers news.

Is National Public Radio’s description of an Obama urban directive as something that merely ‘links [government] funding to desegregation’ fake news?” writes Gonzalez, in The Daily Signal.

Well, it’s so slanted that if you had no prior knowledge of the program, and heard NPR’s depiction of it, you would just say to yourself, ‘Sounds good to me.’


Mike Gonzalez. Credit: The Daily Signal.

But to many conservatives, including the man that President Donald Trump has nominated to be the new secretary of housing and urban development, Dr. Ben Carson, the Orwellian ‘Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing’ is a tortured interpretation of the Fair Housing Act.

The stated goal of the “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing” portion of the Fair Housing Act is to allow for the building of high density, low income housing in suburbs to better reflect the racial makeup of the nation.


Dr. Ben Carson at his confirmation hearing. Credit: Fox News.

In an op-ed to the Washington Times, Dr.  Carson commented on the rule, saying that “It would require that such affordable housing be built primarily in wealthier neighborhoods with few current minority residents and that the new housing be aggressively marketed to minorities.

In practice, the rule would fundamentally change the nature of some communities from primarily single-family to largely apartment-based areas by encouraging municipalities to strike down housing ordinances that have no overtly (or even intended) discriminatory purpose —including race-neutral zoning restrictions on lot sizes and limits on multi-unit dwellings, all in the name of promoting diversity.”

Gonzalez then points out that recent NPR coverage of Ben Carson and his nomination leaves out details.

That view was not reflected in NPR reporter Pam Fessler’s unflattering piece on Carson following his nomination. The piece referred positively to the housing program as ‘stepped up enforcement of the 1968 Fair Housing Act, which is intended to reduce segregation,’” wrote Gonzalez.


Credit: National Mortgage News.

Given NPR‘s reporting, including their recent reports on manufactured housing communities, Gonzalez poses the question: should the Trump Administration end government funding of NPR?


The MH Industry Speaks


Richard Nodel, owner, Nodel Parks, photo credit: LinkedIn.

Negative coverage of our industry is something many media outlets are guilty of, but I am a patriot first, said Nodel Parks owner Richard Nodel. 

Anything that is an abridgment of our constitutional rights is a greater threat to all of us than just a negative news article. Let’s fight bad information with good information and not have to resort to un-American activities like censorship of the media. Just because we don’t like the report, do we try and shutter the source?”

Others in the industry see it differently.

We need to send a message to liberal media outlets, like publicly supported NPR,” said Lamb Investments principle, Todd Lamb.


Todd Lamb, Lamb Investments.

If there is going to be government funds they need to be non-biased or fair to all sides. Now is the opportunity for conservatives to strike back at what we have endured for ten or more years. Gone are the days when a journalist would pride himself on hiding his own opinions or views. I used to enjoy listening to NPR. Now,” Lamb said, Im in favor of pulling any and all funding from it!”

On the issue of media coverage of the MH Industry and politics in general, Lamb said, “I agree with Tony Kovach, I agree with Dr. Ben Carson, and of course, I agree with our new President, Donald J Trump.

UMH CEO Sam Landy, whose company was front and center in an NPR manufactured home community focused article, believes that accountability, above all else, is key.


Sam Landy. Credit: REIT. For a Cup of Coffee interview with Mr. Landy, click here.

NPR and UMH both care deeply about people. UMH has operated manufactured home communities since 1969. We believe enforcement of our rules and regulations is best for the majority of the people who live in our community,” said Landy.

NPR is reminding us that we must exercise our authority with compassion. We welcome outside oversight and criticism as it allows us to objectively evaluate our actions. We believe in each case covered here we in fact did the right thing for our residents, and that we did it in a compassionate manner. We welcome NPR‘s follow up.

MHProNews and MHLivingNews Publisher L.A. “Tony” Kovach also commented on the op-ed by Gonzalez.

With huge deficits and mounting debt, should U.S. taxpayers be funding any media,” Kovach says, “other than video feeds from CSPAN or social media posts by agencies that allow citizens to follow their government’s actions?


L A ‘Tony’ Kovach, credit, MHVillage.

Kovach continued, speaking to “agenda journalism (as opposed to legitimate editorializing, which should be in a different part of publication) is the recent case of NPR’s attack on private investor owned manufactured home communities. and dug into those issues, revealing facts that NPR simply ignored. When we contacted NPR for comments on clearly overlooked third-party information that ran counter to their narrative, their reply? That they stand by their reports,” said Kovach.

For more coverage on the fallout from the NPR feature on manufactured housing communities, click here. ##

(Image credits are as shown above.)


RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.

Matthew Silver - Reporter at Large
Soheyla Kovach - Support Services
L.A. 'Tony' Kovach - Publisher, Editor and Marketing Director. To submit a news tip, please click here:
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