Posts Tagged ‘Bias’

Big Tech, Big Brother, 1984, Manufactured Home Professionals, and You

June 5th, 2019 Comments off


Prager U” has a formula that works.  They create videos that are typically under 6 minutes long, have a narrator that some will know, and that woman or man will provide a relatively balanced view of a topic for consideration.  This video, posted on 6.3.2019, had 427,548 views in under 48 hours.  If only manufactured housing could say the same about a pro-industry video.


The thrust of the Prager U concept is educational. They take a controversial issue and strive to shed light on it. Prager U is branded, but in a mild way that keeps millions coming back to see their next video.  Yes, they are generally conservative, but do so citing the views of other political or moral perspective.

In fact, that’s the point.  They look at what the opposition says, and then they do a fact-check and analysis. 

Sound familiar?  It’s Prager’s video version of what significant parts of MHProNews content has been in recent years.  In fairness, this has been done for years by media, but has grown more popular on both the left and the right.  So one takeaway is that the Prager approach is a proven one. Manufactured housing industry leaders should sit up and take notice.  

On this specific video, “Brent Bozell, founder of the Media Research Center, explains how and why Big Tech is making Orwell’s 1984 a 21st century reality.” 

Their YouTube page says, “George Orwell’s fictionalized world where Big Brother reigns supreme is no longer a figment of the imagination, but a prophetic vision of present-day threats.”  It would be hard to name many businesses today that operate in our factory-built home industry that don’t use one or more of the services that are spotlighted by this video.  

What this video doesn’t do is call for boycotts or even an antitrust breakup. MHProNews has argued for antitrust action, and word earlier this week that the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) are gearing up antitrust investigations sent the FAANG stocks down.


Washington Leak – Justice Department Prepares Major Antitrust Investigation


The earlier report MHProNews did on the Creepy Line took an in depth look in text and videos into the ways that big tech is purportedly manipulating data that harms companies and can tip elections.


“The Creepy Line” Video DocuDrama, Manufactured Housing – The Problem, Solution, and You


While Bozell doesn’t call for a breakup, he does make it clear that the situation is serious.  It is.  Monopolization isn’t just a manufactured housing industry problem; it is a broader economic threat that impacts a score of industries. This video is one of about 100 that as of this post being drafted YouTube has ‘restricted.’  What is there about this video that is anything other than a simple exercise of free speech?



Among the 2020 issues we expect to be significant is consolidation, monopolization, and antitrust. It’s a topic most of our colleagues in manufactured home trade publishing simply won’t go near, perhaps out of fear for what the industry’s Big Brothers in Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis might do.

As the powers that be in manufactured housing are viewed by numbers as a cause – rather than a solution – for the industry’s underperformance, the FAANG threat to economic, political, and free speech freedom should be seen as part of the bigger picture that arguably should include Berkshire Hathaway and Microsoft, perhaps others too.  While the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis bears responsibility for the widely misunderstood manufactured home industry, don’t overlook the supporting role played by these tech giants.

Learn more from the related reports, below.

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HUD Secretary Ben Carson Surprise Appearance at Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee, Exclusive Quotes – Addressing Manufactured Home Industry

Dr. Ben Carson Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Manufactured Housing Conference Remarks New Orleans, Louisiana, Hyatt Regency Hotel, May 7, 2019

Census, HUD Official Residential Construction Report for April 2019, Dare to Compare to Manufactured Housing Data

MHARR Weighs in, HUD Secretary Carson Letter – “Discriminatory…Exclusionary Zoning of HUD-Regulated Manufactured Homes”

HUD Secretary Ben Carson, Affordable Housing, Obscuring the Truth, Innovations in Housing, and Manufactured Homes


Cowards, How Winning Is Done, and Manufactured Housing








Reports, Reflections on Media Tilt, Bias, Ignorance, and Manufactured Housing

December 25th, 2017 Comments off

ImNotArguingIMJustExplainingWhyImRightCorrectDailyBusienssNewsMHProNewsAmong the widely reputed causes for manufactured housing’s relative low new home sales numbers, per industry professionals, is the allegedly problematic, slanted and inaccurate reporting by mainstream media.

It can manifest itself in several ways, including, but not limited to:

the use of incorrect terminology,
hyping the negative in reports on manufactured homes,
to inexplicably giving ‘more love’ to tiny houses – which in many cases, truly are ‘trailer houses’ – than they do to the arguably superior value of federally preemptive HUD code manufactured homes.

But as trade media – a subset of news media – we’re not bashing those in the mainstream media.  Because frankly, there’s a level of responsibility on both sides of the ongoing controversy over media and the manufactured home industry.

On the left-and-right of media bias – which research ranging from progressives in Harvard, to conservatives at Newsbusters admit exits – there are reasons why manufactured housing isn’t the only ones that suffer or complain.

From progressive Harvard to conservative Newsbusters, researchers across the left-right divide believe that the tilt of media bias is real. If it exists in political and economic issues, why would we be surprised if it exists on housing related topics, including manufactured homes?



Full Measure’s Sharyl Attiksson’s media bias chart is useful in sorting out the agendas behind various headlines and news sources.




Ann Parman Manufactured Housing Educational Institute (MHEI)

A few years ago, in the pre-Richard “Dick” Jennison era, this writer did a well-received presentation for the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) at their Congress and Expo on the need for and methods of proper mainstream media engagement.


There are Fundamentally Only Two Choices, Engage or Not Engage with News Media

As the post below indicates, there are two and only two fundamental choices.  You engage with media when a news item comes up, or you don’t.

Only 2 Choices – Media Engagement, Manufactured Homes, & You – Monday Morning Sales Meeting

Frank Rolfe made a simple but important point in this under one-minute video below.  When industry professionals fail to engage, it looks like there’s something to hide, and then there is no chance for a balanced story.


Others have sounded off on the media engagement topic, including those examples shown below.

But the reality that the industry can get good media coverage is demonstrated by Paul Bradley, and ROC USA, on a routine basis.  If they can get positive media, why not others?

Manufactured Housing – Helping Those Most In Need

MHI award winner, Marty Lavin has called the overall coverage by the press of manufactured housing as the industry’s “other image campaign.”  While there have been exceptions, MHI’s primary response has been ersatz engagement, via advertorials, rather than direct engagement.  A careful look at the issue reveals how correct Lavin is, because the ratio of negative stories to positive ones is quite imbalanced.

“How to Find Affordable Home in Today’s Market,” Manufactured Housing Industry-Statepoint Media Fact-Check

So, when there is such a widespread agreement that media tends to get it wrong on manufactured housing, why are there so few willing to engage on the issue, when it strikes their local market?


When Sam Landy led UMH was hit with negative news in the Nashville market earlier this year, this was his reply.

FEAR – False Evidence Appearing Real

This writer has mentioned to audiences and clients on previous occasions that when approached properly, local or regional media often want to get it right. They also often, but not always, want to avoid getting the facts wrong.

So facts, not just opinions or emotions, are important to the mainstream media professional.

Among the experiences shared at the seminar that Ann Parman and others at MHI praised was a true story about a meeting with two professionals with a regional magazine.  Some days after the requested fact-to-face meeting, they published an article that created one cringe-worthy use of the T-word, but through the rest of the article, absolutely glowed about manufactured homes.

The cost?  Only the time, and effort.

That wasn’t a one off, it has been repeated in several markets over the years.

The Takeaways

Most MH industry people who engage the media do so on what can be seen as a very shallow level of self-interest. They understandably want to promote themselves, and not much more.  But media professionals shy away from plugs.  That, they’ll tell you, is the roll of advertising.

But it is precisely education – genuine information, not hype or spin – that moves not only media, but also consumers.

Part of the value of MHProNews holding both industry members and others to account for good business ethics is that is that when the Daily Business News does a critique of media, or industry professionals, or anyone else, who have crossed a line, its more credible – because we have a history of balance.

“Jail Him!” NPR’s “Mobile Home Park Owners Can Spoil An Affordable American Dream” Refuted

Journalists have good reasons to properly cover manufactured housing.

1)     Odds are something like 4 to 17 percent of their viewers/readers live in a mobile or manufactured home, depending on the state or market. The nationwide average is about 7 percent.

2)     There is an affordable housing crisis, and its getting worse.

Bloomberg, HousingWire, Realtor and Fox all suggest Manufactured Homes as Important Solution for Affordable Housing in America

3)     The ethics guidelines of the Society of Professional Journalists call on them to give accurate, an unbiased coverage.


4)     It isn’t just the president and his defenders that think there is media bias. Even Pope Francis has weighed in on the topic, and plans to do so more in the days ahead, as an ethical issue.


It should be noted again that MHProNews and MHLivingNews both track and report on stories across the left-right media divide.  There are good, bad and “meh” reporting on a wide range of issues across the media divide.

It is partially the responsibility of manufactured home pros to engage the media routinely enough in their own market to reverse the multi-decade trend of poor or inaccurate reports.  You can do that yourself or you can hire a professional – including one of the most experienced in the industry – this organization.

Who says? Ask Ann Parman or those who’ve praised our work in the media engagement field. ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

TwitterFacebookLinkedInNew Year’s Resolution: This writer already has one of the largest LinkedIn followings in the manufactured home industry. But we’ve frankly not asked for Twitter, or Facebook followers.  That changes, starting today. If you want to keep up with posts relevant to the industry, you can connect via the links below.  @LATonyKovach

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By L. A. “Tony” Kovach.

Kovach is the award-winning managing-member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC,
parent to MHProNews, and
Both are #1 in their categories.

Kovach is one of the most endorsed and recommended MH industry professionals in all of manufactured housing.