Anyone have a compass?

Today’s Seattle Times had several conflicting articles, all on one page! The best one was the article in which a sales manager of a commercial brokerage firm argues that apartment rents will fall due to oversupply while a highly regarded commercial real estate analyst argues the sales manager is wrong. I initially thought that was not all that unusual until I realized who was arguing which position. I wonder if they know they got it backwards? This also comes behind a front-page article declaring a beautiful new statistic that housing prices fell by $100,000 on average. I do kind of wonder who is in a hurry to buy a house after reading that tidbit. I suppose they will move out of their apartment in order to lose money, thereby supporting the sales manager.

Second interesting article is that Boeing lost a sale to a Dubai aircraft leasing company that cancelled its order for 21 planes. This sounds terrible until you read further to be reminded that the planes are two years behind scheduled delivery and that Boeing still has hundreds of firm orders still waiting for these very same planes.

Third interesting article is that reported record sales in the fourth quarter. This is a nicely hidden little gem of news... why isn’t it more visible? I seem to remember that this is a nice regional employer.

I can only conclude that the news prints articles that will sell papers and they aren’t even very good at that if you consider that the fourth interesting article is that Hearst has forfeited its right of first refusal to buy the Seattle Times. Not even the newspaper giant wants another loser, despite the media’s determination to print bad news over good in an attempt to bolster sales. What they really need is another Hindenburg.

If I were from another planet I could only wonder if there is any clear direction of where things are headed locally after reading the local papers. I wouldn’t see anything written about how many people move here simply for the quality of life issue like what occurred after the dot-com bust. We should never see an article about how the nearing empty WaMu tower is a great opportunity for a new company to immediately move into the area. After all, this is Seattle, not Detroit. I guess we are stuck only reading headlines that declare the glass is half-empty, no matter what.