HOAs and the media: The media has failed as watchdogs of democracy


Tom Brokaw defines “the greatest generation” as “American citizens who came of age during the Great Depression and the Second World War and went on to build modern America.”  Among them were journalists Edward R. Murrow and Walter Cronkite. “Fellow journalists considered Murrow one of journalism’s greatest figures, noting his honesty and integrity in delivering the news.” He stood up to defend American values during the 1950s McCarthy era quest to uncover Communists in America. Murrow “criticized McCarthyism and the ‘Red Scare’, contributing if not leading to the political downfall of Senator Joseph McCarthy.”

And there was Walter Cronkite, “the most trusted man in America,” and of whom the Dean of ASU’s Cronkite School of Journalism had said, “The values that Mr. Cronkite embodies – excellence, integrity, accuracy, fairness, objectivity – we try to instill in our students each and every day.” (Walter Cronkite and ASU).

Both would be appalled by what has happened to journalism and the news media today, with their quest for profits and entertainment over reporting the facts.   The media is failing their role in a democratic society and to America. Their silence on important issues is a constraint on free speech.

The crux of our democracy is the ability of citizens to obtain honest, truthful and balanced information, and the credibility and integrity of the individual journalist and communications professional are crucial in that effort.  (Arizona State University, Cronkite School Academic Integrity Policy).


And no where has the media’s complicity in withholding the truth from the American people been so obvious than with respect to the homeowner associations. Its has failed to “tell it like it is.” Some 20% of Americans, and growing each year, live under a homeowner association private government regime.  Whenever some event occurs reflecting a problem with HOA governance and living, the media has treated it as a local neighborhood issue. The media has selectively ignored the messages about the substantive issues pertaining to the lack of democratic institutions and the loss of constitutional protections. And it has repeatedly ignored the sources of authoritative advocate information available on the internet, such as The Truth in HOAs disclosure.

There are parallels between the acceptance of Hitler and Nazism by the common German with the quiet acceptance of the new world order of HOAs. In regard to the “good” German people and those who could understand what was happening, they went along

In the usual sincerity that required them only to abandon one principle after another, to throw away, little by little, all that was good [and]when men who understand what is happening — the motion of history not the single events or developments — when such men do not object or protest, men who do not understand cannot be expected to.  

(They Thought They Were Free, Milton Mayer, 1955).

The media is guilty of not trying to understand and report what is happening.  And there is no excuse for its policy of “No Negatives About HOAs.” One would think that the watchdogs of democracy fell under the same spell, the same con, as the advisers to the Emperor in Hans Christian Andersen’s The Emperor’s New Clothes. “‘Stupid I certainly am not,’ thought the official. ‘Then I must be unfit for my post. But nobody shall know that I could not see the material.'” That to speak out would make them unfit for their place in the new world order, The New America of HOA-Lands.

And after a little child had spoken out while on parade, “The Emperor himself had the uncomfortable feeling that what they were whispering was only too true. ‘But I will have to go through with the procession,’ he said to himself.” It appears that the journalists and the media as a whole have decided to go through with the procession.

Published in: on April 20, 2011 at 2:45 pm  Comments (1)  
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  1. This is painfully true! You can’t get the media to publicize even the most atrocious incidents of HOA’s financially abusing their enslaved ‘homeowners’, no matter what. I’m amazed when I DO see stories of their abuse in the news – because they aren’t even the worst cases I know of personally.
    In my case an HOA, led by an entrenched plaintiff attorney chairman of the Board, fined hundreds of dollars a DAY for YEARS – with NO clear notification of what exactly they were fining for or how it could be corrected. Then liened and sued for 6 figures, keeping us guessing about what we could do to correct their complaints (nothing, because all of the few vaguely threatening letters were recieved were purposely kept extremely vague with ‘shotgun style’ accusations of everything from running a business out of the home (because my husband’s company repaired our own home after Hurricane Katrina), to accusations of having an ‘unauthorized playset’, when even our own Board members admitted that playsets were and always had been exempt from being submitted to the ASC, and they dropped that accusation – the first day of court, after fining us for about 5 years.
    They were eventually awarded $100 a day for 5 years for a brick flower border – that they admitted was IDENTICAL to dozens of others all over the community. And for an invisible small, therapeutic jacuzzi tucked into a nook/atrium behind our home – and ONLY visible to us from our dining room window.
    And $100 a day UNTIL PAID – notwithstanding that we’d MOVED the jacuzzi over 3 years before court, when we fled our own home in terror of accruing more ridiculous, unexplained fines!!!
    So, after tossing dozens of false allegations at us, all of which were completely disproved, the only issues that WE couldn’t bat back at them (NO PRESUMPTION OF INNOCENCE HERE, YOU PROVE IT OR DIE!) were the IDENTICAL flower bed border and the INVISIBLE jacuzzi for my husband’s bad back. $189,000.00 plus court costs! Currently in appeal (for many more thousands of legal fees of course!)

    And all THIS while I was undergoing breast biopsies and other health issues (I’m getting a bilateral mastectomy next month – do you think I NEED this???)

    I told our story to several news agents, local and national, one at a time – all were intrigued and NONE chose to publish it as a warning to others. What’s is going to take? Seriously? This is NOT news?

    Judith L. Corey MD
    New Orleans, LA

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