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Saturday, September 20, 2008

Sleeping with the fishes in the Deschutes

The O has an odd story up at this hour. It goes on and on about how bloggers in Bend are speculating wildly about the untimely deaths of three real estate speculators. But of course, this is the first we've read of the three deaths, which makes us think that the bloggers are at least right in their assertion that the mainstream media around here aren't covering the current real estate disaster in a thorough way. From the story:

First, the undisputed facts: Douglas Sokol, 57, a Sisters developer, died June 24 after falling from a height. Lynn McDonald, 58, a former emergency-room physician who had invested in a huge development called The Shire, disappeared July 6 and was found the next day in the Deschutes River. Jay Audia, 48, of Bend, who had recently purchased a 38-acre tract out of foreclosure, shot himself in the head July 19 at his home.
Real estate advertising is currently the life support machine for the nation's failing newspapers, and it's understandable that there's a temptation for them to present current events in a rosy light. What's not understandable -- or forgivable -- is their giving in to that temptation.

Comments (6)

The other really sad thing was on the TV news last night in that ordinary folk out of a job, ala Capra's "Its a Wonderful Life" are calling in record numbers to the suicide hot line, thinking if they off themselves their family will get the insurance money and that is their worth to their loved ones..

Yeah, I can't understand why the story is about the blog reaction. Are they saying that people who don't read or maintain blogs couldn't have had the same conclusions? It IS a story that warrants some alarm.

Maybe the "O" should have started this conversation with, you know, actual reporting about these incidents.

This is their way of doing it without, they hope, alienating their real estate overlords. Ryan Frank will be sent over to Bend with some sympathy cards.

Once is arbitrary happenstance.

Twice is random coincidence.

Thrice is coordinated enemy action.

(The CIA's rule of thumb for 'contextualizing' world events.)

Before you jump, though, you may want to check on the solvency of the company that issued your term life policy.

I am new to this area...I can't find a single online news story on the death of Sokol, or Audia. The only reason for referencing McDonald's death in the paper was that he was missing before he was found dead so the search was documented. I don't understand how the deaths of prominent people such as these major financial players in Central Oregon would not at least be reported by the local papers. Unless there was a specif reason to not report them. I've also heard rumor from a local person with a lot of local contacts that there have been at least four such deaths...maybe more, all of which he believes were suicides. Who are the others and why are they not reported in the local rags...?

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