NBC never pays sources for the news. Right.

Having been a traditional print journalist years ago (and now obviously a blogger and a newsletter writer), I noted with particular interest the Today Show’s coverage of David Goldman’s recovery of his son from Brazil.

The reason for my interest is that NBC chartered the jet on which Goldman and his son Sean were flown back to the United States. I don’t know whether NBC also paid for Goldman’s accommodations in Brazil or anything else, but I’m betting that the company did so.

Certainly, helping the Tinton Falls, N.J. real estate agent and charter-fishing boat captain with his exorbitant expenses must be characterized as a humanitarian gesture.  However, it was not altruistic.

No upstanding journalist will argue that it is ethical to pay a source for access, and it’s hypocritical for NBC to maintain that it doesn’t give money or other benefits to newsmakers. Continue reading

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Manhattan needs a true MLS, not an impostor

One of the city’s bigger brokerages announced last week that it has established a Virtual Office Web site (VOW), which many see as a step toward a Multiple Listings Service (MLS) providing buyers with access to essentially all exclusive listings in the city.

Although the announcement by Halstead Property sounds like a voluntary initiative, the action results from a federal law that goes into effect this year.  In fact, the toothless Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) has instructed its member firms (of which mine is one) to comply with the law, according to a commenter on the Real Deal Web site, where I first saw the announcement.

The Corcoran Group has been silent on any of its VOW plans, but Prudential Douglas Elliman says it is in the game.  Continue reading