Haunt-ing for real reporting

October 23, 2008
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This is the time of year that otherwise respectable news outlets begin publishing or broadcasting stories about haunted houses--not just the "guy jumps out at you with a chainsaw" haunted houses but also the allegedly real ones. 

Problem is, many of these reports don't bother with the "allegedly."

As an editor at other publications, I can't tell you the number of times freelancers have pitched me on stories about "real haunted houses." I can, however, tell you the percentage of times I rejected the stories and questioned the writers' journalistic credibility.

At least in today's Indy.com, writer Amy Bartner--doing a tag along with members of the Indy Ghost Hunters at the allegedly huanted Hannah House--says she "didn't get the evidence I needed to fully believe."

Well, of course she didn't. Despite all of the news coverage of the supernatural, nobody has ever proven that ghosts exist. If they did, James Randi's Foundation would have payed them a cool million dollars. (See his offer, here.)

By the way, Randi, a professional magician and MacArthur Foundation "genius" grant recipient who has championed the cause of rationality by debunking phony faith healers, spoon-benders, etc., will be speaking at Butler University in April. More information here.

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  1. How can any company that has the cash and other assets be allowed to simply foreclose and not pay the debt? Simon, pay the debt and sell the property yourself. Don't just stiff the bank with the loan and require them to find a buyer.

  2. If you only knew....

  3. The proposal is structured in such a way that a private company (who has competitors in the marketplace) has struck a deal to get "financing" through utility ratepayers via IPL. Competitors to BlueIndy are at disadvantage now. The story isn't "how green can we be" but how creative "financing" through captive ratepayers benefits a company whose proposal should sink or float in the competitive marketplace without customer funding. If it was a great idea there would be financing available. IBJ needs to be doing a story on the utility ratemaking piece of this (which is pretty complicated) but instead it suggests that folks are whining about paying for being green.

  4. The facts contained in your post make your position so much more credible than those based on sheer emotion. Thanks for enlightening us.

  5. Please consider a couple of economic realities: First, retail is more consolidated now than it was when malls like this were built. There used to be many department stores. Now, in essence, there is one--Macy's. Right off, you've eliminated the need for multiple anchor stores in malls. And in-line retailers have consolidated or folded or have stopped building new stores because so much of their business is now online. The Limited, for example, Next, malls are closing all over the country, even some of the former gems are now derelict.Times change. And finally, as the income level of any particular area declines, so do the retail offerings. Sad, but true.

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