THE BLOG
06/11/2010 06:06 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

New York Times Does Not Understand Main Street

We can try to understand The New York Times effect on man ~ Bee Gees

The headline on the Rural Blog, for the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues, based at the University of Kentucky, said "the New York Times misses point in story on Main Street versus Wall Street in regulatory battle."

That is a vast and gross understatement.

The blog points to a story by David Herszenhorn.

Mr Herszenhorn plopped down in Louisville, Kentucky, home of Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell. He saw a few branches of "too big to fail" banks or projects that got money from Wall Street firms.

This caused Mr. Herszenhorn to leap to the conclusion that "Main Street seems less an innocent victim of Wall Street in the financial crisis of 2008 than a savvy counterparty, whose own dealings contributed to the days of easy credit and overinflated real estate prices that led to the collapse."

Huh?

How did he come to that conclusion? Sounds like he wrote it on the plane before he got here.

If Herszenhorn had gone to New Orleans instead of Louisville, I suspect he would have seen a few BP stations and concluded that Main Street in Louisiana was"counterparty" to the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

McConnell lives in Louisville but represents all of Kentucky, including my town of Richmond, 70 miles away.

I've lived in Kentucky 49 of my 51 years. (I lived in Nashville two years when I was in graduate school at Vanderbilt.) I see a different Main Street than the New York Times does.

I can look out from my office and see Richmond's entire Main Street. I see one branch of a "too big to fail" bank that got bailout money. I can see two branches of regional banks that got bailout money along the way.

Other than that, I don't see any high flaunting, Wall Street types, throwing their money around on my Main Street.

I'm sure it's the same on thousands of other Main Streets across the United States. Many of us are participating in the "Move Your Money" campaign that Arianna Huffington started as we want to minimize the small amount of Wall Street influence that does exist.

I've been opposed to the bailouts from the first day because I knew it was an inside deal for Washington and Wall Street. The rest of us were not invited to the party. We were only expected to pay for it.

Having David Herszenhorn wander around Louisville for a few hours is not going to change that view.

Herszenhorn might want to take a look at Michael Lewis's book, The Big Short or Too Big to Fail by his fellow New York Times staffer Andrew Ross Sorkin. I can't see where Main Street is responsible for the greed, recklessness and decision making outlined in those books.

It's like blaming a murder victim for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Although I strongly disagree with Mr. Herszenhorn's opinion, I really question the judgment of the editor, or editors, who assigned him to the story.

Looking at Mr. Herszenhorn's biography on ProCon.org, it shows that before working for the New York Times, he went to high school in Flushing NY, went to college at Dartmouth and currently lives in Douglastown, New York.

The perfect guy to assign to a story about Kentucky's Main Street. I hope they gave him a map.

Since I am a lifelong Democrat who voted for President Obama, I'm not prone to New York Times bashing. I read it everyday and some of the greatest journalists to walk the planet, like Joe Nocera and Thomas Friedman, write for it.

The Rural blog said that "The New York Times often provides the best rural coverage of any national news organization, because it has the staff and the editorial interest required to do the coverage."

I have to agree. The Rural blog also said that "sometimes the paper misses by a mile."

That is certainly the case with Herszenhorn's story.

It seemed like he was using any hook, no matter how flimsy, to justify the Wall Street bailout that the Washington and New York elite pushed through.

The New York Times can keep pumping out stories like Herszenhorn's. Time Magazine can keep putting Ben Bernanke on its cover as "Man of the Year." The New York centric media can keep telling us over and over again that the bailouts were good for Main Street.

We on Main Street are not going to believe it.

I feel like the Times and other Eastern elites are trying a stunt best described by Lyndon Johnson.

They are trying to "piss on our boots and tell us it's raining."

Sitting here on Main Street, I don't see the rain.

Don McNay, CLU, ChFC, MSFS, CSSC is an award-winning financial columnist and Huffington Post Contributor.

You can read more about Don at www.donmcnay.com

McNay founded McNay Settlement Group, a structured settlement and financial consulting firm, in 1983, and Kentucky Guardianship Administrators LLC in 2000. You can read more about both at www.mcnay.com

McNay has Master's Degrees from Vanderbilt and the American College and is in the Hall of Distinguished Alumni of Eastern Kentucky University.

McNay has written two books. Most recent is Son of a Son of a Gambler: Winners, Losers and What to Do When You Win The Lottery

McNay is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Round Table and has four professional designations in the financial services field.