We’ve got a story in our Morning Reads and also in the Peach Pundit Daily (Sign up here for your daily email!) about “Superliens”. This is a situation where a person has both an unpaid tax bill and another lien on a home which ties the tax lien into Georgia’s foreclosure process. Representative Scot Turner has a bill to change the process. Legislators write laws, and legislators get to change laws when they believe they’re not working as intended. We’ll leave that actual debate to another day (or at least to y’all in the comments. I haven’t studied the bill and have no opinion on it.)
What I have seen is this WSB report claiming that a woman had her house taken in an act of “legal theft”. It’s remarkably one sided, and can serve as a reminder that balance in journalism is now just a concept. Facts that take away from the narrative are often buried. This way all involved can claim that they were included, but one set of “facts” is presented as the story, and all contradictions are buried and given significantly less than equal weight.
How does this work? Let’s go to the printed copy of the WSBTV.com piece. Early in the story there’s a couple of lines designed to pull at your heartstrings and draw sympathy for someone who is apparently having a house surprisingly taken away from her – and also designed to stoke fears that it could happen to yooooou…
“We didn’t have time to do anything, Jessica Davis Smith told Byfield.”
and this one three paragraphs later:
“Sims said she did not know her uncle was $14,000 behind on tax payments.”
And then compare it to this paragraph, buried at the very bottom, from the lienholder’s attorney:
The three Davis heirs inherited property in 2009. They elected to never pay taxes on it. My client paid two of the three heirs for their ownership and they gladly signed deeds. Those same folks, through their lawyers, agreed that my client should foreclose their uncle out of the property and signed a court order to that effect. Eventually, after not paying taxes for six years, the third Davis heir was finally foreclosed. His lawyer sent me an email stating that he would not oppose the foreclosure. He could have paid off what he owed, but simply elected not to. Had he expressed any desire to remain in the property, my client would have worked with him to keep him there.