The Washington Post’s excellent series on tax sale scams, published two months ago, explained in detail how DC residents were forced from their homes by a brace of professional tax sale investors and an indifferent city hall. The series had pathos, drama, and three familiar names to Baltimore Sun readers: Steve Berman, Jack Stollof, and Harvey Nusbaum. As the Medill Watchdog notes, Fred Schulte and June Arney, former Sun reporters, plowed the same ground in 2007, earning for themselves a Pulitzer nomination and foreshadowing the federal prosecutions of many of the tax sale profiteers for bid rigging. The Post hardly mentioned the Sun, which is kind of shitty. It would not have hurt their story at all to link to the Sun’s earlier work. (Whether The Sun would do so if the situation is reversed is unclear – the paper often credits reporting in local media, including City Paper, but editors seem to have a policy against crediting the scoop machine at The Brew). There is a larger point though: Stories like the WaPo’s and Sun’s which point to bad actors seldom dolly back to depict the full system in play. Even though the local system of tax sales was […]
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