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Critics Take On "60 Minutes" – With The Help Of YouTube

Earlier this month, "60 Minutes" aired a mostly flattering piece on Redfin, an online real estate company that charges sellers a flat fee of $3,000 instead of a percentage-based commission. You can watch it by clicking on the video box.

The segment, headlined "Chipping Away At Realtors' Six Percent," infuriated many realtors. The National Association of Realtors posted a letter alleging that "60 Minutes" "made several important errors of fact" and complaining that the segment neglected to include NAR voices. "60 Minutes" then posted an Editor's Note in response to the letter, which now appears at the top of the Web version of the story. (Things get a lot more complicated from there; for more check out NAR's links to the back-and-forth between their representatives and "60 Minutes" producer Richard Bonin.)

And that, ladies and gentleman, is just for starters. As John Cook noted, NAR President Pat Combs called the segment "a shoddy news report" – and then really took the gloves off:

"Believe it or not there is still a Flat Earth Society whose members still argue that the Earth is not round. And there are those who will believe what they saw on '60 Minutes.' That is the bad news. The good news is that expectations based on false information eventually unravel, especially in a world where you can access information so easily."
That's not even the most notable response to the piece, however. That distinction belongs to Point2 Technologies, which Cook notes is "a Saskatoon, Canada company that sells online sales and marketing tools to real estate agents." The company produced a parody of the "60 Minutes" piece called "16 Minutes," and then, naturally, posted it on YouTube.

Featuring "Lesley Stool" in the form of a man in a blond wig, it presents Redfin customers as moronic and suggests that "60 Minutes" portrayed the company in a positive light despite facts suggesting otherwise. You can click on over to YouTube to watch Point2's effort. It's amateurish, unfunny, and not particularly convincing, but, if only as an example of our brave new world of media criticism, it's still something to see.

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