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History Has Been Made!
By George Porter
On the evening of Nov. 16 the CBS Evening News with Connie
Chung And Dan Rather, made manufactured housing history. Tropical
storm Gordon had spawned a tornado on the east coast of Florida
and had destroyed a large part of a manufactured housing community
there. My wife and I were watching the news to see what was reported
about the damage. This was a tornado or maybe even more than one
and no building or home is built to stand up to one of these things.
The only safe place in a tornado is under ground but we were anxious
to see how it was reported.
After Hurricane Andrew several years ago our housing had a
tough time with the press and were expecting the same thing again.
Why is it when a poor little manufactured home is attacked by
absolutely irresistible forces of nature such as class 5 hurricanes
and tornados, all the damage is blamed on the home? Well we were
tuned in and ready to see the industry get another undeserved
bashing but we were surprised.
First of all it was not the lead story, a piece on the economy
began the news. It was not until after the first commercial break
that the disaster in Florida came on. It discussed how people
had lost everything; one person was killed, and showed shots of
the destroyed homes. It was a terrible thing to see, it was like
a piece of Hurricane Andrew had come back to haunt Florida again.
The story lasted several minutes, when it ended and the next news
item began my wife and I looked at each other in absolute amazement.
They had not used the word trailer in their reporting! Not even
mobile home or even manufactured home! They had made no reference
whatsoever to the type of homes and in fact simply called it a
retirement community! They in no way inferred that the home had
anything to do with the problem. While of course this makes sense
to you and me I believe it is the first time I have ever seen
this display of intelligence on national television. Thank you
CBS, Connie, and Dan. You have made history by treating Manufactured