Now, I know for a fact that Angelo Mozillo [sic], oft-quoted leader of Countrywide Financial Corp., has about a dozen snazzy head shots floating around the industry at any given time. In every single one of them, he looks every bit the information age tycoon that American capitalism is famous for. So how long do you think the editors at Yahoo! had to look before they came up with this doozy [on the right], which was obviously taken from Mr. Mozillo’s Sling Blade audition. And I have never, ever heard of him “perching” before.
He goes on to tackle the substance of the Yahoo! story as well:
Read a couple of graphs into the story and you’ll see why they chose the photo, and it doesn’t have anything to do with all the useless headroom in the shot. The reporters (and editors) want you to know who is responsible for the trouble we’re seeing in the subprime mortgage market. … I don’t know the folks who worked on that story for Yahoo! News, but I don’t think they’re real reporters.
That’s quite a statement, too, coming from a guy that one was of the lead figures at what is now known as SourceMedia (ever heard of National Mortgage News?). I’ve never met Rick, but I know his work very well, having read it when I worked in the industry and later when I was working at a competing publisher. Rick’s a bit more of an mortgage industry defender than I am — which is probably why he’s still writing freelance for trade pubs and I’m not. But he nonetheless has a wealth of industry experience to draw from. Be sure to spend some time looking around his blog.