While print media and cable news channels are all over the "sweetheart" mortgage deals given to two Democratic U.S. senators, network news shows on ABC, CBS and NBC are keeping mum even though the scandal involves one of their favorite targets: Countrywide.
"This is a huge story ever since Portfolio magazine broke with this story. Print media outlets have covered it, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, the cable networks are there," Business & Media Institute Vice President Dan Gainor told "Fox & Friends" June 20. "And then you look at the evening news shows: they're non-existent."
The financial magazine reported June 12 that Sens. Kent Conrad of North Dakota and Chris Dodd of Connecticut, both Democrats, benefited from a "V.I.P." program that "waived points, lender fees, and company borrowing rules for prominent people."
Gainor recalled a similar scandal in 2006 involving Democrats and virtually no network news coverage. "It was the media coverage of Fannie Mae, again print media coverage, very strong, Wall Street Journal particularly, then the cable networks covered it, networks didn't," he said. "It was well-connected Democrats. That's the similar theme here."
Gainor suggested networks didn't want to paint Democrats in a bad light out of fear it might tarnish the image of the Democratic presidential nominee. "This is the coronation parade for [Sen.] Barack Obama [D-Ill.] this year. I think the networks don't want to rain on his parade."
"It's amazing; the networks love beating up on Countrywide," Gainor said. "They beat on up them for bad mortgages. They beat up on them for pretty much debt issues, and even of course for the Ed McMahon foreclosure. And then you look, they beat up on Angelo Mozilo, the CEO, for how much he gets paid. But when it's connected to prominent Democrats you don't hear anything."