Networks have given more coverage this year to the 6-year-old collapse of Enron than the role of federal government-sponsored mortgage lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in the present financial crisis, Media Research Center President Brent Bozell noted in a September 25 interview with the hosts of Fox News Channel's "Fox & Friends." The NewsBusters publisher argued that the media's lack of interest was due to its ideological commitment to the liberal social aims of Fannie and Freddie: extending loans to people who otherwise were priced out of owning their homes.
Bozell appeared via satellite from Nashville, Tennessee. A portion of the transcript follows [audio of segment here]:
STEVE DOOCY, co-host: Look at the coverage that the Fannie Mae catastrophe is getting as opposed to say the Enron collapse a number of years ago. Much different.
BOZELL: That's an understatement.... If you look at the height of the crisis during that time period, you know that the word Fannie Mae never appears in an ABC transcript? ABC never reported it. And ask yourself what's bigger, Enron or this? CNN, how about this, CNN gave at the height of this gave Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac three percent the coverage that they gave Enron. Get this statistic: This year, this year, there's been more coverage by the networks on Enron -- which isn't in the news -- than on both of these calamities combined.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, co-host: And here's what's interesting: It's not as though the mainstream media didn't know about this crisis. As you just heard in Jim Angle's package, in 2005, Alan Greenspan sounded the alarm, as did John McCain. And in 2004, the Wall Street Journal did an expose on how Fannie and Freddie were cooking the books. So why didn't the networks do more?
BOZELL: This is one of the Holy Grail issues for them. They like these programs. They like the idea of these home loans for disadvantaged people. This was to them a very good thing and they just chose to look the other way as this house of cards collapsed.