In Housing Segment, ABC Ignores Truth Behind 'Bank Terrorist'
On Tuesday's "Good Morning America," financial correspondent Bianna Golodryga promoted the efforts of a radical housing group run by CEO Bruce Marks, a self proclaimed "bank terrorist." Of course, Golodryga skipped that description and glossed over the extreme actions of the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America [NACA]. Instead, she simply asserted that the organization tries "to help keep people in their homes."
Golodryga neglected important information, such as the fact that NACA has picketed outside the schools of children whose parents work for banks that are not acquiescing to the group's demands, which include insisting that mortgages be given to high risk individuals. In an April 2, 2008 column, Michelle Malkin quoted Marks as saying, "We will go to their neighborhood, we will educate their children on what their parents do. They should be ashamed." A December 2007 article by The Globe (featured on NACA's web site) unabashedly touted Marks as "a controversial character who once infamously called himself a 'bank terrorist.'"
Golodryga ignored this when she talked to the CEO. Instead, she highlighted non-confrontational quotes such as this one from Marks: "The thing that is so important is to say to the American people, don't give up. There's help on the way." The ABC financial correspondent did admit, "The group is also protesting the banks they feel are not helping struggling homeowners refinance their mortgages," while video of such a protest appeared onscreen. However, she grossly minimized the radical nature of NACA.
In the aforementioned Malkin article, the conservative columnist described the extreme steps taken by Marks and his group:
As The Globe reported in its cover feature on Marks, there's no line of decency this housing shakedown artist won't cross. Welcome to the subprime politics of personal destruction:
"Marks and his yellow-T-shirted followers have swarmed shareholders' meetings with enough force to shut them down. They have picketed outside the schools attended by the children of bank CEOs, pressing the youngsters in signs and chants to answer for the actions of their daddies."
And they even once distributed scandal sheets to every house in one CEO's neighborhood, detailing the affair he was allegedly having with a subordinate. In time, that CEO, like most of the others that NACA targeted, sat down with Marks and signed a deal.
Of course, Golodryga has a long history of pushing left-wing economics in her reporting for GMA. For instance, on November 15, 2007, she touted "Robin Hood" investor Warren Buffett and praised him for lobbying "on behalf of fairness in taxes."
A transcript of the segment, which aired at 7:05am on February 10, follows:
DIANE SAWYER: And we're going to turn now to the front lines of American housing. This morning, we try to give you perspective. Three million families are on the brink of foreclosure right now and in the next four years the fear, of course, the number could balloon to ten million. Well, today the Obama administration is expected to announce that $50 billion mortgage relief plan. But we wanted to know more about whether and how it would help a typical family like the Grays of Queens, New York. They shared their anguish with financial correspondent Bianna Golodryga.
BIANNA GOLODRYGA: Are there moments where you want to just give up?
DARLENE GRAY: Yeah.
MICHAEL GRAY: We just had a moment here, right [sic] half an hour ago.
GOLODRYGA: Tell me about it. Michael and Darlene Gray are facing foreclosure. Darlene recently lost her job of 17 years. So, Michael is working seven days a week just to keep them afloat. How does it feel when your taxpayer dollars are going towards large banks and bailouts of major companies?
MICHAEL GRAY: You don't want me to be obscene or profane, do you?
DARLENE GRAY: They want to bailout banks? What about bailing out the homeowners?
GOLODRYGA: They're among the thousands we met at the Save the Dream Seminar held by NACA, the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America, a non-profit group trying to help keep people in their homes. Just two hours into this help seminar and you can see the room behind me is full of troubled homeowners. Lines began out the door at 6:00 in the morning and some are expected to stay 'till 2:00am
BRUCE MARKS (CEO, Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America): We determined their net income and what their expenses are and to come out with a mortgage payment that you can afford and then we restructure that loan to make it affordable forever.
GOLODRYGA: The group is also protesting the banks they feel are not helping struggling homeowners refinance their mortgages. [Video of protestors.]
MARKS: The thing that is so important is to say to the American people, don't give up. There's help on the way.
GOLODRYGA: But for many Americans like the Grays, their need is now.
DARLENE GRAY: We just need help. We need someone to say, you know what, we're going to listen. If you lower the mortgage, give us time to bounce back.
GOLODRYGA: And despite their uncertain future, they're not backing down.
MICHAEL GRAY: We won't stop fighting. And we're going to fight until we can't fight anymore.
GOLODRYGA: For "Good Morning America," Bianna Golodryga, ABC News, Stamford, Connecticut.