The Lending Blame Game

Last night, ABC "World News with Charles Gibson," and CBS "Evening News" both blamed increased foreclosures on lending companies and mentioned tightened regulation instead of discussing the issue of personal choice. NBC "Nightly News" was the only network to bring individual choice into the story on March 13.

"Mortgage companies were lending to people with questionable credit," said ABC's David Muir.

But it is not as if lending companies run around just handing out money to bad credit risks, people actually have to apply for home loans because they want to buy a home. Both ABC and CBS missed that.Instead Muir's "World News" report pitied one couple "fighting to hold on."CBS "Evening News" quoted Iowa's attorney general who called high-risk subprime loans "unfair" as well as "unwise and unsafe" on March 13. CBS reporter Anthony Mason also included the worries of an analyst who described the worst-case scenario of a housing-led recession.

"But at the very least, Josh Rosner [the analyst] says the housing market has 12 to 36 months of difficult times ahead," Mason stated.

But NBC "Nightly News" was much more accurate.

"Remember, we've had a very easy lending environment for several years now. People took out loans who probably couldn't afford them," explained CNBC's Maria Bartiromo.
Julia A. Seymour
Julia A. Seymour
Julia A. Seymour is the Assistant Managing Editor for the MRC's Business and Media Institute.