A year later, a report on ABC's June 4 "World News with Charles Gibson" is seemingly championing that cause. Before a single criminal charge has even been filed, senior justice correspondent Pierre Thomas was already showing footage of jail cells. Thomas blamed Mozilo for being the "catalyst" of the housing crisis.
"Investigators say Mozilo was selling $140 million in stock as Countrywide imploded," Thomas said. "To many, Mozilo, known for his deep tan and aggressive style, was the king of subprime mortgages - those risky loans that were the catalyst for the housing meltdown. Mozilo, the son of a butcher from The Bronx, has always maintained publicly that he's never misled anybody."
During a story suggesting that Angelo Mozilo, the former CEO of the mortgage company Countrywide, is unworthy of his millions of dollars and perhaps enjoys too much time lying in the sun, ABC's Dan Harris, possibly not picking up on the former CEO's Italian ethnicity which could be the source of his skin's dark complexion, remarked that Mozilo's "deeply tanned face" could become the "face of the mortgage mess." The story ran on Friday's World News with Charles Gibson, substitute hosted by George Stephanopoulos, with Harris beginning his report: "This may well become the deeply tanned face of the mortgage mess. The face belongs to Angelo Mozilo, the once-celebrated CEO of Countrywide, now facing allegations of predatory lending and rapacious greed." Harris also ended the report seeming to lament that Mozilo is not facing foreclosure on any of his homes: "If the sale [of Countrywide] goes through, Mozilo will walk away with about $40 million. And with not one of his homes in foreclosure." (Transcript follows)
In a class-warfare driven media, where the "haves" are often pitted against "have-nots," you would think an outgoing CEO giving up $37.5 million in pay would be celebrated.
Not quite. CNN's "American Morning" didn't think it was quite good enough when Countrywide Financial's Angelo Mozilo forfeited $37.5 million in severance pay because he said he felt it was the "right thing to do."
Over the last year, Angelo Mozilo, CEO of Countrywide (NYSE:CFC), decided to periodically sell some of the stock he owns in the company he co-founded 40 years ago and what is now the nation's largest mortgage lender – part of a prearranged measure known as a 10b5-1 trading plan. This was all done to prepare him for his December 2009 retirement date.
Despite his upcoming retirement, that drew the ire of some liberal pro-union groups and CBS’s Anthony Mason, whereas anyone defending his decision to sell his stock was not found in Mason’s report.
Dan Gainor, director of the MRC’s Business & Media Institute, appeared today on the new Fox Business channel. During the 3 o’clock hour of ‘Fox Business Live,’ Gainor contributed to the discussion of the media’s recent economic coverage on a segment called ‘Blasting Biz .’
On the eve of the 20th anniversary of Black Monday, Live’s anchor, David Asman, probed Gainor on why, despite a rising stock market, networks are still reporting all the bad news.