Networks Punt on Unveiling of Regulations Set to Force the Diversification of Neighborhoods

On Wednesday night, the “big three” of ABC, CBS, and NBC refused to cover the Obama administration’s official unveiling of new regulations that aim to force neighborhoods to diversification or risk losing annual federal funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

As they often do when the networks fail to cover a story, the Fox News Channel (FNC) program Special Report was there to pick up the pieces and provided a full report from White House correspondent Kevin Corke on the plans that HUD says will “reduc[e] disparities in housing choice and access.”

Host Bret Baier explained at the top of the segment that “critics tonight are saying the Obama administration is taking another big step toward telling you and your neighbors who can and cannot live on your street and in your neighborhood.”

Officially dubbed Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH), Corke reported that the plans are said “to help root out systematic discrimination and segregation all across America” by forcing “cities and towns to scrutinize housing patterns for racial bias.”

Corke further detailed that “[c]ommunities are required to report their findings and/or improvement plans every three-to-five years or face losing the federal funding HUD hands out here each year.”

Summarizing the opinion of critics, Corke stated that they view “the President’s plan is a social engineering redux of the Fair Housing Act of 1968, which was meant to fight housing discrimination, but actually created worse segregation in some cities thanks to so-called white flight when many families chose to move to the suburbs.”

In what “some lawmakers on Capitol Hill” have called “yet another overreach by the President,” Corke added that “parts of the AFFH are set to take effect 30 days from tomorrow with other policies being phased in over time.”

The lack of coverage on these regulations should come as little to no surprise as when a House committee hearing took place on June 11 concerning the initiative, the major broadcast networks also ducked it with Special Report similarly coming through with a full story on the matter.

Instead of mentioning this expansion of the federal government, the CBS Evening News devoted a news brief to viral video of a ground trap blowing wildly in a rain delay during Tuesday night’s Pittsburgh Pirates baseball game. During the brief, anchor Scott Pelley inadvertently referred to the Pirates as “the Patriots.”

On ABC’s World News Tonight, one brief in the show’s “Instant Index” block was devoted to the announcement that Taco Bell will begin testing delivery from 200 stores in over 90 cities.

The relevant portions of the transcript from FNC’s Special Report with Bret Baier on July 8 can be found below.

FNC’s Special Report with Bret Baier
July 8, 2015
6:33 p.m. Eastern

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE CAPTION: Community Organizing?]

BRET BAIER: Well, critics tonight are saying the Obama administration is taking another big step toward telling you and your neighbors who can and cannot live on your street and in your neighborhood. Supporters call it fair housing. Opponents call it social engineering. Correspondent Kevin Corke has the story. 

HUD SECRETARY JULIAN CASTRO: We're eager to support local leaders in giving every person an equal chance to access quality good housing near schools, transportation and jobs, no matter who they are, what they look like, how they worship. 

KEVIN CORKE: That's the thought behind the White House effort to use the Department of Housing and Urban Development to help root out systematic discrimination and segregation all across America. The plan unveiled today is called Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing and will require cities and towns to scrutinize housing patterns for racial bias with the goal of “reducing disparities in housing choice and access...thereby expanding economic opportunities and enhancing the quality of life.” Communities are required to report their findings and/or improvement plans every three-to-five years or face losing the federal funding HUD hands out here each year. 

(....)

CORKE: Critics say the President’s plan is a social engineering redux of the Fair Housing Act of 1968, which was meant to fight housing discrimination, but actually created worse segregation in some cities thanks to so-called white flight when many families chose to move to the suburbs. 

THE HERITAGE FOUNDATION’S HANS VON SPAKOVSKY: This is the Obama administration's way of putting in their utopian, progressive vision of how they think Americans should live. 

CORKE: This time around, HUD will use data collected from zoning laws, home financing, infrastructure planning, and transportation to determine if all families have access to fair housing and services, but some lawmakers on Capitol Hill say this is just a heavy-handed way for the government to try to shape local zoning laws, and in doing so, support yet another overreach by the President. 

(....)

CORKE: The final rule is 377 pages long, much longer, frankly, than the version we saw back in 2013. By the way, parts of the AFFH are set to take effect 30 days from tomorrow with other policies being phased in over time.

NB Daily Economy Housing Real Estate Regulation Media Bias Debate Bias by Omission Poverty Race Issues ABC World News Tonight CBS CBS Evening News NBC NBC Nightly News Fox News Channel Special Report Video Government & Press President Barack Obama President Obama Bret Baier Barack Obama Julian Castro
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