BMI’s Menefee: Countrywide Story ‘Has Everything,’ but Networks Ignore It

June 23rd, 2008 3:11 PM

The network news outlets - ABC, CBS and NBC - have missed a great opportunity to cover actual political news in the last week by failing to report on the loan scandal surrounding two Democratic senators, Business & Media Institute Managing Editor Amy Menefee told "Fox & Friends Weekend" June 21.

"This story has everything," Menefee said. "It has a former presidential candidate, Chris Dodd. It has two senators who are getting, like you said, sweetheart loans. It has Kent Conrad, another senator, who called the CEO of the lender to get his loan, which is not what we normally do, and then said, ‘Oh, I didn't get any preferential treatment and I didn't do anything wrong, but I'm going to give a charitable donation to remedy the fact that I didn't do anything wrong.'"

Menefee said it was "very sad" that the networks failed to report the scandal - not just because they refused to go after two Democrats, but because they missed an opportunity to expose the bailout plan Dodd has been defending.

"Chris Dodd keeps saying it's all for homeowners, it's not going to benefit the lenders. But it is going to benefit the lenders," Menefee said. "It's a $300-billion package to help them get some money back on these bad loans that they made."

The more-government approach prevents the market from working the problems out. "[I]f a lender makes a bad decision, makes a bad loan ... if he doesn't suffer the consequences of that, the market's not going to correct itself," Menefee said. "They're just going to look for more government handouts."

"And of course government-backed loans like they want to do with the Federal Housing Administration - guess what it means when they say ‘government-backed,'" she added, "[it] is your money and my money going behind that loan."