Katie Couric wants a Muslim Cosby Show

Katie Couric wants a Muslim Cosby Show

Thomas Lifson

Deep thinker Katie Couric believes that “a seething hatred many people feel for all Muslims” is such a  major problem that we need a Muslim version of The Cosby Show to give Americans the warm-and-fuzzies about Islam. Ms. Couric, who lives and works in New York, should examine the data on hate crimes in her state (which may be too much to ask from a woman who earns 8 figures yearly for reading a teleprompter summary of the news). Richards Baehr points out:

11 hate crimes against Muslims, 251 hate crimes against Jews in 2010. Not much evidence of any  growth in Islamophobia.But there may be evidence of big growth in hate crimes by Muslims against Jews, once data  on individual crimes is released. Maybe what Katie Couric really meant to say was that there was a need for a new Cosby show with a Jewish family.
For my part, I think there are many comic opportunities for a sitcom about a Muslim family dealing with the dilemmas of living in the Great Satan. Clitorectomies, honor killings, shunning infidelas as unclean, and following the prophet’s great example in killing Jews all have great potential for heart-warming comedy.

Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2010/12/katie_couric_wants_a_muslim_co.html at December 31, 2010 – 11:13:49 AM CST

‘Impressive!’ Couric Coos After Obama Sinks a Jump Shot, Smith Frets Over ‘Enmity’ from Talk Radio

‘Impressive!’ Couric Coos After Obama Sinks a Jump Shot, Smith Frets Over ‘Enmity’ from Talk Radio

Looks like — hardly a surprise — CBS’s Early Show on Friday morning will deliver a jovial and empathetic session with President Barack Obama just three days after NBC’s Today show had a friendly sit-down with the President. Thursday’s CBS Evening News previewed Harry Smith’s time with Obama on the White House basketball court, a segment which ended with Obama successfully hitting a jump shot, to which Katie Couric reacted: “Impressive!”

CBSNews.com features a video excerpt in which Smith despairs over the “enmity” toward Obama from talk radio where he’s supposedly called a Nazi:

After spending time, out and about, listening to talk radio, the kindest of terms you’re sometimes referred to out in America is a “socialist,” the worst of which I’ve heard is called a “Nazi.” Are you aware of the level of enmity that crosses the airwaves and that people have made part of their daily conversation about you?

Back to the CBS Evening News, “Mr. Smith went to Washington today, Mr. Harry Smith of the Early Show,” Couric cutely set up the preview, “for a couple of one-on-ones with the President. An interview and basketball.” Viewers were soon treated to Smith’s double-meaning query: “The question that everybody wants to know. Can you go to your right?” As he bounced the ball, Obama maintained: “I can go to my right, but I prefer my left.”

Over video of Obama missing the basket, Smith noted “he doesn’t always sink his famous jump shot,” and Obama rationalized: “I’ve got a few other things on my mind.” Then, after he tried again and succeeded, leading into Couric’s “impressive” assessment, Obama proclaimed: “It’s like health care. I always come from behind. I finish strong.”

Katie Couric: Return of the Palin Slayer

Katie Couric: Return of the Palin Slayer

By Stuart Schwartz

You know they’re worried.
Big government, big media, big Barack — they’re all worried. And they’ve brought in the knight in designer armor, the savior of all that is Washington and New York and Rodeo Drive, privileged and Democratic — Katie Couric.
Katie the Palin Slayer is back.
The CBS Evening News anchor is on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar this month, all progressive chic and mainstream media glitter. And just a week ago, she genuflected before Barack Obama to open the Super Bowl on CBS.
Call her the anti-Palin. In the 2008 election, the Couric interview with Sarah Palin helped put Obama in the White House and  gathered a tsunami of accolades culminating in the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award from the Metropolitan Opera wing of the Democratic Party, also known as mainstream media. With heavily edited snark, Couric stomped the pretender from the wrong side of the glaciers beneath her Christian Louboutin booties ($1,400 a pair at the Dollar General of establishment journalism, Bergdorf Goodman).
Neither her eighth cover for the glamor magazine nor the Super Bowl interview are meant to inform. Instead, in concert with the White House, Katie is hitting the “reset” button on a failing presidency. I’m-Katie-Couric-and-I’m-here-to-admire-you. Barack, Nancy, Harry, Rahm — don’t worry, got you covered.
They need Katie and her media platform. The Tea Party is gaining ground, The U.S. Congress and Obama job approval ratings are at historic lows, newspapers — long an arm of the Democratic Party — are failing at a record rate, and the networks — bastions of liberalism — are hemorrhaging viewers.
And — OMG!!! — Sarah Palin is back! Quick, hand me the wooden stakes and call Katie!  Katie Couric isn’t doing journalism; rather (or…Rather), she is 911 for the Obama agenda.  The natives are restless, and who better to call on than Katie the Palin Slayer?
And so Katie has again swung into action. Hail the “conquering Couric,” the Washington Post exults, “a power broker in stiletto heels.” Katie’s back, and as Robert Browning might have written had he been funded by a grant from the Obama administration, “the condom’s back on the banana — all’s right with the world.” (The original line read “God’s in his heaven”; this is Obama safe schools czar Browning, National Endowment for the Humanities poetry.) 
Of course, she had no choice. You see, Katie hearts Barack. They are part of what New York Times columnist David Brooks proudly calls the “intellectual class,” a political and media elite that knows what’s best for the rest of us.
And when Barack got into trouble — not, of course, because he is wrong, but because the rest of us are a “nation of dodos” (as it was put by another media grandee, Joe Klein of Time, the Ivy League, and Bill Clinton’s tony New York neighborhood), the White House reached out to Katie.
After all, she had made her bones on Palin, urged on by an intellectual class only too happy to indulge its inner “gangsta.” And she remained close to the Obama White House, a guest at its first state dinner and the public face of a network advocating the statist agenda of Obama while questioning the legitimacy of anti-tax citizens. 
But the sheep have become surprisingly reluctant to be shorn, and Katie has been called back into service to lead a media charge designed to prevent the nation from throwing away its best chance at progressive transformation. It is hard for a journalistic establishment engaged in “a slobbering love affair,” as conservative press critic Bernard Goldberg calls it, to imagine a citizenry rejecting a president so smart that the Washington Post noted in open-jawed wonder that he has pondered the legal implications of Einstein’s theory of relativity (never mind that there are no legal implications).
Katie is only too happy to help a nation stuck on stupid, a nation of Palin-loving simpletons incapable of comprehending the genius that is Barack Obama. After all, as Barack once so wisely explained, “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways.”
Wait — was that Barack? Or was that God…in that book written by a dead Jew named Isaiah? Well, no matter. God, Barack…same difference, according to Newsweek.
And who better than Katie to understand the embattled president? Harper’s Bazaar notes that a photograph of her staring at her reflection in the mirror is “iconic.” She adores what she sees, as does the president when he looks in the mirror.
And so Katie suited up for the Super Bowl, making sure, in her words, to take an “appropriate tone” that would showcase the president’s firm grasp of all that is good and fair. With a Palin resurgence as the backdrop, Katie attempted to point out a simple truth to Americans: Obama is good and Palin is bad.
And so the CBS news executive guides the Obamamedia team into the 2010 battle. And she, like the president, has a people’s touch — or so Harper’s puts it. Her Obama-like concern for the less fortunate is evident in every part of her life. Her appearance, for example, on the magazine cover touting her $14-million salary and million-dollar wardrobe coincides with layoffs in the ailing CBS news division that she leads.
“This is complete insanity!” CBS employees facing unemployment complained. But Katie merely smiled a sympathetic smile and said, “I always feel sexy when I’m in a little black dress.”
Barack, Katie — it’s all about me. When a library expansion near her $6.3-million summer home threatened to attract children from surrounding middle-class towns, she was one of the homeowners whose representatives urged the zoning board to stop the project. With Obamaesque sensitivity for the chef-less masses, she wanted to protect the children who would feel out of place in a resort town peopled by the likes of Martha Stewart and Jerry Seinfeld.
Imagine the damage to youthful self-esteem, walking by Tiffany and Ralph Lauren and Sotheby Real Estate and checking out a book, only to return at the end of the day to modest homes Palin-large with family. Oh, the horror — right out of Charles Dickens! Better that they never come. Reading is overrated, anyway.
Katie the Palin Slayer is back, accessorizing with bias and making the nation safe for Obama…and Gucci.
Stuart H. Schwartz is on the faculty at Liberty University in Virginia.

Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/02/katie_couric_return_of_the_pal.html at February 15, 2010 – 10:49:47 AM CST

Couric Delivers One Last Pre-Election Fawning Obama Interview

 

Couric Delivers One Last Pre-Election
Fawning Obama Interview

     Just as with all his previous interviews with the broadcast network anchors, Barack Obama had nothing to fear from his final pre-election sit-down, this time with CBS’s Katie Couric, who laughed along with him about being a “nervous wreck” on election day, raised Jeremiah Wright not to press him about Wright’s incendiary anti-American rants but to ask if the McCain campaign had given its “approval” to a state party to raise the topic, and concluded by fawning: “If things go your way on Tuesday and you become this nation’s first African-American President, what will that mean to you personally?”

     In the excerpts from the interview conducted Sunday in Columbus, Ohio and aired on Monday’s CBS Evening News, Couric posed four questions, starting with “fears that perhaps an unbridled, unchecked, filibuster-proof Democratic majority will overreach and move the country too far to the left. How can you assuage people’s concerns about that?” Instead of hitting him on how much the decision by the McCain campaign and the news media to drop Wright helped him avoid a subject that would have hurt in swing states, she treated Republicans as the miscreants:
     “The Pennsylvania Republican Party is starting to run an ad in that state which features your former minister, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, saying quote, ‘God damn America.’ Do you think they would have run that ad without the approval of the McCain campaign?”

     [This item, by the MRC’s Brent Baker, was posted Monday night on the MRC’s blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

     Sunday’s CBS Evening News plugged the interview with a clip of Couric asking Obama about Zeituni Onyango, whom the Times of London late last week found living in a Boston housing project: “You have an aunt who’s been living in this country, apparently illegally, for four years and you campaign says ‘any and all appropriate laws should be followed.’ So, would you support her being deported to Kenya?” Times of London article: www.timesonline.co.uk

     A CBSNews.com posting with interview video and a transcript does not have that question, but does have several others not aired Monday night, including: “What did the McCain team do in the course of this campaign that made you the angriest?” See: www.cbsnews.com

     The questions aired in the first half of the hour-long Monday, November 3 CBS Evening News (Washington, DC’s CBS affiliate did not air the second half, but Couric did not say more of the interview would air in that second half hour):

     # Let’s talk about single-party rule for a moment. Some critics describe it as all accelerator and no brakes. There are fears that perhaps an unbridled, unchecked, filibuster-proof Democratic majority will overreach and move the country too far to the left. How can you assuage people’s concerns about that?

     # What are you most afraid of on election day? (“Aren’t you going to be a nervous wreck?” And: “Or maybe not sleeping much on Monday night?”)

     # The Pennsylvania Republican Party is starting to run an ad in that state which features your former minister, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, saying quote, “God damn America.” Do you think they would have run that ad without the approval of the McCain campaign?

     # If things go your way on Tuesday and you become this nation’s first African-American President, what will that mean to you personally?

 

Election ’08 Backgrounder

  

Financial Crisis | Iraq | Defense | Background & Character | Judges & Courts | Energy

 

FINANCIAL CRISIS

Quick Facts:

  • Democrats created the mortgage crisis by forcing banks to give loans to people who couldn’t afford them.
  • In 2006, McCain sponsored a bill to fix the problems with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  Barney Frank and other Democrats successfully opposed it.
  • Obama was one of the highest recipients of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac donations in Congress.

Related Editorials

 

IRAQ


Quick Facts:

  • When the U.S. was on the verge of losing in Iraq, McCain chose to stand and fight.  Obama chose retreat.
  • Even after the surge succeeded, Obama told ABC’s Terry Moran he would still oppose it if he had the chance to do it all over again.

Related Editorials

 

DEFENSE

Quick Facts:

  • Obama has promised to significantly cut defense spending, including saying “I will slow our development of future combat systems.”
  • John McCain has vowed: “We must continue to deploy a safe and reliable nuclear deterrent, robust missile defenses and superior conventional forces that are capable of defending the United States and our allies.”

Related Editorials

Obama Video: Watch Now

 

 

BACKGROUND & CHARACTER

Quick Facts:

  • Obama voted “present” 135 times as a state senator, and according to David Ignatius of the Washington Post, “gained a reputation for skipping tough votes.”
  • McCain has taken stances unpopular with his own party and/or the public on controversial issues, including immigration, campaign finance reform, judicial nominations, the Iraq War and more.

Related Editorials

 

 

JUDGES & COURTS


Quick Facts:

  • In a 2001 interview, Obama said he regretted that the Supreme Court “didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution.”
  • In the same interview, Obama criticized the Supreme Court because it “never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth and sort of more basic issues of political and economic justice in this society.”
  • Obama has focused on empathy, rather than legal reasoning and restraint, as his basis for appointing judges, saying, “We need somebody who’s got the heart, the empathy…to understand what it’s like to be poor, or African-American, or gay, or disabled, or old.”
  • McCain opposes judicial activism, saying, “my nominees will understand that there are clear limits to the scope of judicial power.”

Related Editorials

Obama 2001 Interview: Listen Now

 

ENERGY


Quick Facts:

  • McCain has proposed building 45 new nuclear plants by 2030 and is in favor of drilling in sectors of the Outer Continental Shelf.
  • Obama has refused to take a stand, saying only “we should explore nuclear power as part of the energy mix” and he will “look at” drilling offshore.

Related Editorials

»
McCain: The Energy Candidate

» McCain On Nukes: Yes We Can
» Breaking The Back Of High Oil

 

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Couric Badgers Palin on Pakistan; Had Cued Up Biden on Economy

 

Couric Badgers Palin on Pakistan; Had
Cued Up Biden on Economy

     On Monday night’s CBS Evening News, anchor Katie Couric announced her day “on the campaign trail with Governor Palin” won’t air until Tuesday, but CBS still made room for an excerpt of her time Monday in Ohio with Sarah Palin and John McCain in which Couric repeatedly pressed the two about an overheard comment Palin made Saturday about Pakistan, badgering them with five follow-ups before moving on to Palin’s “reaction” to criticism of her answers during her previous Couric session. But a week-and-half-ago, when Couric’s day on the campaign trail story with Joe Biden was delayed by news on the financial front, CBS ran video of Couric cuing up Biden on what he and Obama would do to resolve the crisis followed by one challenging question with no follow-up.

     At a Philadelphia restaurant on Saturday a man demanded: “So we do cross-border, like from Afghanistan to Pakistan, you think?” Palin answered: “If that’s what we have to do stop the terrorists from coming any further in, absolutely, we should.” Couric decided: “That’s almost the exact position Barack Obama has taken and that you, Senator McCain, have criticized as something you do not say out loud. So, Governor Palin, are you two on the same page on this?” Couric pounded away: “Is that something you shouldn’t say out loud?” and “Are you sorry you said it Governor?” When McCain called it a “gotcha soundbite,” Couric retorted: “It wasn’t a ‘gotcha.'”

     CBSNews.com post on what Palin said at the crowded restaurant: www.cbsnews.com

     Couric turned to Palin: “What did you learn from that experience?” Palin: “That this is all about ‘gotcha’ journalism.”

     [This item, by the MRC’s Brent Baker, was posted Monday night on the MRC’s blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

     Back on Thursday, September 18, the day Couric spent a day in Ohio with Biden the CBS Evening News aired a far-friendlier excerpt tied to news of the day:

     KATIE COURIC: Barack Obama’s running mate, Joe Biden, spent the day in this all important swing state, first visiting the Football Hall of Fame in Canton, then talking to union members in Akron. After that speech, I rode with on the bus from Akron to Youngstown and asked him what three things an Obama administration would do right now to calm the panicky financial markets.
     JOE BIDEN: If you’re President right this minute, one, explain to the American people what’s happened, why we’re in this trouble. They don’t know. President hasn’t said anything, to the best of my knowledge. People got to know what is it, why are you doing what you — how did this get here and what are you going to do about it?
     Secondly, immediately implement a transparency that says that every one of those companies we’re giving — those outfits that we’re giving help to bail out, the solidify the markets say, “And, by the way, here’s the deal, we get to look at your books. Don’t tell me we’re going to lend you the money and me not know exactly, exactly what you own and what you have.”
     And the third thing I would do is demonstrate to the American people that you’re really going to begin to invest. Stop the things that caused the problem, these profligate tax cuts that are raising the deficit, causing us to borrow money from China, to pay for oil from Saudi Arabia. Go out there and tell them you’re immediately going to do something about the housing crisis.
     COURIC: You talk about tax cuts, and there’s been quite a brouhaha about your comment that paying higher taxes for those making $250,000 a year and over is the patriotic thing to do. Your vice presidential rival, Sarah Palin, Governor Palin, said: “To the rest of America, that’s not patriotism. Raising taxes is about killing jobs and hurting small businesses and making things worse.”
     BIDEN: How many small businessmen are making $1,400,000 a year average in the top one percent? Give me a break. I remind my friend John McCain what he said. When Bush called for war and tax cuts he said, quote: “It is immoral, immoral to take a nation to war and not have anybody pay for it.” I am so sick and tired of this phoniness. The truth of the matter is that we are in trouble, and the people who do not need a new tax cut should be willing, as patriotic Americans, to understand the way to get this economy back up on their feet is to give middle-class taxpayers a break. We take the tax cut they’re getting and we give it to the middle class.
     COURIC: Tomorrow I’ll have a lot more as I bring you a day in the life of Joe Biden out on the campaign trail.

     Couric spent Monday, September 29 with Palin and McCain in Columbus, Ohio. The excerpt aired by the CBS Evening News before the day on the trail piece scheduled to run on Tuesday:

     KATIE COURIC: John McCain and Sarah Palin were here in Columbus today for a campaign rally. And in their first joint interview, I asked them about a statement Governor Palin made on Saturday which didn’t seem to square with her running mate’s position on Pakistan.
     COURIC, TO PALIN: Over the weekend, Governor Palin, you said the U.S. should absolutely launch cross-border attacks from Afghanistan into Pakistan to, quote, “stop the terrorists from coming any further in.” Now, that’s almost the exact position Barack Obama has taken and that you, Senator McCain, have criticized as something you do not say out loud. So, Governor Palin, are you two on the same page on this?
     SARAH PALIN: We had a great discussion with President Zardari as we talked about what it is that America can and should be doing together to make sure that the terrorists do not cross borders and do not ultimately put themselves in a position of attacking America again or her allies. And we will do what we have to do to secure the United States of America and her allies.
     COURIC: Is that something you shouldn’t say out loud, Senator McCain?
     JOHN MCCAIN: Of course not. But, look, I understand this day and age, “gotcha” journalism. [to Palin] Is that a pizza place? In a conversation with someone who you didn’t hear the question very well, you don’t know the context of the conversation, grab a phrase. Governor Palin and I agree that you don’t announce that you’re going to attack another country-
     COURIC TO PALIN: Are you sorry you said it Governor?
     McCAIN: Wait a minute. Before you say, “is she sorry she said it,” this was a “gotcha” soundbite that, look she in a conversation-
     COURIC: It wasn’t a “gotcha.” She was talking to a voter.
     McCAIN: No, she was in a conversation with a group of people and talking back and forth. And I’ll let Governor Palin speak for herself.
     PALIN: In fact, you’re absolutely right on. In the context, this was a voter, a constituent, hollering out a question from across an area asking, “What are you gonna do about Pakistan? You better have an answer to Pakistan.” I said we’re gonna do what we have to do to protect the United States of America.
     COURIC: You were pretty specific about what you wanted to do, cross-border-
     PALIN: Well, as Senator McCain is suggesting here, also, never would our administration get out there and show our cards to terrorists, in this case, to enemies and let them know what the game plan was, not when that could ultimately adversely affect a plan to keep America secure.
     COURIC: What did you learn from that experience?
     PALIN: That this is all about “gotcha” journalism. A lot of it is. But that’s okay, too.
     COURIC: Governor Palin, since our last interview, you’ve gotten a lot of flak. Some Republicans have said you’re not prepared; you’re not ready for prime-time. People have questioned your readiness since that interview. And I’m curious to hear your reaction.
     PALIN: Well, not only am I ready, but willing and able to serve as Vice President with Senator McCain if Americans so bless us and privilege us with the opportunity of serving them, ready with my executive experience as a city mayor and manager, as a Governor, as a commissioner, a regulator of oil and gas.
     McCAIN: This is not the first time that I’ve seen a Governor being questioned by some quote, “expert.” I remember that Ronald Reagan was a “cowboy.” President Clinton was a Governor of a very small state that had “no experience” either. In fact, I remember how easy it was gonna be for Bush I to defeat him. I still recall, whoops, that one. But the point is, I’ve seen underestimation before. I’m very proud of the excitement that Governor Palin has ignited with our party and around this country. It is a level of excitement and enthusiasm, frankly, that I haven’t seen before. And I’d like to attribute it to me. But the fact is that she has done incredible job and I’m so proud of the work that she’s doing.
     COURIC: Tomorrow: On the campaign trail with Governor Palin.

     The day on the trail with Biden story didn’t air until Monday, September 22, as recounted in a September 23 CyberAlert item and it is this story to which I will be comparing and contrasting Couric’s Tuesday, September 30 piece on Palin:

Couric Has Cushy Chat with Biden, Will She Be as Warm with Palin?

If Katie Couric is to be consistent and treat Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, whom Couric is scheduled to interview this week [ended up as one last week, another today/Monday], as gently as she did Democratic VP nominee Joe Biden in her day with him Thursday in Ohio which became a story on the Monday night CBS Evening News, she will (Couric quotes from the Biden story in the parentheses):

– Not apply any ideological label: (“We decided to take a closer look at the 65-year-old Senator from Delaware.”)

– Hail her outspokenness: (“You say what’s on your mind and I think people appreciate that.”)

– Ignore obvious factual/historical flubs: (Biden: “When the stock market crashed, Franklin Roosevelt got on television…”) FDR was not in office at the time of the 1929 crash and his “fireside chats” were on the radio.

– Relay as reality positive campaign spin about her attributes: (“Relating to the fears of the average American is one of Biden’s strong suits.”)

– Cue up campaign rally attendees to praise her: (“What was it about what he said that really resonated with you in particular?” Answers: “I think he expressed what most working Americans feel at the moment. He seems to relate to our pain.” and “I want him in office because I believe he will do things for women.”)

– Empathize with the challenge she faces at the upcoming debate: (“Are you worried you’re going to have to pull your punches a bit because of her gender and you don’t want to seem like you’re bullying her? It’s a different dynamic when it’s a male/female thing, isn’t it?”)

     Full rundown: www.mrc.org

When Watchdogs Snore: How ABC, CBS & NBC Ignored Fannie & Freddie

 

When Watchdogs Snore: How ABC, CBS &
NBC Ignored Fannie & Freddie

     The two mortgage giants Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae — seized by the government September 7 before they went completely bankrupt, at a potential cost to taxpayers of more than $25 billion — have been in obvious trouble for much of the past five years — with criminal investigations, accounting scandals, firings, resignations, huge losses and warnings from the Federal Reserve that their huge portfolio of mortgage securities posed a risk to the overall financial system.

     But prior to this year, the watchdogs at ABC, CBS and NBC found time for only 10 stories on the financial health and management of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. A review of the three networks’ morning and evening news programs from January 1, 2003 through December 31, 2007 found nine anchor-read items or brief references to the companies troubles, plus one in-depth report by CBS’s Anthony Mason on the May 23, 2006 Evening News, after Fannie Mae was fined $400 million for accounting fraud.

     [This item, by the MRC’s Rich Noyes, was posted Thursday afternoon on the MRC’s blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

     It’s not that the networks eschew business news. A 2005 report from the MRC’s Business and Media Institute found heavy coverage of the scandal surrounding Enron, but no interest in the growing scandal surrounding Fannie Mae: “A LexisNexis search of ABC, CBS, NBC, and CNN on the term ‘Enron’ from the nine months around when the story first broke — Oct. 1, 2001, to July 1, 2002, produced 3,017 hits….A similar LexisNexis search was performed for the term ‘Fannie Mae’ for those same media, from June 1, 2004, to March 1, 2005, again during the time the story was breaking. This search discovered a paltry 37 matches.” See: www.businessandmedia.org

     But the networks should (presumably) be more interested in monitoring these mortgage behemoths, since they’re not normal private companies but rather Government Sponsored Entities (GSEs) chartered by Congress to promote the specific cause of promoting home ownership. This special status, along with the presumption that taxpayers would bail out the firms if they got into trouble, amounts to an implicit federal subsidy that the Federal Reserve in 2003 calculated was worth between $119 and $164 billion a year.

     Writing in Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal, Charles Calomiris and Peter Wallison of the American Enterprise Institute explained how these two GSEs — plus members of Congress who refused to hold them accountable — are “largely to blame for our current mess.” An excerpt:

Many monumental errors and misjudgments contributed to the acute financial turmoil in which we now find ourselves. Nevertheless, the vast accumulation of toxic mortgage debt that poisoned the global financial system was driven by the aggressive buying of subprime and Alt-A mortgages, and mortgage-backed securities, by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The poor choices of these two government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) — and their sponsors in Washington — are largely to blame for our current mess.

How did we get here? Let’s review: In order to curry congressional support after their accounting scandals in 2003 and 2004, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac committed to increased financing of “affordable housing.” They became the largest buyers of subprime and Alt-A mortgages between 2004 and 2007, with total GSE exposure eventually exceeding $1 trillion. In doing so, they stimulated the growth of the subpar mortgage market and substantially magnified the costs of its collapse….

In 2005, the Senate Banking Committee, then under Republican control, adopted a strong reform bill, introduced by Republican Sens. Elizabeth Dole, John Sununu and Chuck Hagel, and supported by then chairman Richard Shelby. The bill prohibited the GSEs from holding portfolios, and gave their regulator prudential authority (such as setting capital requirements) roughly equivalent to a bank regulator. In light of the current financial crisis, this bill was probably the most important piece of financial regulation before Congress in 2005 and 2006. All the Republicans on the Committee supported the bill, and all the Democrats voted against it. Mr. McCain endorsed the legislation in a speech on the Senate floor. Mr. Obama, like all other Democrats, remained silent.

Now the Democrats are blaming the financial crisis on “deregulation.” This is a canard. There has indeed been deregulation in our economy — in long-distance telephone rates, airline fares, securities brokerage and trucking, to name just a few — and this has produced much innovation and lower consumer prices….

If the Democrats had let the 2005 legislation come to a vote, the huge growth in the subprime and Alt-A loan portfolios of Fannie and Freddie could not have occurred, and the scale of the financial meltdown would have been substantially less. The same politicians who today decry the lack of intervention to stop excess risk taking in 2005-2006 were the ones who blocked the only legislative effort that could have stopped it.