29 October 2008


Here is an article sent to me by Carolyn, NO APOLOGIES ROUND 2. She has an excellent journal, so please visit and leave a comment.

This article was written by a journalist for
THE RHINO TIMES in Greensboro, North Carolina who is a Democrat (confirmed by TRUTHORFICTION.COM). It is an excellent summation of the state of the American news media. This is nothing new. Our news media has slanted the news as far back as I can remember (which goes back to around 1970 when I became interested in world events and politics). I became disgusted as a pre-teen with the distortions and outright lies of the media. The most blatant lies were perpetrated by the television news networks, and this was of course before cable news, about the Vietnam war. Primarily CBS News kept on giving the American public on how we were being defeated in Vietnam, and the sick, morbid body count was heard daily. CBS News made one mistake that began my questioning them - their video was of the SAME AIRCRAFT CRASH over and over again. I said at the time it was either the same airplane, which looked like a C-130, Photobucket or the soldier standing in the lower right hand corner really got around! It was obviously the same man while the newscaster was leading the American public to believe that these were different photos of different crashes. After listening to the BBC World News for a while on shortwave radio, I found stark differences between the accounting of the war by our media and theirs. I finally drew the conclusion, and told a number of my friends, that the only thing one could count on in this news coverage was that there was a war in Vietnam. Beyond that, we had no way of knowing what was fact or fiction. The same holds true today.

The author, Orson Scott Card, also explains the origin of the current mortgage crisis - and the fact that it was completely and totally preventable.

Would the Last Honest Reporter Please Turn On the Lights?

By Orson Scott Card
October 5, 2008

An open letter to the local daily paper -- almost every local daily paper in America:
I remember reading All the President's Men and thinking: That's journalism. You do what it takes to get the truth and you lay it before the public, because the public has a right to know.
This housing crisis didn't come out of nowhere. It was not a vague emanation of the evil Bush administration. It was a direct result of the political decision, back in the late 1990s, to loosen the rules of lending so that home loans would be more accessible to poor people. FANNIE MAE and FREDDIE MAC were authorized to approve risky loans. What is a risky loan? It's a loan that the recipient is likely not to be able to repay. The goal of this rule change was to help the poor -- which especially would help members of minority groups. But how does it help these people to give them a loan that they can't repay? They get into a house, yes, but when they can't make the payments, they lose the house -- along with their credit rating. They end up worse off than before. This was completely foreseeable and in fact many people did foresee it. One political party, in Congress and in the executive branch, tried repeatedly to tighten up the rules. The other party blocked every such attempt and tried to loosen them. Furthermore, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae were making political contributions to the very members of Congress who were allowing them to make irresponsible loans. (Though why quasi-federal agencies were allowed to do so baffles me. It's as if the Pentagon were allowed to contribute to the political campaigns of Congressmen who support increasing their budget.)
Isn't there a story here? Doesn't journalism require that you who produce our daily paper tell the truth about who brought us to a position where the only way to keep confidence in our economy was a $700 billion bailout? Aren't you supposed to follow the money and see which politicians were benefitting personally from the deregulation of mortgage lending? I have no doubt that if these facts had pointed to the Republican Party or to John McCain as the guilty parties, you would be treating it as a vast scandal. "Housing-gate," no doubt. Or "Fannie-gate." Instead, it was Senator Christopher Dodd and Congressman Barney Frank, both Democrats, who denied that there were any problems, who refused Bush administration requests to set up a regulatory agency to watch over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and who were still pushing for these agencies to go even further in promoting subprime mortgage loans almost up to the minute they failed. As Thomas Sowell points out in a TownHall.com essay entitled Do Facts Matter? "Alan Greenspan warned them four years ago. So did the Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers to the President. So did Bush's Secretary of the Treasury." These are facts. This financial crisis was completely preventable. The party that blocked any attempt to prevent it was ... the Democratic Party. The party that tried to prevent it was ... the Republican Party. Yet when Nancy Pelosi accused the Bush administration and Republican deregulation of causing the crisis, you in the press did not hold her to account for her lie. Instead, you criticized Republicans who took offense at this lie and refused to vote for the bailout! What? It's not the liar, but the victims of the lie who are to blame?
Now let's follow the money ... right to the presidential candidate who is the number-two recipient of campaign contributions from Fannie Mae. And after Freddie Raines, the CEO of Fannie Mae who made $90 million while running it into the ground, was fired for his incompetence, one presidential candidate's campaign actually consulted him for advice on housing. If that presidential candidate had been John McCain, you would have called it a major scandal and we would be getting stories in your paper every day about how incompetent and corrupt he was. But instead, that candidate was Barack Obama, and so you have buried this story, and when the McCain campaign dared to call Raines an "adviser" to the Obama campaign -- because that campaign had sought his advice -- you actually let Obama's people get away with accusing McCain of lying, merely because Raines wasn't listed as an official adviser to the Obama campaign. You would never tolerate such weasely nit-picking from a Republican. If you who produce our local daily paper actually had any principles, you would be pounding this story, because the prosperity of all Americans was put at risk by the foolish, short-sighted, politically selfish, and possibly corrupt actions of leading Democrats, including Obama. If you who produce our local daily paper had any personal honor, you would find it unbearable to let the American people believe that somehow Republicans were to blame for this crisis.
There are precedents. Even though President Bush and his administration never said that Iraq sponsored or was linked to 9/11, you could not stand the fact that Americans had that misapprehension -- so you pounded us with the fact that there was no such link. (Along the way, you created the false impression that Bush had lied to them and said that there was a connection.) If you had any principles, then surely right now, when the American people are set to blame President Bush and John McCain for a crisis they tried to prevent, and are actually shifting to approve of Barack Obama because of a crisis he helped cause, you would be laboring at least as hard to correct that false impression. Your job, as journalists, is to tell the truth. That's what you claim you do, when you accept people's money to buy or subscribe to your paper. But right now, you are consenting to or actively promoting a big fat lie -- that the housing crisis should somehow be blamed on Bush, McCain, and the Republicans. You have trained the American people to blame everything bad -- even bad weather -- on Bush, and they are responding as you have taught them to. If you had any personal honor, each reporter and editor would be insisting on telling the truth -- even if it hurts the election chances of your favorite candidate. Because that's what honorable people do. Honest people tell the truth even when they don't like the probable consequences. That's what honesty means. That's how trust is earned. Barack Obama is just another politician, and not a very wise one. He has revealed his ignorance and naivete time after time -- and you have swept it under the rug, treated it as nothing. Meanwhile, you have participated in the borking of Sarah Palin, reporting savage attacks on her for the pregnancy of her unmarried daughter -- while you ignored the story of John Edwards's own adultery for many months.
So I ask you now: Do you have any standards at all? Do you even know what honesty means? Is getting people to vote for Barack Obama so important that you will throw away everything that journalism is supposed to stand for? You might want to remember the way the National Organization of Women threw away their integrity by supporting Bill Clinton despite his well-known pattern of sexual exploitation of powerless women. Who listens to NOW anymore? We know they stand for nothing; they have no principles. That's where you are right now. It's not too late. You know that if the situation were reversed, and the truth would damage McCain and help Obama, you would be moving heaven and earth to get the true story out there.
If you want to redeem your honor, you will swallow hard and make a list of all the stories you would print if it were McCain who had been getting money from Fannie Mae, McCain whose campaign had consulted with its discredited former CEO, McCain who had voted against tightening its lending practices. Then you will print them, even though every one of those true stories will point the finger of blame at the reckless Democratic Party, which put our nation's prosperity at risk so they could feel good about helping the poor, and lay a fair share of the blame at Obama's door.
You will also tell the truth about John McCain: that he tried, as a Senator, to do what it took to prevent this crisis. You will tell the truth about President Bush: that his administration tried more than once to get Congress to regulate lending in a responsible way. This was a Congress-caused crisis, beginning during the Clinton administration, with Democrats leading the way into the crisis and blocking every effort to get out of it in a timely fashion.
If you at our local daily newspaper continue to let Americans believe --and vote as if -- President Bush and the Republicans caused the crisis, then you are joining in that lie. If you do not tell the truth about the Democrats -- including Barack Obama -- and do so with the same energy you would use if the miscreants were Republicans -- then you are not journalists by any standard. You're just the public relations machine of the Democratic Party, and it's time you were all fired and real journalists brought in, so that we can actually have a daily newspaper in our city.
Mr. Card did an excellent job here. This could be said of most of the television news media too. There will be no recanting of any mispresentations or admissions of one-sidedness at all. I agree entirely with Mr. Card's remedy. Thank you, Carolyn, for sharing this.


MISSY said...

I guess there is no way to get an unbiased take on anything. Everyone has their own opinions and views that will manage to leak out (or alternate motives behind painting a different picture). *M*


Carolyn said...

Hi Dirk~ thank you for your kind words! And thank you for posting this. It is true that everyone has an opinion, so we need to allow a little of that bias to creep into the news but for blatant bias as what has been seen, well, for decades is disgusting. I am so tired of the news that I rarely watch it anymore- but that's not really the answer either. I just get tired of the elites talking down to the rest of us- telling us only what they want or think we should know and not the whole truth and story. This article really surprised me in a good way. I doubt any others will follow suit, but maybe... God Bless! Carolyn

Based In Las Vegas, Nevada USA River Organization said...

That is why the NEW MEDIA (Us bloggers and independent-Internet sites) is so important. We can take the power out of the hands of the fat cats in Old Media and re-establish that power to the American people.

The greedy cons on Wall Street and in Washington blame the crisis among other things on the sub-prime mortgage loans.

In reality, the sub-prime had little to do with it. The no- interest loans and the greed from banks creating loans that got away from traditional, 15 and 30 year fixed mortgage rates, such as no-interest loans had a great deal to do with it.

Also lending firms and real estate
firms allowed prospective homeowners to "bet the farm" in the AMOUNT of loans they were eligible for, NOT allowing for a cushion of safety for buyers by requiring a larger % of cash reserves or savings to meet future emergencies. One could finance a home using nearly all of their disposable income.

I know a number of people here in Vegas who had 800 score credit ratings who are now losing or already lost their homes due to the mortgage payments being hiked so high they couldn't pay.

During the Great Depression, a primary reason for the failure of the economy was the 5-year balloon payment mortgages.

The so-called experts and advisors really flushed America down the toilet on this one.

Keep lifting the rocks, Dirk, and exposing what really crawls underneath them.

Just remember, Old Media news publishers are in the business to SELL news publishings. They could care less if they tell the truth or not.

Here is one I bet you, nor most Americans knew about, who is doing the most to solve homelessness in America?


Your Buddy

Gerry said...

I do think that the only way we are going to be able to get a half way accurate picture of the real truth is through articles like this, for I had never heard of Obama's connection to this foolish way of getting poor people into a house. I know my sister was encouraged to borrow on her equity until she had a payment she could not possibly meet each month. In fact, she was using the money she had borrowed to pay on the increased payment, does that make sense? But she could not resist the idea of having some cash in her hands no matter how high the bill came too later. More policies to help poor people, and I have no idea what Obama might be inspired to do if he wins about giving everybody health care and such, when there is no money to pay for it That has not seemed to bother other politicians in the past, the fact there was no way to keep a campaign promise except through fiscal irresponsibility. Gerry

Anonymous said...

I wish everyone could read this. Especially my MIL. ;) he he

Good luck and God bless-