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Monday, December 8, 2008
Sheppard Misses the Point, Then Misleads
Topic: NewsBusters

A Dec. 7 NewsBusters post by Noel Sheppard complains that an Associated Press article on the lobbying efforts of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to squelch congressional regulation efforts "completely blamed Republicans for the lack of regulation and oversight of Freddie Mac." Sheppard asserted that the article "didn't inform ... readers about contributions by this government sponsored enterprise and Fannie Mae to active members of Congress since 1989," adding that the "top three recipients" were Democrats.

The first problem is that Sheppard misses the point of the AP article, which was about lobbying, not political contributions.Secondly, Sheppard conveniently uses an incomplete list of donations, ignoring the fact that, according to the New York Times, John McCain received more than $169,000 in donations from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac executives and lobbyists (as we've noted).

Sheppard misses the point again when he claimed regarding the bill the AP was writing about that "Senate Democrats were opposed to this bill, and Republicans were never able to get the votes to avoid a filibuster." But the article clearly points out that Fannie and Freddie hired Republican lobbyists to lobby Republicans in order to stymie the bill after it was approved in committee. Sheppard offers no evidence that Democrats threatened a filibuster on the bill at the time.

Nevertheless, Sheppard conlcudes that the AP's "accusation that the GOP prevented its passage is grossly inaccurate."  Sheppard is twisting words here; the AP never said "the GOP prevented its passage." Rather, it pointed out that Fannie and Freddie used Repubican lobbyists to twist the arms of Republican congressmen to stop a bill in a Republican-controlled Congress.

That's what passes for "media research" at the MRC today.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:50 PM EST

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