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Thursday, July 9, 2009
CNS' Lucas Uncritically Repeats Report's Bogus Claims

A July 8 article by Fred Lucas repeats claims from a "congressional report" that "Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were the chief culprits in the housing crisis because they encouraged people who could not afford payments to borrow money," but Lucas waits until the fourth paragraph to reveal that the report came from "Republican members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee." In other words, it's a biased report that committee Democrats did not sign off on. Lucas failed to solicit any reaction to the report, even though its claims appear to contradict established facts.

Lucas states that "claims in the report have long been advanced by conservatives, who argue that the Community Reinvestment Act and other federal programs fed the housing bubble that burst in 2007 and led to the economic downfall in 2008." In fact, housing experts have pointed out that most subprime loans were not made under the CRA.

Lucas also describes Democratic Rep. Barney Frank as having "fought against regulation of the two quasi-public mortgage giants." In fact, Frank made numerous efforts to enhance federal oversight of Fannie and Freddie.

We suspect that Lucas can't be bothered to do a more balanced follow-up, even though prominent conservative David Horowitz has denounced the Republicans' report as "factually wrong-headed" and having "ugly racial overtones."

Posted by Terry K. at 6:44 PM EDT

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