CBS Features Left-Wing Activist Group in Rate Cut Coverage

     On Oct. 29, the Federal Reserve cut the Fed funds rate target to 1 percent – a level not seen since 2003 – in an effort to make lending flow more freely. But “CBS Evening News” went a different direction with its coverage of the rate cut.


     Unlike the other two broadcast network newscasts, which focused their coverage that evening on the financial markets, CBS featured a liberal activist group protesting Fannie Mae, the failed government-sponsored enterprise behind much of the mortgage crisis.


     CBS correspondent Anthony Mason led the segment off with a scene from Fannie Mae headquarters in Washington, D.C., where activists with the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America (NACA) were tossing furniture onto the front lawn. The demonstrators were demanding a bailout for “Main Street” homeowners.


     “A small army of distressed homeowners marched on one of America’s mortgage giants today,” Mason said, “dumping their furniture on the front lawn of Fannie Mae’s Washington headquarters. The protest came as the Fed cut interest rates another half a point in what many say is a psychological move.”


     One of the protesters called her plight to achieve the American dream “the American nightmare.” But that might be expected from a protester that represents an organization claiming home ownership is a part of “economic justice” and disparages bank CEOs on its Web site.


     Mason didn’t mention that NACA prides itself on “aggressive confrontation advocacy” against “predatory lenders who are foreclosing on thousands of homeowners.” The group refuses to acknowledge that irresponsible borrowers played a role in creating the crisis.


      “The protesters that forced their way to Fannie Mae’s front door today – like Edna Barber, who has lost her home – say the banks can’t be the only ones who get government help,” Mason said.


     The furniture-protest was a plea for a bailout, according to Barber’s comment to CBS.


     “We need something to help Main Street,” Barber said. “They bailed out Wall Street – bail out Main Street.”

     According to an article in the Oct. 29 New York Times, only one in 10 homes was delinquent or in foreclosure as of the end of June 2008, indicating Barber’s situation is far from the norm – something Mason completely ignored in his reporting