Credit-Crunched CBS Journalist Reports on Families in Same Situation

     CBS examined two families hurt by the “mortgage meltdown” in its August 16 broadcast, but the report was delivered by a correspondent who lost her own dream house because of an adjustable rate mortgage.


     Isn’t that called conflict of interest?


     CBS correspondent Cynthia Bowers explained on the “Couric & Co.” blog, that she was living in her dream home a year ago until “that Fed rate started going up, and so did our ARM.”


     Bowers should have known that her ARM could adjust upward and increase “the cost of our monthly mortgage by nearly 40%.” According to Nexis, she has been reporting on the mortgage and housing market since at least 1997. With a decade of industry reporting under her belt, you’d think she’d be able to anticipate the fact that rates shift and payments adjust.


     But even in her latest report, August 16 “CBS Evening News,” she promoted the idea that the borrower is the victim. Bowers interviewed two families. The first family she mentioned bought their house with an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM), yet they were perplexed to find out that the rate was going up.


     “He bought his suburban Chicago home fifteen months ago using an adjustable rate mortgage. Since then he’s seen it skyrocket four points and his monthly payment go up by almost $700 a month, and it could go higher,” Bowers said in the broadcast.


     The second family had the same thing happen to them as they were about to close. The rate adjusted upward. However, according to Bowers: “They got lucky. The developer eager to make a sale dropped the price, making it possible for them to get into their dream home.”


     Despite the kindness of a developer that lowered his price so a family could have its “dream home,” Bowers and CBS still didn’t provide a pro-business perspective. 

     Bowers isn’t new to bashing the mortgage and housing industry. Back in May of 2005, right in the middle of a huge housing boom, she found areas such as Lafayette, Indiana, where a family had to sell their house at a loss.