Media Claim Ed McMahon Victim of 'Subprime Mess'

    Ed McMahon has gone from spokesman for a sweepstakes company to spokesman for foreclosure victims. McMahon and his mansion have been in the news because he is “the latest celebrity to fall victim to the housing crisis,” said Chris Cuomo on ABC’s June 6 “Good Morning America.”


     McMahon’s “subprime” problem wasn’t anything of the kind. The actor and TV celebrity even admitted he had created his own financial problems, but Cuomo’s report made no mention of any personal mistakes.


     The former “Tonight Show” sidekick appeared on “Larry King Live” on June 5 admitting that, “if you spend more money than you make, you know what happens.” He cited his divorces and an injury. His wife admitted, “We didn’t keep our eye on the ball. We made mistakes,” reported The Los Angeles Times that same day.


     Yet, McMahon still didn’t take full responsibility for his foreclosure and the media let him link his misery to those who haven’t overspent by millions of dollars. “You know, there’s a lot of people that are hard workers, did everything right, didn’t do anything wrong, and all of a sudden they’re in this boat. And I speak for all of them,” McMahon told Larry King.


     Earlier in the day, the “Today Show” made that precise connection. NBC’s Al Roker linked McMahon’s problems to the economy. “I think it does speak to the fact that this subprime mess, this whole thing is spread out,” he said.


     This comment followed another attempt by Roker to hold McMahon blameless. “[McMahon] may be the victim of some unscrupulous financial advisors.” Kathie Lee Gifford later suggested that “Brad and Angelina should pay his mortgage.”


     According to some in the media, it is not McMahon’s fault his house is being foreclosed. Los Angeles Times writer Peter Hong referred to McMahon being “caught up n the nationwide real estate downturn and mortgage crunch,” on June 4.


    Instead, blame lenders. “Federal regulators have been urging lenders to ease loan terms, but it wasn’t clear if that would happen in McMahon’s case,” wrote Hong.