Last night, 60 Minutes (the CBS News Magazine) had an interesting piece on Barney Frank. It showed once-again why CBS (and the other major networks) have lost credibility in the News Arena.
The piece basically portrayed Mr. Frank as: 1. the brightest guy in the Congress; 2. an out-of-the-closet gay man who was being discriminated against and could therefore never have any job more important than his banking committee job; 3. a person whom we are very fortunate to have running the banking committee; and 4. the person who is going to save our country from its financial problems within the next year or two.
Unless I missed it, there was not a word about Mr. Frank’s involvement with the creation of our financial crisis. Mr. Frank’s involvement with the Community Reinvestment Act in the 1995 expansion of that act, and his strong defense of both Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae is clear. Also clear is the amazing effect that the CRA and Fannie/Freddie on the loosening of responsible credit administration. Probably, as much as any individual, the finger of blame for our financial crisis could be pointed to Barney Frank. There are many others, including literally millions who borrowed unwisely, but Mr. Frank had more influence than almost all others. He was in a position to help stop the mess before it got out of hand. Instead, he pushed the liberalization of lending as pushed by ACORN and others. Now he wants to show that he is the guy who can rebuild the house he helped burn down. He has no shame.
This was just plain sloppy, slanted reporting. Like most of 60 Minutes, and I dare say most of the major networks’ news reports, this story seems to have started with a goal and found facts to support that goal. The fact that telling just one side of the story is highly misleading never seems to bother these people.