Friday, June 23, 2006

Enron vs. Fannie Mae

Dan Gainor at the Washington Post makes some interesting observations and raises some provocative questions regarding the media's treatment of the two scandals:
Then there's network news. When the Business & Media Institute looked into this last year, we found almost no network coverage of the scandal. Instead, ABC, CBS, NBC and CNN all focused hours and hours on the damage done at Enron.

Since last year's study period ended on Feb. 1, 2005, CBS has reported on the Fannie Mae scandal just twice -- both the same day of the $400-million settlement. NBC has mentioned it just once and ABC has been completely out to lunch. CNN has mentioned it just six times -- a decline in its coverage.

None of the stories discussed the roughly $30 billion in lost value to stockholders since this scandal has hit the news. None of them mentioned this was a Democratic scandal.

When it came to Enron, the media did everything they could to link it to Republicans or President Bush. Back in January, Anne Thompson of NBC's "Today" showed how it was done. "He was Houston's No. 1 corporate citizen who morphed into public enemy number one when Enron disintegrated: Ken Lay, friend of presidents past and present. Kenny Boy, President Bush called him, a powerful, influential man with a photograph album of famous figures." Being connected to President Bush was newsworthy. Being connected to President Clinton apparently was not.
HT Instapundit

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