The network news media cheered when Obama called for restrictions on CEO pay or bonuses that, according to reporters, exemplify the Wall Street “greed” that toppled the American economy.
But when $42 million in cash compensation packages were announced on Christmas Eve for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac executives, the networks couldn’t muster any anger toward the highly connected groups. Although Fannie and Freddie were two government-sponsored enterprises whose excessive risk taking contributed significantly to the housing crisis, the networks barely reported the story at all.But since the Christmas Eve announcement of millions in salaries and bonuses and the Obama administration’s pledge of “unlimited financial assistance” to the mortgage giants, ABC and CBS offered a total of three brief mentions totaling 175 words about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. NBC hasn’t mentioned them at all.Not a single one of those reports used the word “bonus” or mentioned the decision to extend the credit line of both government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs), which already required more than $100 billion from taxpayers.
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