Washington Post Cuts and Pastes Republican's Take On Financial Crisis Commission

Blog ››› ››› MIKE BURNS

In a January 27, 2011 article on the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission's (FCIC) report on the causes of the 2008 financial crisis, the Washington Post extensively quoted Peter J. Wallison, a Republican member of the panel and a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, but did not provide any opposing viewpoints. Six paragraphs of the 10-paragraph article report Wallison's views.

The FCIC's report, released earlier today, determined that the financial meltdown was an "avoidable" crisis caused by Wall Street recklessness and lax regulation. The final report was endorsed by the six Democratic commissioners and received no Republican support.

In the article, the Post repeatedly quoted from Wallison's dissent, which "blame[s] federal housing policy for the crisis." The Post reported Wallison's view that "under pressure from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the government-charted mortgage finance companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac purchased huge numbers of risky mortgages that had been extended to low-income and minority borrowers."

We've noted that according to economist Dean Baker, the claim that Fannie and Freddie were "responsible for the financial disaster" is "absurd on its face." But the Post article made no attempt to balance Wallison with an opposing view.

The article also quoted Wallison's charge that the panel ignored evidence of the role of the government's housing policy in the crisis, and that the Democratic majority hastily dismissed input from Republican appointees. But the article provided no response from other panel members.

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The Washington Post
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