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.
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Salaries and bonuses at American International Group (AIG), Goldman Sachs, Citigroup and others have been criticized in dozens of network reports in 2009.
As Katie Couric noted on the CBS “Evening News” Oct. 21, “Taxpayers all over the country were outraged when they heard that companies they helped bail out turned around and gave their executives huge bonuses.”
A few days earlier on Oct. 15, CBS’s “Early Show” interviewed economist Peter Morici who said “it’s absolutely unfair for Wall Street to be paying itself record bonuses. The taxpayers made these bonuses possible by loaning Wall Street money at near zero rates. This is all quite unseemly and inappropriate.”
Read More: By Julia A. Seymour, Newsbusters