ALG New York Times Should Report on Sen. Dodd's ACORN Provision and Bailouts

"There is a concerted effort on the part of political figures and compliant news media to conceal some of the most damaging and costly provisions of the legislation."—ALG President Bill Wilson.

May 27th, 2010, Fairfax, VA—Instead of fixating on the "risky behavior" of Wall Street firms, The New York Times and other major media outlets should more closely examine key provisions of the bill that has been so celebrated on their news pages, says Editor Kevin Mooney.

"Some of the most economically unsound public policy measures responsible for precipitating the financial crisis have been reinstituted in the financial overhaul legislation that recently passed the U.S. Senate," said Mooney, "but you wouldn't know that to read Times coverage of the bill."

The so-called "Restoring American Financial Stability Act" sponsored by Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.)   "would actually accelerate some of the financial practices that have roiled the banking industry and collapsed real estate, according to new research that deserves media attention," ALG President Bill Wilson noted.

Wilson said one of the key culprits is section 1013, which includes a section on community affairs that would allow for the controversial ACORN organization to be recreated within the framework of new government bodies, as has reported, based on research by Brian Johnson, a researcher with Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) for indentifying the language.

"Even worse, the bill directs the new Community Affairs Department to lower lending standards and to encourage real estate purchases. Sound familiar? The New York Times should ask Dodd and other key Senators why they are so immune to historical lessons that are fresh in the minds of Americans who have seen their investments and savings plummet," Mooney said.

"Unfortunately, taxpayer concerns are only mentioned as a mere afterthought in the reports The New York Times has filed over the past few weeks," Mooney noted. "Although policymakers insist the legislation has been carefully crafted to avoid taxpayer financed bailouts our analysis tells a much different story."

Mooney said contrary to what President Obama and others have claimed, under Sen. Dodd's bill would companies could be threatened with unlimited government takeovers of their assets, operations and ownership. Americans for Limited Government (ALG) has documented the threat to the private sector. S. 3217 would, for example, shield from judicial review any government seizure of a company: "no court shall have jurisdiction over… any claim or action for payment from, or any action seeking a determination of rights with respect to, the assets of any covered financial company for which the Corporation has been appointed receiver."

"There is a concerted effort on the part of political figures and compliant news media to conceal some of the most damaging and costly provisions of the legislation," Wilson said.

"There's a great opportunity here for The Times to distinguish itself with in-depth reporting that could alert the public to growing economic dangers," Mooney said, concluding, "That's also one way for them to regain a disappearing audience."