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Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Dodd gives journos the idiot's treatment on mortgage document disclosure

The issue is metastasizing. The people still deserve to know the sweetheart deal Dodd got from “Friends of Angelo.” But now the press has become the issue, once again.

From DC
There are two kinds of journalists in the world - those who have been been given the idiot's treatment by public officials on a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for public documents, and those who will be.

Believe me, I know because I didn't get inducted into the Freedom of Information Act Hall of Fame for nothing (no, really, I am not making that up. Go here if you think only liberals get such honors.).

Now Senate Banking Committee Chairman Sen, Chris Dodd, D-CN, has pulled what has to be an all-time classic evasion stunt against journalists covering Congress and the economic crisis concerning his promise six months ago to make public all of the documents about his sweetheart loan deal with Countrywide Mortgage.

Dodd invited a select few Connecticut reporters to his office in Hartford Monday and gave them a few minutes to view - but not copy - a small selection of documents that he claims proves he did nothing wrong in accepting special treatment from Countrywide that saved him a reported $75,000 in refinancing a couple of loans worth a total of $800,000. The Wall Street Journal called it Dodd's "Peek-A-Boo Disclosure."

But here's the clincher:
So the question now is what will be the response from Mainstream Media outlets like The New York Times, The Washington Post and CBS News, plus the big professional journalism organizations like the American Society of Newspaper Editors (ASNE), Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) and the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ).

Will they simply go away like nothing important just happened, go through the motions of meaningless protest or actually do something concrete like jointly tell Dodd to stop playing games or risk the consequences of a lawsuit, including a discovery process relentlessly pursued and with every detail made public?

My guess is that they will do nothing because Dodd is a Democrat and he will be protected just as they have protected House Financial Services Committee Chairman Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), Clinton administration officials like former OMB Director Franklin Raines, and the many Democrat donors and operators like Mozilo who made millions through their associations with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. They forced lenders to lend billions to unqualified buyers, shielded the process from public exposure and accountability and then cried "Wall Street greed" when their Ponzi scheme exploded and the economy tanked.

H/T Instapundit.

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