February 20, 2009

What Will CNBC’s Smug Journalists Say About ACORN’s ‘Mob Rule’ in Baltimore?

Acorn0209.jpgRick Sentelli’s rant for the ages (transcript here) on CNBC’s Squawk Box yesterday criticizing the recently passed stimulus package and the Obama administration’s mortgage modification program was marred somewhat by the studio hosts. Though their tone was semi-humorous, it’s telling that their instincts were to characterize the traders present at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange as a “mob,” and to assume that Santelli somehow controlled them (“putty in your hands”). When Santelli suggested a Chicago Tea Party, one of the hosts warned that Mayor Daley and the National Guard would be mobilized.

In October of last year, in a memorable exchange on the day that history may decide was when American free-market capitalism entered the point of no return, CNBC reporters seemed somewhat amused that Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson had “put a (figurative) gun to the heads” of major bank CEOs to force them to accept government “investment.”

Well if you don’t mind my asking, will we see any reaction out of CNBC’s studio folks to an example of real mob rule in the mortgage marketplace?

In a story at WJZ in Baltimore whose headline and coverage almost seem deliberately understated (“ACORN Trains Citizens To Protest Home Foreclosures”), the station tells us that ACORN “protesters” had broken into and occupied  a foreclosed home (HT Inside Charm City via Michelle Malkin):

A community organization breaks into a foreclosed home in what they are calling an act of civil disobedience.

The group wants to train homeowners facing eviction on peaceful ways they can remain in their homes.

Derek Valcourt reports their actions are not without controversy.

“The mortgage went up $300 in one month,” said Hanks, former homeowner.

She says the bank refused to modify her loan and foreclosed, kicking her out of the house in September.

The community group ACORN calls Hanks a victim of predatory lending.

“This is our house now,” said Louis Beverly, ACORN.

And on Thursday afternoon, they literally broke the foreclosure padlock right off the front door and then broke into the house, letting Hanks back in for the first time in months.

The group says it was staging similar demonstrations in six other cities nationwide while urging a moratorium on foreclosures.

The president set a bad example when, while still president-elect, he expressed solidarity (“they’re absolutely right“) with the actions of former employees who occupied the Republic Window plant in Chicago in mid-December. It’s not unreasonable to contend that his support then has emboldened ACORN now.

A reasonable prediction would be that this lawlessness won’t get a lot of notice from the Associated Press or other major establishment news organizations.

If the Obama administration and its assembled economic geniuses want to see the markets really dive, watch what happens if investors start to conclude that the rule of law doesn’t matter any more.

What will the smug studio folks at CNBC have to say then?

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

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2 Comments

  1. Thought you might be interested in some REAL information related to this foreclosure; Donna Hanks initially purchased her home (315 South Ellwood, Baltimore, MD 21224) on 7/06/2001 for $87,000. At some date between 2001 and 2006 she re-financed the original mortgage for the amount of $270,000 with a mortgage payment of $1,662.00. The FIRST foreclosure on this home was filed 5/31/2006. Donna Hanks filed for bankruptcy 6/16/06 during which a payment plan was approved for the $10,500 she was behind in her payments. This action stopped the original foreclosure. When she did not meet the terms of the bankruptcy re-payment, a second foreclosure action was started in January 2008. At the time she had not made her mortgage payments since September 2007. It should be noted that her salary per the bankruptcy paperwork was $1625 per month and she was working a 2nd and 3rd job (supposedly giving her an additional $1,275 in monthly income – the employers were not listed). Over extended? Also, during 2007 she was renting our her basement illegally (she was taken to court) and receiving rent while she was not making her mortgage payments. The mortgage company “raised” her payment $300 a month – right? Well, not exactly it was $340. The amount that she had agreed to pay back in arrears. Not exactly truthful, but what I would expect from a person with her criminal record (theft and assault 2nd degree and possession of a dangerous weapon with intent to injure). Oh and there is the small matter of breaking and entering. The house at 315 South Ellwood had already been sold at auction on 6/26/08 for $192,000. It just took them until September 2008 to get her out. Nothing like public information – it seems Acorn could have found this same information before they helped this “poor” victimized woman…………………

    Comment by Sherry — February 21, 2009 @ 1:13 pm

  2. well i blme the fast talking people who know you can’t aford a high payment but push you threw . saying your monthly payment will be lower and then they raise the heck out of it . now a days people just can’t aford the high cost of living . this has been going on for years . so don’t blame obama for what he walked into. but in all honesy he won’t be able to do much. look at his cabinet .
    one don’t pay taxes one is bought . god knows what the others do or are . no matter who gets in our goverment is as crooked as can be period.

    Comment by ann — February 23, 2009 @ 5:00 pm

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