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Lou Dobbs Foils Fox News Attack On Foreclosure Moratorium

Reported by Ellen - October 12, 2010 -

One of the ways Fox News spins is in its choice of guests. When Lou Dobbs visited America Live (supposedly part of Fox News "objective news" lineup) yesterday (10/11/10), it was obvious that host Megyn Kelly wasn’t expecting a “fair and balanced” review of foreclosure moratoria but a guest who would attack them as detrimental to the housing market in general and to those homeowners keeping up with their mortgages in particular. She was clearly surprised when Dobbs was unequivocal in his support and went on to complain that some people would get a pass who deserved to be ousted from their homes. But the glitch with Dobbs didn’t stop Kelly from giving him yet another go at “It’s not my fault illegal immigrants worked for me” rehab.

Kelly began with a Fox News Alert and saying that the “foreclosure fiasco” is “shaping up to be one of the biggest financial stories since the collapse of the economy.” She added that “an economist who consults with the White House” - she appeared to mean Mark Zandi - has said a foreclosure moratorium could negatively impact the housing market “for years to come, whether you’re facing foreclosure or not.”

Dobbs was skeptical of the projection, saying that what’s important is that banks have instituted a moratorium.

At 2:05 in the video below, when Kelly said “So you support the decision, then?” you can tell that’s not how she thought the interview would go.

Dobbs told her, “I not only support the decision, I can’t imagine that they (banks) got to this point without becoming very rigorous about their paperwork.” He said the benefits are that a person can stay in his home and that the market will have the assurance that when someone buys a foreclosed property, they know they’ll own it.

So Kelly had to be her own Scrooge. “How’s it going to affect the people who do pay on their mortgages?” Of course, if Kelly really wanted to know, rather than to just pose the divisive question, she could have made an effort to find out or book a guest who would know. But her only “research” seemed to be the old statement from Zandi she quoted at the top of the segment. She added that some people “really do deserve foreclosure who are gonna get a pass for several months… The banks are gonna take the hit… The people who are paying their mortgages, according to this article, the market’s gonna get hurt.”

Dobbs argued that what’s important “is to restore confidence in the foreclosure process itself.”

But Kelly countered that even if confidence is restored, lawyers will still “challenge it.”

Was Kelly actually arguing that foreclosures should move ahead, even if the process is flawed, because a moratorium might negatively impact other owners?

Dobbs retorted, “Lawyers be damned. This is about a market that’s gotta be regulated, it’s gotta be straightened out and the institutions understand it.”

But Kelly didn’t hold a grudge. As the conversation turned to Dobbs’ use of illegal immigrants as workers at his home and horse farm, she didn’t question his insistence that he didn’t check the workers’ status because that would be “racial profiling.”

Dobbs claimed he had a system in place to avoid the use of undocumented workers that “has worked without fail, to this point, at least.”

Well, not quite. An investigation by The Nation found at least five undocumented workers who had previously been employed (via a contractor) to do work for Dobbs. It was a point that seemed to escape Kelly. So did the hypocrisy of someone like Dobbs who made his attacks on illegals and their employers the crux of his news persona.

Dobbs continued, “The only way to rectify it is to directly inquire of an employee as to their citizenship which is opening you wide open for a discrimination suit, by the way appropriately so.”

Even if you ask all workers to verify citizenship? That’s what my employer does and I’ll wager Fox News does, too.

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