The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.

Fox’s Cavuto Wins SPLC’s Dobbsy Award for Pinning Blame on Minorities for Mortgage Crisis

By Mark Potok on October 6, 2008 - 3:36 pm, Posted in Anti-Black, Anti-Latino, Extremist Propaganda

DobbsyThe first wave of nominations are in, and one man stands head and shoulders above the rest to claim our inaugural Dobbsy Award – Neil Cavuto of Fox News.

The host of “Your World with Neil Cavuto” used his program to put the blame for the subprime mortgage meltdown squarely where he believes it belongs – on the shoulders of poor minorities who have dared try to own a home. In doing so, Cavuto has exemplified what it means to be a Dobbsy winner – a “mainstream” figure who makes utterly false or misleading statements that denigrate or defame an entire group of people.

Cavuto played Pin-the-Blame-on-the-Minority during a Sept. 18 interview with U.S. Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.).

“[W]hen you and many of your colleagues were pushing for more minority lending and more expanded lending to folks who heretofore couldn’t get mortgages, when you were pushing homeownership… . Are you totally without culpability here?” he asked. “Are you totally blameless? Are you totally irresponsible of anything that happened?”

And just in case the audience didn’t catch his drift, he later spelled it out.

“I’m just saying, I don’t remember a clarion call that said, ‘Fannie and Freddie are a disaster. Loaning to minorities and risky folks is a disaster,’” he said.

That’s right. In Cavuto’s world, the real problem isn’t Wall Street greed or lax federal regulation of reckless banking behemoths. No, it’s all a matter of those irresponsible minorities who were willing to destroy the country’s economy for a two-bedroom home in the ‘burbs.

Recent reports by The Washington Post and The New York Times suggest otherwise.

The Post offered up a story on Oct. 3 that included a look at the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) of 1977, which was created to extend loans to minorities. Citing defenders of the act, the article noted that only a “tiny fraction” of subprime loans made since 2000 were created to satisfy the requirements of the act. Blaming the CRA for the economic fallout is “on the level of Swift Boat advertisements, except they are even less factual,” John Taylor, president and chief executive of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, told the Post. “They are trying to blame the victim, which is an old strategy that moneyed corporate interests always employ.”

Also on Oct. 3, The New York Times published an article that chronicled how the Securities and Exchange Commission in 2004 relaxed a rule for investment banks that allowed their brokerage units to take on massive amounts of debt relative to their assets. That opened the door for more investment in the toxic mortgage-backed securities that have torpedoed the economy.

No matter how dubious Cavuto’s claim is, it has achieved widespread acceptance among conservative pundits and politicians. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) also blamed the mess on loans to minorities.

Congratulations, Neil. You’re our first Dobbsy winner!

The competition was keen. But you’re head and shoulders above the rest. Of course, it’s easy to stand out when you are standing on the backs of an entire group of people.

Somewhere, Lou Dobbs must be smiling.

  • http://fromwoodstock.blogspot.com/ JoAnn

    From 2001-2005 I worked for a small interactive company that did work mostly for pharmaceutical companies but sometimes we did websites for banks. One presentation we worked on was for a large bank that, we were told, targeted minorities with ARMs and high interest mortgages. Our job was to make them look good and appeal to this target demographic.

    We learned that this big player was destroying a lot of lives by preying on lower income families by offering high rate loans to “help” them get out from debt while making sure that the loans wouldn’t easily be paid off – l
    something like trying to pay off compounding interest credit cards. The bank foreclosed at a higher rate than most banks. We read some stories online about people killing themselves after loosing their homes specifically to this bank.

    Thankfully, for our souls, we didn’t get the job to build their website. My point is there are companies out there trying to make a fast buck off minorities and the poor. They don’t care what kind of devastation they leave behind. And no one seems to care what these big players do. It is so easy to blame the poor until it happens to your grandma.

  • http://S.P.L.C. Council 5

    I really feel sorry for all those people that like to blame others for their short comings. Do they really think that only Blacks got loans they could not afford, they need to go out to the suburbs and look at the for sale signs. Besides, everyone knows that most banks that loan Blacks the money to buy in the suburbs would make sure they were over qualified to buy that home.
    Take an honest look at your life and stop blaming others for your misforrtunes. Try God you may be pleasently surprised at the results.

  • Italian

    I want to reply to the comment I read on this post:
    _________

    italian stallion said,

    on October 13th, 2008 at 7:47 pm

    oh so you are saying that blacks and minorites take care of there homes that the goverment gives them.You give a black a home and it is ruined with in months. So it seems that Dees { the slezzes } wants to forget about the white american and give everything to the so called ” less unfortunate ” non white. That should not even be in this country to begin with. MY granfather fought in WWII and was at PEARL HARBOR. He did not fight for ” Julio or Tryrones’ rights. No he fought for the future rights of his family. Howard Dees seems to foget that this is our country.My granfather fought for my future rights, all these free loading immergrints and animal american blacks. I want to move to South America, and refuse to learn English and let what ever country I land in support me…Now come on . open your eyes, white America….
    _________

    Wow! I can’t believe this wonder bread Neil Cavuto guy. He, I know is at least half Italian, but “italian stallion” is probably a yeti that escaped from Nepal. Seriously, if his comment is what white America thinks of us people of color, that’s scary. I have plenty of Latino, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian friends, we refer to ourselves as Latins because no one treats us as whites. The Romans never described themselves as white people. So Europeans can stick their definition of whiteness where it belongs.

  • Kuster_Killer49

    John McCain stands for:
    “Less Government, Less Regulation.” On Wall St.-)R-Az John McCain)

    John McCain has worked alongside Sen. Gramm a Neo-Con, who was the one who called America “a Nation of Whiners”. Sen. Gramm layed the groundwork for deregukation of Wall St. A reform that John McCain help supported and co-sponsored. That method lead to our current economic turmoil. Anybody that watched the national news lately discussed how CEO elites in the mortgage industries have fumbled with monies, and throwing large parties like there is no tomorrow. Courtesy of John McCain`s “less regulation, less government.” rhetoric.

    “Who’s the real John McCain?”

    That truth can be found at this link:

    http://www.indianz.com/News/2008/011407.asp

  • Irving

    I haven’t read of anybody who blames minorities for the sub-prime crisis.

    However, one would be hard-pressed to find any informed person who doesn’t recognize that it was awarding loans to unqualified people who couldn’t pay them back as the basis for this financial fiasco. Pressure to do so came from ACORN, Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, and the entire Black Caucus in Congress.

    That the lenders got caught up in greed and corruption, seeing an opportunity to gouge huge profits is indisputable. But they would never had had an opportunity to do so if a program wasn’t initiated whereby people were given loans who couldn’t pay for them. Altogether there were 11 million loans made.

    The lenders packaged these loans as part of an investment offering, and sold them to the investment bankers who eventually took the full brunt of their failures, not knowing that they contained ARM’s that were doomed to fail.

    Bill Clinton initiated the program in good faith to help low income people buy homes, but he didn’t follow up vigorously enough to assure the proposition wasn’t being abused, which, as we know now, it most certainly was.

    Congressional hearings were held in 2006 warning of the probability of large scale failure, but the overseer, at the hearings, was excoriated and unintelligently demonized by the Black Caucus for having the audacity to report bad news on a program they wanted in force no matter what the ramifications might be. It’s doubtful, however, that any of them had the knowledge or intelligence to understand the seriousness of the situation and reacted, as they always do, favoring a program that benefitted mostly blacks. It was a classic case of wanting to kill the messenger for delivering bad news.

    Their attitudes are like the attitudes I’ve just read here on this board wherein shouts of denigration to anyone or anything that points out a disaster in the making if it criticizes anything that has an emotional attachment to its supporters, who offer support without knowing exactly what the dangers are. These unintelligent response to the problem, rather than a recognition of the foolishness of the situation in order to prevent a re-occurrence in the future, is detrimental to finding a solution.

    No failed situation can be properly analyzed in order to find its cause if the truth is shoved aside in favor of childish emotional attachments.

    As it stands now, this horrendous situation is so devastating there will never be another program in the next 100 years that will favor low income people adequately, because of the collosal failure of this one, which has placed this country on the brink of implosion and could well cause a severe depression that will effect the global economy to the point where society itself is in jeopardy of imploding.

    What I am imparting to you right here and now, my friends, is no exaggeration in any shape or form, and it is being echoed in many, many quarters by people who can accurately interpret the danger signs, so don’t add insult to your injuries by disregarding the facts.

    The bottom line is that nobody can determine with full accuracy how much this entire episode will hurt the global economy, but they can all say with certainty that the negatives are no where near playing themselves out to a conclusion. And they can also say with assurance that the US has already reached a point where it has lost its economic super status, and military super status falls when the economy supporting it weakens or fails. The next several months or the next year could well mean that the US will no longer exist in its present form, which makes all this denial of fact absolutely ridiculous.

  • Kevin

    I agree with Charles. Said quite well. Your organization has worthwhile & noble causes, but why, every time an issue is raised where opinions differ, the obvious answer to the SPLC is racism and hate crimes? Can’t liberal Democratic’s, who held sway over the loan making goals and then “appointed” GSE executives for the purpose of guaranteeing & packaging the worthless loans for investors be held accountable? And why is this racism? I read those above me talking about the GOP deregulation culture…when Bush (& McC) actually pushed for regulation in ’03 when it may have done some good.

  • Charles

    Tell me- is there anyone who ever, at any time, has disagreed with the SPLC who has not been branded a “racist” or a “hater”? Just wondering. I used to support your work, until I observed the constant magnification of differences of opinion into “hate crimes”. I truly think your organisation is either a gigantic hustle and fraud, an anti-white hate group, or you all have quite simply lost your minds.

  • http://yahoo italian stallion

    oh so you are saying that blacks and minorites take care of there homes that the goverment gives them.You give a black a home and it is ruined with in months. So it seems that Dees { the slezzes } wants to forget about the white american and give everything to the so called ” less unfortunate ” non white. That should not even be in this country to begin with. MY granfather fought in WWII and was at PEARL HARBOR. He did not fight for ” Julio or Tryrones’ rights. No he fought for the future rights of his family. Howard Dees seems to foget that this is our country.My granfather fought for my future rights, all these free loading immergrints and animal american blacks. I want to move to South America, and refuse to learn English and let what ever country I land in support me…Now come on . open your eyes, white America….

  • Ed Weston

    Sucessful comunal activity is one of the best things in the world. Pity its as rare as it is.

  • http://michelle2005.wordpress.com Michelle

    I want to reply to the comment I read on this post:
    ____________

    Alabama Conservative Citizen said,

    on October 6th, 2008 at 7:53 pm

    You people have got to by kidding, the ‘Dobbsy’? Just because the minorities control the Democratic Party doesn’t make it racist to attack their policies. Cavuto didn’t even blame minorities, he blamed the Democrats in Congress.

    Somewhere, Lou Dobbs and Neil Cavuto must be laughing at this pitiful joke. It’s just sad that there are people dumb enough to waste millions of dollars on the SPLC’s absurdity.

    _________

    To say…”It’s just sad that there are people dumb enough to waste millions of dollars on the SPLC’s absurdity.”…is stupidity at it finest. For ANYONE to refer to those of us that support the work of SPLC as “dumb…”…this individual either lives under a rock, refuses to look at the obvious…or has never had his civil rights, etc…challenged.

    I spent 30 years as a Humanitarian Aid Relief Coordinator and Educator for First Responders. This allowed me entrance into numerous nations across four continents. Never one time was there an issue with working with someone with an opposing view point as we were trying to obtain common goals…however….

    Now that I’m back in the USA it’s as if I landed on a different planet. The division and strife among citizens is overwhelming at times. Many times I’ve wondered if most folks have ever worked as a TEAM…if they did, all the bickering would cease. It would also allow their eyes to be open to the needs of their fellow citizens.

    Usually those making such negative complaints as the one I refered to are sitting safely in their harbor and have never left the security of their own border. (whether it be their neighborhood, state, or nation)

    Michelle

  • http://michelle2005.wordpress.com Michelle

    First, I must say that I find it astonishing that any rational thinking individual would take seriously anything Neil Cavuto says.

    He is one of those that continue to fan the flames of mistrust and division…this should NEVER be tolerated.

    http://michelle2005.wordpress.com

  • Ed Weston

    Guilt by association? I’d love to see you try and connect those dots.
    Read some posts by realty professionals on Media Matters. The subprime paper were pushed by their bosses because the profits were much better.
    The economic benifits of the last 7.5 have been to perhaps two precent of the population. The number of loud voices supporting this two percent will they prey upon the other 98 percent is an amazing thing. Economically, socialogically and politically suicidal works too.

  • Hates Conserves

    The reason why the jihadists hate america is its crackpot foreign policy towards israel, The airstrikes going on in the middles east, the racism put on by whites against islam and the imperialism in which the US was founded on.

  • Jonathan

    It would be better to put the blame on deranged egalitarian thinking than the “minorities” themselves.

  • Floridafish

    Cavuto is a total joke. Much as the Conservative Citizen’s of this country are. There will come a time when we will have peace from these “TOOLS”, and it is drawing near. It’s also no wonder hate-groups have increased 49% since 2000 with the current enviorment we live. God Bless the USA.

  • http://www.ilcf-inc.org Miriam Aguilar

    Here we go again, yet another immigrant descendant railing on “minorities” because he does not consider himself to be one also. In the white world, his last name would never allow him into the “right white circles”. So, please Neil Cavuto remember your roots and your struggling ancestors when they first got “off the boat”!

  • http://exaggerator.blogdrive.com/ IludiumPhosdex

    According to Aslan Mashkadov:

    Whether you want to claim(erroneously) that Cavuto blamed minorities or democrats, he is still demonstrably wrong. The blame goes on the banks, the investors, and the mostly republican politicians who pushed for deregulation in the industry. Ditto the Bush administration for using federal power to prevent states from enforcing their own consumer protection laws against predatory lending.

    One may also want to consider where both the Bush Administration and al-Qaeda may be equally culpable for the worsening socioeconomic state of affairs, and its potential for exploitation by Very Dangerous Elements.

  • 88obliterate

    Speaking of the current banking crisis & scandals. I suggest those who are so gullible to follow Cavuto`s libel, to look up grampa McCain`s Keating Five *BANKING* scandal. Juan McCain greedily accepted a whopping $112,000 form Charles Keating Jr. A notorious real estate business man. After what committee launched an ethics investigation into this scandal. Juan McCain was one of five Senators who received little rebuttal for his role in the scandal. And he is the only Senator(out of four) sitting in the Senate today. Simply because he is a “Republican”. Let me repraise that for you.
    If this is how the Republitoons control banking which they have shown us otherwise, there would be no such things as retirement, pensions, and saving account, period.

  • Aslan Maskhadov

    Uh yeah, minorities control the democratic party. That’s why Obama barely beat Hillary, and he’s the first nominee.

    Whether you want to claim(erroneously) that Cavuto blamed minorities or democrats, he is still demonstrably wrong. The blame goes on the banks, the investors, and the mostly republican politicians who pushed for deregulation in the industry. Ditto the Bush administration for using federal power to prevent states from enforcing their own consumer protection laws against predatory lending.

  • Alabama Conservative Citizen

    You people have got to by kidding, the ‘Dobbsy’? Just because the minorities control the Democratic Party doesn’t make it racist to attack their policies. Cavuto didn’t even blame minorities, he blamed the Democrats in Congress.

    Somewhere, Lou Dobbs and Neil Cavuto must be laughing at this pitiful joke. It’s just sad that there are people dumb enough to waste millions of dollars on the SPLC’s absurdity.

  • 88obliterate

    This moronic buffoon definately deserves the Dobbsy award even if the masses of ill-concieved, easily influenced feebleness of the far right leaning nutbars. Who usually blame everything on minorities when the mainstream media such the New York Times among others, points out to the severely unregulated gamblers of the banking giants. It was Old Man Senator McPain who was partly to blame since he is the candidate who opposed such strict regulations on Wall St. Obama on the otherhand was the one who warned about this 2 years ago. What are the other minorities thinking who call themselves ‘Republicans”? That’s why I always keep saying that the Neo-Cons are Pro-White interests and should be held culpable for this mortgage mess since they’re one who make up some large percentage of homeownership and are the ones who are losing their homes in extradornarily numbers.
    So congrats to loony Cavuto for being the nutty-nut meg of mainstream media. I reckoned CNN`s Lou Blobs is next in line?