Accuracy in Media

During CNN’s townhall forum with five presidential candidates, CNN reporter MJ Lee showed a clear bias in favor of Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren in a tweet praising the senator’s approach to racial inequality.

“It’s hard to overstate how many of Warren’s policy proposals have a direct link to addressing racial inequality. Her education policy released today; housing plan; the wealth tax; and what she’s discussing now: marijuana legalization #CNNTownHall,” Lee tweeted.

In tipping her hand toward Warren, Lee is ignoring the outcomes exacerbating racial inequalities that are perpetuated and worsened by the liberal policies that Warren favors, including Warren’s embrace of the Dodd-Frank banking policies that contributed to the demise of black-owned banks that serve the black community.

The Washington Post and other outlets have highlighted the decline of banks owned by African-Americans, however, coverage hasn’t connected that trend with post-recession Dodd-Frank regulations that accelerate the decline of community banks. The balance sheets of black-owned banks, along with minority-owned banks generally (which the government calls Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs)), are similar to general community banks, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) relying on core deposits to fund loans heavily weighted in residential and commercial real estate.

A recent Harvard study found that while the number of community banks was already declining before the financial crisis, since the second quarter of 2010 – Dodd-Frank’s passage – community banks have lost market share at a rate double what they did between Q2 2006 and Q2 2010. However, the FDIC reports that that MDIs have been harder hit than the broader banking sector; between 2001 and 2013, the failure rate for MDIs was about three times higher than it was for the industry as a whole … Under the Dodd-Frank regulatory regime, community banks are disproportionately hit by additional compliance and legal costs, adding to expense ratios. They do not have the economies of scale that larger institutions have to absorb and disperse costs.”

Warren has also been a big proponent of increasing minimum wages, seemingly unaware of the racist past associated with minimum wage, which disproportionately harm black and Latino workers. Warren has also flip-flopped on school choice, now opposing it when she once supporter charter and other alternatives to failing public schools. School choice is a lifeline that is wildly popular among black and Latino families.

Photo by Elizabeth Warren

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