Hannity previewed attack on Edwards over New Orleans foreclosures, ignored reported Edwards pledge

››› ››› SIMON MALOY

On Hannity & Colmes, Sean Hannity stated that "The Wall Street Journal reported that John Edwards had invested in and worked for a company that is foreclosing on residents of New Orleans," adding: "The Edwards campaign has since announced that the senator will divest from the company." However, Hannity did not note that the Journal also reported that Edwards "pledged that he would personally provide financial assistance to New Orleanians who are facing foreclosure by [the company] or have lost their homes already."

On the August 20 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes, co-host Sean Hannity previewed the August 26 edition of Fox News' Hannity's America by stating that "The Wall Street Journal reported that [former Sen.] John Edwards [D-NC] had invested in and worked for a company that is foreclosing on residents of New Orleans," adding: "The Edwards campaign has since announced that the senator will divest from the company. But we wanted to hear from the actual people who are losing their homes in foreclosure." Hannity was referring to an August 17 Wall Street Journal article that reported that "subprime-lending units of Fortress Investment Group LLC" had filed foreclosure actions against New Orleans homeowners. While Hannity did note that Edwards said he would divest from the any Fortress Investment Group funds "that have a stake in the subprime lenders that filed the foreclosures," according to the Journal article, he did not note that the Journal also reported that Edwards "pledged that he would personally provide financial assistance to New Orleanians who are facing foreclosure by Fortress-affiliated businesses or have lost their homes already." According to the washingtonpost.com blog The Trail, Edwards campaign spokesman Eric Schultz stated on August 17 that Edwards "has taken personal responsibility by cleansing his portfolio of any investments that may have ties to these practices, and he [is] also personally committing to helping people who may have lost their homes."

From the August 20 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes:

COLMES: Finally tonight, Sean has a sneak preview of a special investigation this weekend on Hannity's America. What's going on?

HANNITY: Yeah, thanks, Alan. Listen, last week, The Wall Street Journal reported that John Edwards had invested in and worked for a company that is foreclosing on residents of New Orleans. Now, considering that Edwards spends so much time talking about, quote, "two Americas," and even launched his presidential campaign with a speech in New Orleans, the story came as a shock to most of America.

The Edwards campaign has since announced that the senator will divest from the company. But we wanted to hear from the actual people who are losing their homes in foreclosure. So we sent our cameras to New Orleans and found some of the people whose homes are in foreclosure, thanks to John Edwards' company. Take a look.

SHERLENE ROBINSON [video clip]: Due to the storm, we wasn't able to pay the mortgage down here. We were living in Texas, off housing out there. And they sent us a foreclosure letter.

We started picking back up, paying the loan. It was $700 a month. They broke it down to $421 a month. And we have been paying that. We can't do anything, because we're still in foreclosure. They have us in foreclosure on our credit account. I called and asked them, could they get that off my credit, and they told me no, even though I'm paying them every month. I'm still in foreclosure with them.

HANNITY: Two Americas, $1,200 haircuts, 28,000-square-foot mansions, and $55,000 speeches on poverty. We're going to have more of that interview on a very special edition of Hannity's America this Sunday night at 9 p.m. Eastern, so don't miss it.

From the August 17 Journal article:

As a presidential candidate, Democrat John Edwards has regularly attacked subprime lenders, particularly those that have filed foreclosure suits against victims of Hurricane Katrina. But as an investor, Mr. Edwards has ties to lenders foreclosing on Katrina victims.

The Wall Street Journal has identified 34 New Orleans homes whose owners have faced foreclosure suits from subprime-lending units of Fortress Investment Group LLC. Mr. Edwards has about $16 million invested in Fortress funds, according to a campaign aide who confirmed a more general Federal Election Commission report. Mr. Edwards worked for Fortress, a publicly held private-equity fund, from late 2005 through 2006.

Asked about the matter, Mr. Edwards yesterday pledged that he would personally provide financial assistance to New Orleanians who are facing foreclosure by Fortress-affiliated businesses or have lost their homes already. "I intend to help these people," the former North Carolina senator said.

He also promised to cleanse his portfolio of any investments that may be profiting from their losses. "I am going to divest" from any Fortress funds that have a stake in the subprime lenders that filed the foreclosures, he said in a telephone interview. "I will not have my family's money invested in these firms."

From the August 17 entry on The Trail:

Edwards campaign spokesman Eric Schultz sought today to frame Edwards' latest response to his Fortress link as proof that he cared for the people of New Orleans. He "believes that nobody in New Orleans should lose their home because of Hurricane Katrina," Schultz said. "Edwards has taken personal responsibility by cleansing his portfolio of any investments that may have ties to these practices, and he [is] also personally committing to helping people who may have lost their homes. For John Edwards, the tragedy in New Orleans is not just about politics. They have been abandoned by the federal government and deserve a strong advocate. As president, he will be that fighter, but he's not waiting until then. He's taking responsibility, because for him that is the meaning of leadership."

Posted In
Economy, Housing
Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
Person
Sean Hannity
Show/Publication
Hannity & Colmes
Stories/Interests
John Edwards, 2008 Elections
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