In an act of actual journalism, attorney Ted Frank, from the Center for Class Action Fairness, completely debunked a false Politico story in a Tweetstorm. Mollie Hemingway from The Federalist got the ball rolling by addressing “4 Recent Examples Show Why No One Trusts Media Coverage Of Trump.” Piggybacking on her outstanding article, Frank added a fifth.
Mainstream media is still oblivious as to why Americans are not turning on Trump with all their “news” against him. False news has become such a staple for them, I’m not sure they even recognize they’re doing it. Recently, Politico published an article claiming “Trump Treasury pick made millions after his bank foreclosed on homeowners.” However, after just a little honest research, Frank exposed the article as a sloppy and dishonest hit piece.
I have a fifth example.
Frank continued with a Tweetstorm presenting his case. For easier reading, I printed most of the tweets in plain text.
3. @Politico reports that Mnuchin’s bank foreclosed on a 90-year-old widow over 27 cents. politico.com/story/2016/12/…
4. A. Widow was never foreclosed on and never lost her home.
B. It wasn’t Mnuchin’s bank that brought the suit.
Other than that, accurate.
5. The story on its face made no sense. No court permits that kind of foreclosure, and banks lose money on the deal.
6. I checked docket (Polk County, FL, 2016-CV-1327), and sure enough story was wrong, and 4 minutes of fact-checking would’ve shown that.
7. @Politico simply repeated widow’s lawyer’s claims without checking (or deliberately shaded story to be misleading).
8. Widely repeated by HuffPo, @thehill, Vanity Fair, @cnn, etc., all just repeating @politico’s bogus reporting.
9. Story pops up again at hearing. I see @greenhousenyt tweet the bogus HuffPo story, let him know it’s wrong, give cites to docket.
10. @greenhousenyt tweets at me a dozen times that it can’t be wrong because @politico said so, sends me lengthy email calling me jerk.
11. Don’t take my word for it, though all the documents are public. I’ll step through the sequence with some excerpts.
12. Remember: Mnuchin was head of OneWest. CIT Group buys out the bank in 2015. Mnuchin not head of CIT Group, just shareholder & on board.
13. In November 2014, OneWest sues Ossie Lofton over a breach in mortgage terms. Case No. 2014-CV-4708, Polk County, FL.
14. OneWest’s suit claimed Lofton wasn’t resident. This was mistaken, and error corrected in four weeks. OneWest dismisses suit in 12/2014.
15. Keep in mind this is three, four, or more levels down from Mnuchin at OneWest. He never would’ve heard of case or resolution.
16. In 2015, CIT Group merges with OneWest. Mnuchin no longer head of bank, though he’s a shareholder and on board until Treasury nom.
17. In 2015, *after* merger, and *after* OneWest suit over, the mortgage servicer for CIT Group sends confusing bill to Lofton.
18. Note this is a third party. It’s not OneWest, it’s not even CIT Group, it’s the subcontractor.
20. Note that this 2014-15 sequence isn't something I made up: it's Widow Ossie Lofton's lawyers' timeline of events. pic.twitter.com/UcnOv3DgPR
21. Debt is four years past due, Lofton has already written two checks short (probably not her fault). CIT Group’s Florida lawyers sue.
22. Suit is dumb and a waste of money. Lofton only owes $0.27. No court is going to permit a foreclosure, and bank would lose $ if they did.
23. Quickly dismissed when error pointed out by Lofton’s lawyers, who have a counterclaim pending. No foreclosure took place.
25. But note that this is CIT Bank. Not OneWest. Not Mnuchin's bank. Not the Nov 2014 suit. And that's obvious from face of the complaint. pic.twitter.com/2EAvdCxnNc
26. Four minutes of fact-checking would’ve shown that this suit had nothing to do with Mnuchin. Little more to learn no foreclosure.
27. Yet @politico ran a bogus single-source anecdote without fact-checking it, and every media outlet thoughtlessly repeated the Fake News.
At this point, over the next several days, Frank reacted to and commented on tweets responding to his argument. You can see the remainder of his twitter stream starting here:
Many cringe when President Trump attacks the media. But as long as they continue to distort, misreport and outright lie, they rightly deserve criticism. Yes, the media is supposed to be the opposition against Washington, keeping our elected officials in check. But until they start doing it honestly and unbiasedly, they will lose what tiny shred of credibility they are barely hanging on to.
But that’s just my 2 cents.