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Media Omission: Lehman CEO Contributed Heavily to Democrats

     Journalists are trained to “follow the money” – to uncover who donates how much to what campaign, especially in the midst of a presidential election.

 

     When Lehman Brothers CEO Richard Fuld testified before the House Oversight Committee Oct. 6, the media criticized his wealth and spending amidst financial turmoil in his company and on Wall Street. But conspicuously missing was the story of Fuld’s political contributions.

 

     According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Fuld has donated to Democratic candidates over Republican candidates by a margin of almost 5-to-1 in the last 15 years. He has given $106,400 to Democratic candidates and political action committees (PACs), and just $22,800 to Republican candidates and PACS dating back to 1993.

 

     However, instead of scrutinizing Fuld’s financial ties to politicians, “NBC Nightly News” took a populist approach and focused on the embattled former CEO’s compensation.

 

     “But members of Congress noted that Fuld remains a wealthy man,” NBC correspondent Lisa Myers said on the Oct. 6 “Nightly News.” “He collected $342 million as CEO over 14 years. He owns a $21 million apartment in New York City, an $8 million estate in Connecticut and a $13 million estate in Florida.”

 

     Fuld did accept some responsibility during the committee hearing, which was chaired by California Democrat Rep. Henry Waxman.

 

     “I want to be very clear. I take full responsibility for the decisions that I made and for the actions that I took based on the information that we had at the time,” Fuld said.

 

     On the Oct. 6 CNBC “Power Lunch,” CNBC and Vanity Fair contributor Vicki Ward confirmed Fuld was punched in the face at the Lehman Brothers gym on Sept. 21, the Sunday following the investment bank’s filing for bankruptcy. “I’d have done the same, too,” Ward concluded.