COMMENTS: Nadir not Zenith

ABC led with the fall of the stock market. NBC chose a feature on the failure of the housing market. ABC's David Muir marked the end of June trading on Wall Street with the sober statistic that the retreat from its all-time high last October is close to the 20% that constitutes a bear market. The Dow Jones Industrial Average's fall of 1288 points was the steepest June decline since 1930. ABC anchor Charles Gibson mixed his metaphors by calling that year "the height of the Great Depression"--he meant its depth.

Lisa Myers filed an NBC Investigation into Countrywide Financial, the mortgage lender suspected of making predatory and fraudulent subprime loans. Myers persuaded Mark Zachary, a onetime vice president at Countrywide's Houston office, to go on the record, describing "a corporate culture of shady, possibly illegal, practices." The office nickname for mortgages offered to borrowers who do not qualify for a conventional deal was Liar Loans, "because the income stated on those loans generally is not a true representation of what that person normally makes." Zachary is suing Countrywide. He claims he was fired after ten months for raising his concerns; the firm denies wrongdoing and counters that Zachary was let go for "poor performance."


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