Examiner and PRI target Greenlining Institute


We chronicled the right-wing campaign to destroy ACORN – which promoted voting rights and economic justice for low-income Americans -- as well as the crazy right-wing editorials in the San Francisco Examiner. And this week, we saw them join forces to go after another effective progressive organization: the Berkeley-based Greenlining Institute.

The Examiner newspapers here and in Washington D.C. today concluded a five-part series of industry-sponsored opinion pieces masquerading as journalism attacking Greenlining, ACORN, and the finally 1977 Community Reinvestment Act, claiming that their encouragement of banks to lend money in poor areas amounts to a criminal shakedown of corporations and one that caused the financial crisis.

The series was produced by a partnership that included San Francisco-based Pacific Research Institute (a right-wing think tank funded by big corporations and conservative foundations), its CalWatchdog propaganda project, and the Examiner, which is owned and operated by Denver-based billionaire businessman Philip Anschutz, whose foundation also helps fund PRI.

While it might be tempting to dismiss such a blatant effort by corporate-funded patsies to discredit an effective progressive foe, using the pages of marginalized newspaper that denies global warming. But considering what these same reactionary forces did to ACORN using evidence that was just as flimsy, it’s important that the people push back.

Greenlining Institute Executive Director Orson Aguilar raised that same concern when we contacted him: "This is pretty weak journalism, but the underlying issue is serious. They're using us to attack the Community Reinvestment Act and the whole idea that huge Wall Street financial institutions have some responsibility to the communities they serve. We may be the scapegoat du jour, but the real aim is to blame low-income communities for a financial crisis that was caused by inadequate regulation and greed. We have no intention of backing down."

I couldn’t have said it better myself.


Yesterday it was ACORN. Today it's Greenlining. Who is next? MALDEF? NAACP? Asian Law Caucus? Whatever happened to the Right Wing value of personal responsibility? Its cognitive dissonance, I tell ya. Can't believe that the problem would be within their own ranks. We should add that to their list of values.

Posted by Hector on Apr. 16, 2010 @ 2:25 pm

Just calling it "freedom" and "patriotism" doesn't change it's true nature. This campaign by the Irresponsible Right is nothing more than thinly veiled racism and class warfare. Let's pull off that veil and expose these lies for what they are!!

Posted by Stephanie on Apr. 16, 2010 @ 5:08 pm

It seems that in 2002 the greenlining institute harassed WestAmerica bank trying to get it to get into the dangerous housing loan business, the bank didn't give in to the demands.

Fast forward a few years and all the banks that were involved in these ridiculous banking schemes got government bailouts and it seems WestAmerica is still going strong without bailout money.

The articles were a bit hard to read as they were written in the agitprop style of say, the Guardian, but after reading around the net some, in this case the Examiners position seems to be right. The other articles were written to pravda-ey so I lost interest pretty quick.

Posted by glen matlock on Apr. 16, 2010 @ 6:08 pm

You should be ashamed of yourself and your desire to be God or to be God like..but it also shows you have NO sensibility towards the suffering of others by your attack on Greenlining. And by attacking Greenlining you attack those in CA who stood for similar ideals like Cesar Chavez. What we do is help build our country and yes we must battle those whom lack the sensibility towards the suffering of others....but battle we will and all the way to the gates of hell and back if we have to...for this is OUR COUNTRY TOO!!! Trying living in a poor or distressed community for a month instead of playing God and trying to determine who is right and wrong. I was like you but I chose to stop playing God and get into the game and help build our nation. My youngest daughter can bitch and complain but she is way too young to come up with solutions. So stop acting like my little daughter and get into the Game and help with solutions. Al Pina Chair FMCRC

Posted by Guest Al Pina on Jun. 20, 2010 @ 12:04 pm

And what are you talking about Al?

Posted by mr matlock on Jun. 20, 2010 @ 5:31 pm