In debt? Don’t worry, you won’t be blamed by CNN’s “In the Money” team.
On March 10, the CNN show featured an interview with James Scurlock, maker of the new documentary “Maxed Out,” but left out hard questions and company representatives.
“What if the credit crisis really isn’t your fault at all?” CNN’s Ali Velshi asked as he introduced Scurlock.
The filmmaker explained that he assumed people were irresponsible, but he talked to individuals who had “done everything right” and still had terrible credit scores.
“They had no credit cards. If they wanted something they saved up and paid cash for it,” said Scurlock. But Scurlock didn’t say, and none of the “In the Money” reporters asked him, why these people had terrible credit.
Scurlock asserted that “there a lot of people who have been taken advantage of” and referred to sub-prime mortgages that he said “are really designed to fail.” His statement went unchallenged by the CNN team of Velshi, Allen Wastler and Jen Young, and there was no lending expert on the show to provide an answer to Scurlock’s charge.
The filmmaker also discussed credit cards calling the companies “huge profit machines,” but “In the Money” didn’t include a single representative from a credit card company.
Scurlock blamed personal debt and bankruptcies on unstoppable life situations, saying, “The only real solution is to never go to the hospital, never get divorced and never lose your job, which I don’t think is that realistic.” No one disagreed.
Wastler, an “In the Money” regular, brought up recent congressional hearings about credit card practices and called company promises for more transparency “malarkey.”
“Other people say don’t have credit cards, pay for everything in cash that seems impossible as well. Pay your monthly bill on time – okay, well that isn’t always practical. But so what else can you do?” Young asked Scurlock.
Sometimes you can call the companies and negotiate with them for a lower interest rate, Scurlock answered.