It is somewhat odd that we did not read about the role of the African-American community and the Congressional Black Caucus in the failure of the Bailout Bill. Instead, the media such as the New York Times focused on the role of Republicans
in the failure of the bill to pass.
Surely the demonization of Wall Street played a role in this African-American opposition. Apparently, the African-America community did not see how the bill would benefit them and wanted some goodies thrown-in as the cost of their support. Can one of the reasons the community was opposing the bill be the fact that the slush fund for ACORN was stripped out of the bill? Stephen Power and Gary Fields of the Wall Street Journal report
Members of the Congressional Black Caucus felt pressure from opposition to the package that was mounted by some prominent African-American radio personalities, who objected because it failed to address their listeners' everyday concerns, such as health-care costs. Among members of the caucus who voted against the deal were Democrats John Lewis of Georgia, John Conyers of Michigan and Jesse Jackson Jr. of Illinois.
Bev Smith, a nationally syndicated talk-show host on American Urban Radio Networks, said the Congressional Black Caucus members might have been influenced in part by a national campaign she organized, along with other radio hosts, calling for their audiences to contact members and voice their opposition to the plan.
When the bailout proposal was announced, she brought on economists and other financial experts to discuss the financial problems it ostensibly would solve. "Last week, I asked my audience to call their legislators and tell them if they vote for this without thorough investigation and without knowing the impact, we're going to kick their butts out of Washington, D.C. My audience flooded the Capitol Hill lines," she said.