Hollywood, California - A Constitutional showdown between "Flip This House" and the FBI is brewing, as the successful cable show is allegedly being investigated for having contributed to the mortgage-backed securities (sub-prime mortgages) meltdown.
"It's a first amendment issue of freedom of speech," said an attorney for the show. "My clients have a Constitutional right to broadcast the content of their TV program unencumbered by any threat of government sanctions. Just like an investment banker has the right to make a profit in a widely federally unregulated market."
According to government sources close to the investigation, "Flip This House" is responsible not simply for encouraging viewers to buy distressed properties, fixing them up and selling them for a profit, but repurchasing and reselling the same houses repeatedly, which contributed to the sub-prime mortgage crisis.
As the time lapsed unedited footage from the show proves, most of the time the show's day laborers, interns and producers would shuttle back and forth between the same group of houses over and over again, arriving on the jobsite just to replace a few light bulbs, change the locks and slap on a thin coat of maintenance paint.
"Then they all would spend the rest of the day drinking beer, playing cards and giving out catcall whistles at girls passing by," said an intern from the show, turned government witness. "Placing a for sale sign in the front yard before leaving for the day, to return the next at another house to repeat same process over again and over again; often back at the same house, just a week later."
"We merely provided a valuable service to the public," said a show spokesperson. "We educated them on how to become a lucrative real estate speculator, the second oldest profession in the world."
The show says it is not to blame and denies any culpability for the current financial crisis.
"They're making us the scapegoats. Just to protect the fat cats on Wall Street," said a man who worked on the show, who wished to remain anonymous, from a balcony of his multimillion-dollar mansion in Beverly Hills.
The FBI refused to either confirm or deny that the show is considered under investigation, only that they it is a line of interest.
Adding insult to injury, "Flip This House" had to file for bankruptcy recently because purchasing bought a dozen homes form a rival show "This Old House" thinking they were distressed properties.
"That's what flipping houses does to you, it screws up your perception as well as your values," said John, who made the deal, taking a brake five-minute break from his gamblers anonymous meeting. "I thought I still had time to flip just one more track of houses one more time before the real estate market crashed. Now, the show's stuck with all them homes with immense A.R.M. payments and no one around to pawn them off on except the American taxpayer."