FAIR TV: Media Cliff Concern for the Wealthy, Syrian Cluster Bombs vs. American Ones

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FAIR TV: Bradley Manning Blackout, Tax Hike Spin, Covering Poverty– and $450 Starbucks Gift Cards

The stories that came out due to the information Bradley Manning allegedly leaked have been explosive, front page news. But his trial? Not so much. And Maria Bartiromo told Meet the Press that tax increases on the wealthy are really tax increases for everyone. And why was a Starbucks $450 gift card front page news at USA Today– right underneath a stirring piece about poverty? FAIR TV breaks it down:


GOP’s Amazing Revenue-Reducing Tax ‘Hike’

The general line in corporate media coverage of the so-called “Supercommittee” tasked with coming up with a long-term budget plan is that both sides aren’t willing to budge: Republicans won’t agree to raise taxes, and Democrats want to protect “entitlements” like Social Security and Medicare. While some might find the idea of Democrats standing up for Social Security and Medicare, it’s not really true–Democrats have offered to make such cuts if there are some tax increases to go along with them. This insistence that a compromise involve a compromise has been depicted, oddly enough, as a refusal to compromise. But […]


Krauthammer, the Real Obama and a Fake Question

Charles Krauthammer‘s column today in the Washington Post (“Return of the Real Obama,” 9/23/11) reveals the Barack Obama, who’s apparently been hidden away for the past few years: In a 2008 debate, Charlie Gibson asked Barack Obama about his support for raising capital-gains taxes, given the historical record of government losing net revenue as a result. Obama persevered: “Well, Charlie, what I’ve said is that I would look at raising the capital-gains tax for purposes of fairness.” A most revealing window into our president’s political core: To impose a tax that actually impoverishes our communal bank account (the U.S. Treasury) […]


ABC Evades Buffett’s Tax Hike Proposal

When a super-wealthy guy like Warren Buffett talks about taxing the rich– in the pages of the New York Times, no less– it gets the rest of the media talking. But that doesn’t mean that talk will get things right. Here’s one example from ABC World News (8/15/11): BIANNA GOLODRYGA (ABC NEWS): Much of Buffett’s income comes from capital gains, profits resulting from investments, and they’re taxed at only 15%. Buffett’s solution, rates should be raised for the 300,000 Americans who make more than a million a year, left alone for everyone else. An additional 1% tax on the richest […]


NYT’s Imaginary GOP Tax Shift

“2 Republicans Open Door to Increases in Revenue” reads a headline in Monday‘s New York Times. The suggestion is that a few Republicans are walking away from the the party’s no-tax-hike orthodoxy. That much is clear from John Broder’s lead: Two senior Republicans said Sunday that they might be open to raising new government revenue as part of a deal to resolve the dispute over the federal debt ceiling, but they warned that there was little time to enact a comprehensive deal. This would be a pretty remarkable development. So who are we talking about? Broder reports: One of the […]


‘Courageous,’ ‘Bold,’ ‘Serious’ Paul Ryan–Booed?

Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan (R.-Wisc.) is used to being celebrated by pundits for his “courageous,” “bold,” “serious” budget proposals (even though his numbers don’t add up). Indeed, Ryan has become a genuine media darling. So it must have been a little surprising to find himself being booed earlier this week, at a town hall meeting he hosted in his congressional district. It happened after one attendee at the event, a constituent describing himself as a “life-long conservative” challenged GOP views on income disparity, taxes on the wealthy, and raising the income cap on Social Security taxes: The middle class is […]


Dana Milbank Red-Baits the People’s Budget

Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank seems to like to mock progressives almost as much as he likes to go after Glenn Beck. So it’s no surprise that he turned out to “cover” the unveiling of a budget plan by the Congressional Progressive Caucus (4/13/11). Milbank seems to think that little explanation is needed—these crazy ideas are just obviously crazy: Among the highlights: a $4 trillion tax increase over 10 years. An increase in the top tax rate to 49 percent. A $2.3 trillion defense spending cut—and an increase in domestic spending. Oh, and they would revive the “public option” to […]


Facts Irrelevant in NYT Tax Coverage

There’s a simple way of looking at the debate over the Bush tax cuts. The White House and most Democrats say they want to extend them for the vast majority of the population, but keep higher rates in place for families making over $250,000 a year. Republicans seem to know that “Keep Taxes Rates Low for the Rich!”isn’t a winner, politically speaking. So they argue that these tax increases are really going to punish “small businesses.” There’s ample evidence that this is mostly untrue–the number of “small businesses” that would affected is somewhere between 2 percent and 5 percent, depending […]


NYT and ‘Politically Potent’ GOP Tax Myths

The New York Times’ Jackie Calmes has a report today (4/15/10) about the brewing fight over the Bush tax cuts, which were passed for limited time period and will phase out if Congress does not pass legislation to extend them. The Obama White House will ask lawmakers to renew most of the tax cuts, but let those for wealthy taxpayers expire. This obviously does not sit well with Republicans, and they have a plan, which the Times describes in the third paragraph of the story: For all of the talk from President Obama and his party of ending the Bush […]


Mitch Albom’s Faulty Tax Math

Detroit Free Press columnist Mitch Albom–best known for his bestseller Tuesdays With Morrie–had a July 25 column that criticized the Obama healthcare reform with an argument that suggested an unfamiliarity with how the U.S. tax system works: In explaining why it was OK to sock a new 5.4 percent tax on the highest earners in this country–to pay for healthcare reform–President Obamaâ┚¬Ã¢”ž¢s press secretary, Robert Gibbs, said this: “The president believes that the richest 1 percent of this country has had a pretty good run of it for many, many, many years.” Ah. So thatâ┚¬Ã¢”ž¢s it. The old “Youâ┚¬Ã¢”ž¢ve had […]


WSJ Distorts Tax Rate for the Rich

Reading Wall Street Journal reporter Gary Fields’ “point that a family making slightly over $250,000 doesnâ┚¬Ã¢”ž¢t necessarily feel all that ‘rich’ when it comes to facing a tax hike from Barack Obama,” Matthew Yglesias (Think Progress, 4/17/09) dubs his story “The Not-So-Compelling Plight of the Somewhat Rich” and notes that “what the story doesn’t do is put this issue in the appropriate context of what an increase in the marginal rate really implies”: If you raise taxes on “people making over $250,000,” that means an increase only in the 250,001st dollar and onward. It’s not, in other words, as if […]


Erin Burnett Sticks Up for the Little Guy

The roundtable on Sunday’s Meet the Press (2/1/09) sure didn’t look promising: Republican flat tax enthusiast Steve Forbes, former McCain economic adviser Mark Zandi and CNBC reporter Erin Burnett. It was Burnett, though, who delivered a head-scratching defense of the$18 billion bonuses recently doled out at Wall Street firms (many of which are still standing thanks only to the government’s multi-billion dollar TARP bailout). As Burnett explained, the populist anger was misplaced (see bold): BURNETT: I understand the outrage, and you understand the populism. There are, though–well, how should we say this? The taxpayer money is not being used to […]