My primary thought watching Rachel Maddow’s profoundly anti-climactic reveal of Donald Trump’s 2005 tax returns was, “Where’s Geraldo Rivera when you need him?”
The much-hyped debacle on MSNBC last night delivered on so little of the promised scandal that the buildup seemed to imply that it reminded me of nothing more than Rivera’s infamous “The Mystery of Al Capone’s Vaults” special.
In fact, I wasn’t the only one. The revelation that Donald Trump paid $36.5 million in taxes on $153 million in income — an effective tax rate of 24.5 percent, just below the 27.4 percent that taxpayers making $1 million or more pay on average, according to Fox News — had Rivera briefly trending on Twitter.
And, for once, it wasn’t for an inappropriate selfie:
“Geraldo Rivera” now trending on Twitter in relation to the Maddow/Trump tax story and yes it’s for THAT reason.
— Jeff B/DDHQ (@EsotericCD) March 15, 2017
It was a particularly damning night for Maddow, particularly when you compare President Trump’s tax rate with the tax rates of liberal luminary Sen. Bernie Sanders.
Mitt Romney, another wealthy Republican presidential candidate, also paid less, coming in at 14.1 percent.
Trump 2005 tax rate: 25%
Romney 2011 tax rate: 14.1%
Sanders 2014 tax rate: 13.5%
— zerohedge (@zerohedge) March 15, 2017
And that’s hardly all. Fox News reported the Obamas only paid 19.5 percent in 2014.
And believe it or not, it gets better. According to Liberty News, MSNBC parent corporation paid only “an average of 24 percent.”
Let’s let that sink in for a bit. MSNBC aired an illegally obtained report showing … what? That Donald Trump paid his taxes? And paid more than an avowed socialist and the former president? That everything they were saying about Trump and taxes during the campaign was wrong?
Needless to say, Maddow answered none of these questions. Instead, she relied on innuendo and half-truths.
Even The New York Times criticized Maddow’s handling of the two-page document. They described her conversation with David Cay Johnston, the journalist who procured the documents, as having “veered into some odd directions, with Mr. Johnston mentioning a connection between Mr. Trump and the mob. And Ms. Maddow’s opening monologue raised lingering questions about links between Mr. Trump and Russia — questions that no simple 1040 form, like the one sent to Mr. Johnston, could address.”
The White House was equally unimpressed.
“You know you are desperate for ratings when you are willing to violate the law to push a story about two pages of tax returns from over a decade ago,” a White House official said in a statement.
Oh well. Cheer up, Rachel. If history serves as any guide, after a disaster like this, all you need is a neo-Nazi to assault you on live TV with a chair in order to revive your career.
Just ask Geraldo.
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