TV Anchors Make Millions, But Still Attack the Rich

Let them eat cake – because we are too.Our TV network media personalities really want you to believe they can relate to the average American. After all, when you’re a high-minded soldier fighting on the side of the proletariat, it’s important to be a victim of the economic injustices you bring to light, right?Not so fast. It turns out some of the most prominent journalists are doing quite well, according to the July 26 TV Guide. Early this year, a Business & Media Institute report exposed the “income inequality” talking points of the news media. Some journalists continue to attack the wealthy and complain about the downtrodden “middle-class” despite their own $3, $8 and $15 million salaries.“NBC Nightly News” anchor Brian Williams has been highly critical of CEO compensation, referencing “stratospheric sums some CEOs make” and complaining about “golden parachute[s].” But Williams probably won’t point out that his $8 million a year is practically as much as the average CEO earns at $8.1 million. “CBS Evening News” anchor Katie Couric outrageously said, “I had to take out a loan to fill up my minivan. It’s crazy,” on the “Today” show in 2005.Yeah, right. Couric topped the TV Guide list with an astounding $15 million salary – almost twice the salary of an average CEO.One of her CBS colleagues, “The Early Show” co-anchor Harry Smith earns a cool $3 million a year. However, when the minimum wage was increased on July 24, Smith pretended to be a minimum wage earner and Newsbuster Justin McCarthy pointed out.Smith was making an offhand remark during a lawn and garden segment with Danny Lipford.

“[N]ow that the minimum wage is going up, maybe we can afford it,” said Smith lumping himself in with minimum wage earners.

Other journalists have also bashed the wealthy, despite their own million dollar paychecks. The “Good Morning America” team recently attacked News Corp CEO Rupert Murdoch  for being “the man with everything.”

“You think he has everything? I'll bet the day after tomorrow there is something new he wants,” Diane Sawyer said of Murdoch on July 18.

But Sawyer isn’t exactly going without. She’s raking in $12 million a year for her anchor job at GMA.The list also included salary information for Matt Lauer, Meredith Vieira, Anderson Cooper, Keith Olbermann and Lesley Stahl.

Julia A. Seymour
Julia A. Seymour
Julia A. Seymour is the Assistant Managing Editor for the MRC's Business and Media Institute.