Pity the Fool: Celebrate April 1st with 8 Anti-Capitalist Journalists and Entertainers

Sometimes liberal bias goes so far it actually becomes absurd, like Roseanne Barr saying that she would bring back the guillotine in order to behead any rich people who wanted to keep more than $100 million of their own money. She set the bar (or the guillotine) higher than her $80 million net worth. But it wasn’t just extreme left-wing celebs like Roseanne and Michael Moore, news anchors and hosts have spewed anti-business, anti-wealth, or anti-capitalism nonsense too.

The Business and Media Institute hunted down some of the most outrageous anti-business, anti-wealth, or anti-capitalism comments by news and entertainment media people in the past year and came up with this list of eight individuals. After all, it is April Fools Day.


Piers Morgan: Needs Economics 101

 

Piers Morgan, the British host of CNN’s “Piers Morgan Tonight,” must have trouble grasping basic economics, such as the fact that companies exist to make money.

He has preached that corporations should pay more attention to the national interest than “ever-fattening shareholders,” quipped that all Texas businessmen are “evil,” attacked a businessman who was discounting his product for gun owners, and blasted National Rifle Association Vice President Wayne LaPierre as “America’s Most Dangerous Man.” He’s also a big government liberal who defended Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s soda baneven after a judge overturned it.

Morgan is so liberal, MSNBC regular Donnie Deutsch actually asked him in an interview about Michelle Obama’s Oscar surprise “When did you become such a crazy liberal?”

The CNN host is often outrageous and offensive and has spouted off against businesses many times. On Jun 12, 2012, he tarred Texas businessmen collectively, based on Hollywood fantasy. Morgan was interviewing cast members of “Dallas,” which had been rebooted on TNT. He asked Larry Hagman, “Did you like being, for what you were for a long period, the most evil man on television?” Hagman replied that, “I don’t think I was an evil man. I was just like a Texas businessman, that’s all.” To which Morgan quickly replied, “Yeah, evil.”

In March 2012, Morgan argued that businesses should bring jobs back to the U.S. simply because they should, rather than criticizing the economics of the problem: the tax advantages that lead to companies sending jobs overseas. Instead, Morgan pouted and declared that he has a “constant nagging problem” with Apple making money overseas. In his view, the company is so successful they could “take the hit” and move jobs back home.

“And my argument is why don’t they just bring 10 percent of that workforce from China back to America? Take the hit. Because I reckon they’d sell 4 million iPads next time. What is wrong with that?” From an economic standpoint, even if Apple did bring those jobs back the company wouldn’t “take the hit.” Consumers would -- in the form of higher prices which the company would pass on because it exists to make as much profit as it can.

 

Roseanne Barr: OWS Supporter Calls for Return of Guillotine

 

Actress and comedienne Roseanne Barr has had a long TV and movie career, but in recent years has adopted an activist role that includes tweeting anything she thinks including vulgar and insulting remarks about rich people. She also ran for the presidential nominationfor the Green party.

The former sitcom star was a high-profile supporter of Occupy Wall Street (OWS) and has been since 2011. Back then the Daily Mail (U.K.), reported that Barr went on Russia Today to attack bankers “ordering them to return profits or be beheaded.” Part of her presidential platform would include the return of the guillotine.

“I do say that I am in favor of the return of the guillotine and that is for the worst of the worst of the guilty. I first would allow the guilty bankers to pay, you know, the ability to pay back anything over $100 million [of] personal wealth because I believe in a maximum wage of $100 million. And if they are unable to live on that amount of that amount then they should, you know, go to the re-education camps and if that doesn't help, then being beheaded,” Barr said in that interview. Conveniently, the very wealthy Barr has a net worth of roughly $80 million.

And her rhetoric hasn’t toned down. On Sept. 2, 2012, Barr tweeted that “most billionaires r violent pedophiles & consumers of violent pedo porn. they get a kick out of being heartless cruel empty cocaine addicts.” Talk about a generalization with no supporting evidence.

More recently (March 20), Barr has said on twitter that “As president” she would “cancel all student loans-or forgive them” ignoring the obvious violation of contract law and the terrible precedent such a thing would create. Moral hazard anyone? On March 15, she attacked Monsanto, a food company calling it “MonSATAN” over genetically modified seeds.

 

Jim Avila: ABC’s Food Scare Specialist

 

In 2012, ABC went hog wild with food scares including a series of attacks on USDA-approved beef. Jim Avila’s reporting on lean finely textured beef (LFTB) cost jobs and resulted in a lawsuit against ABC News, Avila and “World News” anchor Diane Sawyer.

With Avila outfront, the network repeatedly called the beef “pink slime” -- a term coined by a former USDA employee. In just two weeks, ABC used the derogatory label 52 times. The lawsuit claims ABC used the term 137 times in all. The industry and one company in particular, Beef Products, Inc., (BPI)  took a huge hit when it was forced to shut down three plants and let 650 workers go. BPI claims ABC defamed its product and made “nearly 200 false and disparaging statements regarding BPI and its product, lean finely textured beef.”

But attacking LFTB was just one of four separate anti-meat topics Avila covered for ABC in 2012. In July 2012, he supplied a one-sided scare storywarning of a supposed “super bug” crisis involving chickens. The poultry industry had rebutted claims online, but Avila’s report didn’t mention it.

The “super bug,” according to an ABC news report, is a strain of bacteria in chicken that can lead to urinary tract infections in women. But, according to same report by ABC, “researchers acknowledge that there is no study showing a definitive link between the E.coli in chicken and infection in women, but point out that a study like that would be unethical because it would require intentionally exposing women to the bacteria.”

He also scared viewers about a new breed of salmon on ABC’s “Nightline” in December 2012. AquaBounty, a biotech company, had modified salmon to reach their full size faster than wild salmon do. The company is waiting for FDA approval, but ABC and Avila were already concerned it might cause cancer. He also repeated the name critics use for the salmon, “frankenfish,” and alluded to the Jurassic Park movies in case that was insufficient to scare people away from the “highly controversial” possibility.

 

Mika Brzezinski: Nanny State Cheerleader

 

“Morning Joe” co-host and self-confessed fan of Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden and Barack Obama Mika Brzezinski loves the nanny state.

Recently, she had a on-air meltdown when New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s “visionary”  nanny-state interventionism got knocked down in court. Speaking about the overturned large, sugary drink ban on March 12, 2013, Brzezinski freaked out calling it a “serious issue” and referring to sugar as “poison” four times and “toxic” twice. She even alleged that the “American Beverage Association is relieved because they can continue to make money poisoning people.”

Ironic, coming from the co-host of a program “brewed [sponsored] by Starbucks,” but certainly not new. In 2010, she praised another politician saying, “[I]n San Francisco, a ban on sugary drinks in city vending machines is starting to take effect ... That’s so great. It was issued by Mayor Gavin Newsom, my new hero, Mike Barnicle -- in an effort to combat obesity and improve citizen’s health, and it will. In fact, if people would just not drink soda pop, they would be healthier and less fat.”

In fact, soda consumption is down 17.3 percent from its 1998 peak, according to Beverage Digest, but that hasn’t stopped legislators like Bloomberg or interventionists in the news media from attacking the industry or the product.

 

Michael Moore - Millionaire Anti-Capitalism Propagandist

 

Filmmaker Michael Moore is a left-wing activist anddocumented liar who makes movies to drive an agenda. He’s been lauded by people on the left and embraced by the media, including Larry King who once called him “our #1 propagandist.” He’s denounced capitalism, even though it has made him immensely wealthy.

Celebrity Net Worth says Moore is worth $50 millionand even Moore himself has admitted he’s a one percenter (after he had claimed he wasn’t). But he’s thrown his support to the Occupy Wall Street movement, which denounces the 1% and still claims capitalism is a great evil, saying it “exploits the vast majority so that the few at the top can enrich themselves more.” His story, going from living on unemployment when he sold his 1989 film “Roger & Me” for $3 million, would be a capitalist success story -- if only Moore wanted it to be. Instead the man from Michigan, who can now afford to live in Manhattan, still attacks the system that made him rich.

In 2009, he said “Capitalism is actually legalized greed” and criticized how rich the top 1 percent are and argued for “fairness and equality” in a “Jay Leno Show” appearance as he promoted his movie: “Capitalism: A Love Story.” Proving that he accepts the liberal notion of zero-sum economics Moore said, “And you know when you have a pie on the table … there’s 10 slices and one guy at the table says nine of those slices are mine and the other nine of you, you can fight over the last slice. I mean that’s essential the kind of economy we have now.”

Sadly the media have embraced his screeds against free markets and NBC “Today” actually gave him a platform to attack Wall Street on Oct. 15, 2009. Moore lashed out at Wall Street, blaming them entirely, for “burn[ing] down our economy.”

In 2008, Moore promoted a full government takeover of the U.S. auto industry to force them to “build hybrids, electrics”and “mass transportation.” In prior years he has crusaded for socialized health careand against guns and second amendment rights.

 

Martin Bashir: MSNBC Anchor Supplies Budget-Cut Hysteria

 

Liberals can’t stand government budget cuts (or the idea of them), even when the government is bloated and overstuff and those cuts are miniscule in proportion. MSNBC is in the business of providing far-left hysterics on just about any issue and when it came to budget cutting, the right was to blame for deaths from by listeria, and were trying to kill off Meals on Wheels.

MSNBC anchor Martin Bashir has been one of the people making these claims. On Sept. 30, 2012, he actually blamed John Boehner and the GOP for “slashing $87 million from [FDA’s] budget and then another $35 million from the USDA for good measure. Cut, cut, cut. And now the results are in. Sixteen people have lost their lives. Close to 100 are sick.” Of course that $122 million is a mere fraction of the total $4.3 billion budget requested by the FDA in 2012.

By 2012, the FDA was requesting over a billion more than had been approved by Congress in 2010.

But Bashir hasn’t let facts like that get in the way of portraying conservatives as haters of the poor. On Oct. 16, 2012, he ominously warned on “NewsNation,” “If his [the House GOP] budget were ever to come to pass, then Meals on Wheels would be killed, transportation services to the disabled would be destroyed, food stamps would be eviscerated. I think many Americans would end up in soup kitchens like that. So I don’t think we should be critical. I think we should be grateful that what Mr. Ryan has shown us is exactly what will happen to people if the kind of vicious and callous budget that he would wish to impose on American people ends up coming to pass.”

He has also told Republicans to “change the channeljust for a moment from Fox News to PBS this Sunday night ... There, on “Sesame Street,” they will see the sad face of a hungry doll whose family doesn’t have enough money to buy food ...”

Not surprising, Bashir has also called for higher taxes, especially on the rich and oil companies. In a 2011 interview with Sen. Bernie Sanders, a socialist, Bashir lamented: “a full 80 percent of Americans favor a surtax on those earning more than $1 million ... And 74 percent said it's time to end subsidies for oil and gas companies. Why won't Congress simply do what the people want?”

 

Brian Williams: Spouting Liberalism on Wealth, Taxes and ObamaCare

 

NBC “Nightly News” anchor and “Rock Center” host Brian Williams claims that his "[W]ork has been so cleansed, as I see it, and as I've tried, of political opinions over 27 years... I can try to call it down the middle, and try to be fair about it, and do a 'just the facts'.” Yet, he’s criticized the wealthy, been baffled by opposition to ObamaCare and often demonstrated liberal bias.

Just as many in the news media attacked former Gov. Mitt Romney over his taxes, Williams used them to hit Romney for having “unfathomable wealth.” At the beginning of the Jan. 25, 2012, broadcast Williams said that “in releasing his taxes, he reveals what most Americans will regard as unimaginable wealth.” He also went on to challenge Romney’s support for low capital gainstax rates.

Although it’s not so difficult for Williams to imagine since TV Guide reported that he makes $13 million annually (as of 2011). In 2008, Parade magazine profiled his luxury Manhattan apartment in the Bloomberg building, which range in cost from “$2 to $27 million.”

In a 2011”Dateline” broadcast, Williams demanded that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell answer the question, “Why shouldn’t rich folks pay more?”McConnell pointed out that the wealthy already “pay an extraordinary amount more, and in fact about half of Americans don’t pay any income taxes at all.”

Williams has also sounded the alarm on obesity calling it a “health crisis out of control,” before NBC science correspondent Robert Bazell argued that it is “no longer a question of individual responsibility, but a need to change what’s called an ‘obesity-promoting environment.’ Calling on corporations, government and individuals to act.”

And in early 2011, he pressed House Speaker John Boehner on his promised repeal of ObamaCare. Pushing for some justification, Williams asked “where are you getting the notion ... the American people want it repealed?” Williams claimed polls showed a 48-47 split on repealing the health care bill. But several other polls showed much more dissatisfaction with the legislation,  From a CNN poll that found 43 percent support/54 percent opposed, to three other polls that had 10 percent to 17 percentmore disapproval for ObamaCare than approval.

 

Dr. Sanjay Gupta: Medical Doctor and CNN Pro-regulation Advocate

 

There’s no doubt that Dr. Sanjay Gupta is smart guy, after all he is a neurosurgeon and assistant professor of neurosurgery at Emory University’s School of Medicine. But as CNN’s chief medical correspondent he’s also advocated for taxes and regulation in an attempt to curb obesity. He was also tapped to be Obama’s surgeon general, but declined the offer.

He promoted the war on sugar with a CBS “60 Minutes” report on April 1, 2012. That night he interviewed four scientists who argued that sugars are “toxic,” “irresistible” and one whose advice was “Don’t eat sugar.” Dr. Robert Lustig even implied that sugar should be grouped with alcohol and tobacco and regulated accordingly. Only one rebuttal was included, from a sugar association spokesman. Most of the program was spent detailing the danger of sugars, connecting consumption to heart disease, diabetes and cancer and included the claim that the brain’s response to sugar is “reminiscent of drugs like cocaine.”

But more moderate voices exist. The Dieticians Association of Australia has said, “A healthy diet involves eating a wide variety of nutritious foods – while occasionally still being able to enjoy small amounts of foods containing added sugar. Labelling sugar as ‘toxic’ and ‘addictive’ and placing it in the same boat as alcohol is incorrect and misleading.”

Dr. Gilbert Ross of The American Council on Science and Healthresponded to that CBS report saying, “‘While it may seem convincing to viewers to see Dr. Gupta drinking a sugary liquid through a straw and having the reward centers of his brain light up, this in no way serves as anything close to scientific evidence that sugar is dangerous and addictive.’ In fact, he points out, ‘Dr. Lustig displayed his lack of scientific backing and devotion to his own agenda when he blamed excessive consumption of sugar for the ‘fact’ that cancer and heart disease rates have been ‘skyrocketing.’ Although the exact opposite is true, Dr. Gupta didn’t even bat an eye.’”

On CNN, Gupta has supported zoning lawsthat would keep out fast food restaurants, a plan by the San Francisco mayor to tax drinkssweetened with corn syrup to fight the “obesity epidemic,” and pushed for price controlson not just insurers, but other health care industry groups.

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