Actual reporting is hard, isn't it? Snarky sound effects are so much more fun. Good Morning America's Jon Karl on Wednesday parroted DNC and White House talking points about Mitt Romney. Karl demanded to know just how Romney "get[s] away with paying so little" capital gains taxes. The segment was punctuated by dollar sign and coin audio clips. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Romney's investments were taxed at 15 percent. Karl cited the liberal Tax Policy Center asserting "the average rate for those making more than $1 million is more than 29 percent." Karl didn't identify the organization's left-wing leanings. (It's a joint project of two liberal think tanks.)
After playing a clip of Romney saying he didn't make "very much" from speaking fees, Karl mocked, "How much is not very much? Last year, Romney was paid $374,000 to give nine speeches." Another dollar sign sound clip followed. These attacks echo press releases from the Democratic National Committee.
On the issue of whether Romney will release his tax records, former Democratic operative turned journalist George Stephanopoulos offered the official Obama spin: "...The White House adding to the pressure yesterday. You had press secretary Jay Carney out there pointing out that it was Romney's dad, George Romney back in 1967, who started the tradition of releasing tax returns."
How did ABC cover Barack Obama releasing his tax records? On March 25, 2008, David Wright breezily explained, "Today's Barack Obama's campaign released his back tax returns on the internet and challenged Clinton to do the same. Obama has been enjoying a few days of R&R, with his family in the Virgin Islands. But he's due back on the campaign trail tomorrow."
It takes incredible hypocrisy for journalists to slam Romney's earnings. After all, Stephanopoulos brings in $8 million a year. How does he "get away" with that?
To read a version of this article with a transcript of the segment, go here.