The ridiculous media hypocrisy concerning all the fuss over Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's wealth and income tax rate was perfectly demonstrated on MSNBC's Morning Joe Monday.
After claiming that Romney's "tax issue is not remotely" past him, John Heilemann, the National Affairs editor for New York magazine, admitted that he never reported John Kerry's income tax rate during the 2004 campaign (video follows with transcript and commentary):
JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST: John Heilemann, Americans didn't care that Ted, or that Jack Kennedy was rich. They didn't care that Roosevelt was rich. Didn't even care that John Kerry was rich in '04. People didn’t talk about that. But Mitt Romney has given the Obama team so many buzz words: Swiss bank account, Cayman islands…
MIKA BRZEZINSKI, HOST: Taxes.
SCARBOROUGH: I like firing people. 14 percent. Let the market bottom out.
BRZEZINSKI: I know what it’s like to be unemployed.
SCARBOROUGH: Pink slips. I know what it's like, you could go on and on. He has set himself up for a November killing.
BRZEZINSKI: He's the 1 percent.
JOHN HEILEMANN, NATIONAL AFFAIRS EDITOR NEW YORK MAGAZINE: He's painted himself, I've said it before on this show, he’s painted himself as a combination of Gordon Gekko and Ritchie Rich, and it's a bad image. But I actually think the thing that David Axelrod is hitting on here, the focus on him, the tax issue is not remotely past Mitt Romney at this point. I mean, this tax issue may be past him in Florida. But, you know, why Mitt Romney has not released more than these past two years of these tax returns. What is in those ten years of tax returns that he has not released that he gave over to the McCain campaign in 2008 that are on the shelf that he hasn't turned in? You know, how much more, again…
SCARBOROUGH: I'm not going to be argumentative, but I think it's a fair question to ask. Why would they care that John Kerry…
HEILEMANN: Because John Kerry…
SCARBOROUGH: Hold, hold, hold on a second. Why would they care that Mitt Romney paid a 14.3 percent tax on his income when John Kerry paid a 13.1 percent tax on his income and he had more money than Mitt Romney?
HEILEMANN: Well, who is they?
SCARBOROUGH: Well, the American people.
HEILEMANN: Why did they care?
SCARBOROUGH: How many Americans went to the voting booth and said I'm not voting for John Kerry?
SCARBOROUGH: Let me tell you who they is. Let me tell you who they is. Let's say the national media like you. How many times did you bring up John Kerry’s 13.1 percent tax rate in 2004?
HEILEMANN: I don't, all I'm trying to tell you is that…
SCARBOROUGH: Is that none or one?
HEILEMANN: I’m going to tell you, you going to let me answer?
SCARBOROUGH: Is that two? Answer the question: How many times did you bring it up?
HEILEMANN: How many times did I bring it up?
HEILEMANN: Possibly none.
HEILEMANN: That's really not what I'm talking about.
And there it is. What else do you need to know about the state of today's media?
Kerry's low income tax rate was not an issue for them in 2004.
But despite the immutable fact that Romney pays more in federal income taxes as a percentage of Adjusted Gross Income than 97 percent of the nation including Kerry, people like Heilemann - who totally ignored Kerry's lower tax rate in 2004 - are going to pound on this issue as long as Romney is in the race.
As NewsBusters has been reporting for months, the media are going to do anything to get Barack Obama reelected.
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