Mis-Tweetment: Reuters Falsely Tweets That GOP Is OK With $150-200B in Tax Increases

Wednesday afternoon, BigJournalism.com editor-in-chief Dana Loesch reported that Arizona Senator John Kyl had been on the receiving end of what I would call "mis-tweetment" at the hands of someone irresponsibly chirping away at Reuters.

The Reuters tweet stated that "Republicans have agreed to $150 billion to $200 billion in increased tax revenues as part of budget talks," and claimed Senator Kyl as its source.

A video at Andrew Breitbart's Breitbart.tv site shows that this is completely false.

Loesch notes:

A look at the Senator’s actual words in the well of the Senate reveals that he was specifically NOT talking about tax increases, but the sale of government property and other use(r) fees.

Here's a transcript of Kyl's remarks:

In terms of the revenue increases I would point out that between $153 billion and over 200 billion dollars of the money on that side of the ledger comes from increased revenues. So when the White House says "Well, revenues have to be on the table," the fact is revenues have been on the table. We've been talking about increased revenues.

We're not talking about increasing taxes, but if the government sells something and gets money from it, that's revenue. If there is a user fee of some kind and we want to raise that to keep up with the times, that's revenue.

If you add up all of the revenues that we have agreed to, we Republicans have agreed to, it's between 150 and 200 billion dollars. So it's simply false to suggest that we haven't been willing to talk about revenues and that all of the concessions have been on the Democratic side.

The wire service apparently believes that the following tweet is a correction:

ReutersTweetOnKylAndRevenues070611

Hardly, guys. It gives readers the false impression that what Kyl wants is something new. Additionally, in the Democrat-speak currently dominating establishment press reporting, which tries its level best to avoid the T-word (taxes) whenever possible, many readers will still interpret the tweet as involving taxes instead of one-times sales of assets and adjustments of user fees to reflect the underlying cost of services provided.

The revised tweet's linked article is also fundamentally dishonest, as it leaves conveniently leaves out Kyl's assertion that one-time revenues have been "on the table" all along. It doesn't represent anything resembling the opening sentence's claim that Republicans have "tentatively agreed" to anything. This is astonishingly disingenuous journalism by the wire service's Andy Sullivan and Richard Cowan. From all appearances, it's a contrivance to gin up anger in the GOP and sensible conservative base where none is warranted -- at least not yet.

It's hard to know what else to say except that until further notice no one should believe a word of anything coming from Reuters in the coming days and weeks about what is transpiring in the budget and debt-ceiling talks -- especially if it has Andy Sullivan's or Richard Cowan's name on it.

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.

Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.