“The secretary speaks,” ABC fill-in anchor David Muir excitedly teased at the top of Wednesday’s World News, “billionaire investor Warren Buffett and his secretary, who pays a much-higher tax rate than him. He says not fair. She’s now at the center of a huge debate. What does she think? An ABC News exclusive.” Muir promised that “tonight we hear from the secretary for the first time,” but she merely got to utter one sentence as ABC used her as a poster girl to hike taxes.
Reporter Bianna Golodryga recounted “a hero’s welcome” back in Omaha for “for a secretary thrust into the spotlight” by sitting as a stage prop behind the First Lady at Tuesday night’s State of the Union address. President Obama, Golodryga helpfully explained in advancing Obama’s agenda, called for a minimum 30 percent tax rate on millionaires “after Republican candidate Mitt Romney revealed he made almost $43 million over two years, paying a tax rate of 13.9 percent in 2010, not Debbie’s 35.8 percent.”
Barack Obama’s invitation to Warren Buffett’s secretary, Debbie Bosanek, to tonight’s State of the Union Address is bound to please not only Bosanek’s boss but also the liberal media that has allied with Buffett in his mission to raise taxes on the rich. For over 10 years the Berkshire Hathaway CEO has campaigned to sop the wealthy with burdensome taxes, and his friends in the media have been all too willing to advance his myth that secretaries pay more in taxes than their boss.
The following articles from the MRC’s archive represent just a few of the more recent and obnoxious examples of Buffett and Obama’s friends in the media carrying water for their crusade to soak America’s job creators:
Showing how no left-wing effort to raise taxes is too silly or embarrassing for ABC News to embrace, World News on Wednesday night jumped to promote a Web video, created by a group founded by a former Howard Dean operative and “featured contributor” to the Huffington Post (Rick Jacobs), to impose a higher state income tax rate on Californians earning over $1 million.
“First it was Warren Buffett,” anchor Diane Sawyer glowed in citing her hero, “and now it is reality TV star Kim Kardashian. What could they have in common? Both center stage on the question of fairness in the way the country taxes the rich versus the middle class. Some big unions in California have created an ad saying people like Kim Kardashian are the reason the tax code has to change.”
On Saturday's Good Morning America on ABC, a few hours before Herman Cain's announcement that he would drop out of the presidential race, as anchor Bianna Goldryga and correspondent David Kerley speculated about what Cain would do, Kerley mocked Cain as Kerley referred to the GOP candidate's tendency to call himself the "CEO of self," and wondered if he would "fire himself":
On the Sunday, November 13, Good Morning America, ABC co-host Bianna Golodryga declared that "it seems Americans still can't forget" GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry's "53-second brain freeze" from last week's debate as she and This Week host Christiane Amanpour discussed Saturday night's GOP debate hosted by CBS News.
Golodryga then played a clip of NBC's Saturday Night Live making fun of Perry's memory lapse using an impersonator, and then followed up by asking if Perry "will ever be able to live down those 53 seconds?"
After bringing aboard Amanpour, Golodryga began the segment:
President Barack Obama's nicknaming his new tax increases on the wealthy the "Warren Buffett rule" is fitting since the billionaire has spent a decade campaigning for a tax hike, a campaign his friends in the liberal media have been more than willing to join. For over 10 years the media promoted Buffett's complaint that the wealthy in America don't pay enough in taxes, spurred on by a Buffett's anecdote that he pays less in taxes than his receptionist.
But even the AP has pointed out, the idea that secretaries pay more in taxes than their bosses is inaccurate. A review of IRS 2009 tax tables (Link to Excel spreadsheet) shows that those making under $100,000/year pay an average of no more than 12.3% of their income in taxes, while those making above $500,000 pay an average of no less than 26.3% of their income in taxes. However, this fact hasn't stopped the liberal media from happily advancing Buffett's call to soak his fellow rich.
“President Obama has declared it is time to take action on taxes because people in the middle class are paying a larger percentage of income tax than the super-rich,” ABC anchor Diane Sawyer announced Monday night without bothering to note, as neither did CBS nor NBC, that the super-rich are already paying a disproportionate share of income taxes.
ABC reporter Bianna Golodryga, who is married to former Obama OMB chief Peter Orszag, assured Sawyer that Obama would not raise taxes immediately, but insisted “the more secure a plan is right now the better it will be in the long run.” (For who?) Sawyer, as if there is a rebound now: “So let the recovery continue?” Golodryga: “Continue now, but have a plan in place to raise taxes over the next few years.” Sawyer related: “They say for fairness.”
“Billionaires on notice,” ABC anchor Diane Sawyer teased Monday’s World News in trumpeting, as did CBS and NBC, aNew York Times op-ed by liberal billionaire Warren Buffett. Sawyer heralded Buffett’s quest: “Is it time for the mega-rich to pay at least the same tax rate as their secretaries? And if they did pay their fair share, would it fix America's schools or roads?”
Sawyer soon ludicrously asserted “working men and women,” meaning the non-wealthy, “pay the most taxes.” In fact, as detailed by the Tax Foundation, “America's wealthiest taxpayers are paying a disproportionate share of the income tax burden” while half of all households pay no income taxes.
The broadcast network evening newscasts on Friday night noted the very anemic second quarter GDP growth rate at 1.3 percent, but instead of stressing how it showed the weak economic state well before the debt ceiling showdown, they submerged it into warnings of how the delay in getting a deal is hurting the economy.
On ABC’s World News, Bianna Golodryga, aka Mrs. Peter Orszag, the wife of Obama’s former OMB Director, helped her husband’s ex-employer by failing to even mention the worst news of the day: the revision of the first quarter GDP down to a flat line 0.4 percent from the original 1.9 percent estimate. At least CBS and NBC considered that newsworthy.
NBC's Nightly News on Monday and the Today show on Tuesday ignored a controversial, ideologically divided Supreme Court ruling that ordered California to release at least 38,000 prisoners. ABC, over two days, allowed a scant 11 seconds. Only CBS provided a full report.
In a blistering dissent, Justice Antonin Scalia warned that "terrible things are sure to happen" if the action is implemented as a result of overcrowding. On the CBS Evening News, Jan Crawford provided the sole full report, observing the controversial nature of the 5-4 split.
She described, "Now, this case produced an extraordinarily heated debate between the conservatives and liberal justices." Crawford highlighted a separate dissent by Sam Alito. He worried that the majority was "gambling with the safety of the people of California." She repeated Alito's foreboding statement: "I fear that today's decision, like prior prisoner release orders, will lead to a grim roster of victims."
Good Morning America on Saturday looked to political columnist John Avlon of the liberal Daily Beast to bash the "fairly weak" Republican field and chide the primary process for creating "extreme" candidates. Co-host Bianna Golodryga never mentioned the ideology of the website or of Avlon's frequent attacks on conservatives.
Avlon briefly departed from his negative outlook to praise Mitt Romney's defense of his liberal health care legislation in Massachusetts: "Criticized by many conservatives, I thought he bravely supported his decision to enact health care reform in Massachusetts."
What better way for ABC to kick off its weekend news coverage than by mocking the physical appearance of a Republican presidential candidate? That's apparently what someone at Good Morning America was thinking today.
As co-host Dan Harris opened the show by teasing an upcoming story about a study suggesting that allowing one's spouse to gawk at others they find attractive is good for the relationship, footage of . . . Newt Gingrich suddenly appeared on screen.
Harris made as if it were a mistake: "and no, not Newt Gingrich."
While the morning show hosts on NBC and CBS showcased the looming political threat of high gas prices for Barack Obama, ABC, Friday, simply repeated White House talking points and explained how the President will try and blame Republicans.
Reporter Bianna Golodryga noted that Obama "wasted no time" in going after the GOP. She parroted, "During his speech in Reno, President Obama argued that budget cuts proposed by Republicans would keep the country from making critical investments in new alternative technologies that could wean our dependence on foreign oil."
Golodryga offered no hint of political danger for the President, instead highlighting his claim to expose "speculators." She touted, "President Obama told a crowd here he's going to go after anybody who gouges." CBS, on the other hand, painted a different picture.
Appearing on Sunday’s Good Morning America on ABC, This Week host Christiane Amanpour suggested that Republican House Speaker John Boehner’s perceived victory in recent budget negotiations with President Obama could be harmful in the long run as it will "give Republicans a lot more wind in their sail" and make it more difficult for both sides to compromise on the larger portions of the budget.
Co-anchor Bianna Golodryga set up the line of thinking as she posed the question: "Since both sides avoided the backlash that would have come with the government shut down that could have potentially taught them a lesson, is there risk that they'll overplay their hand on obviously this much more controversial debate over the debt limit now heightened?"
Amanpour passed on the view by some that the recent budget deal would hinder the negotiation of future agreements: "And some people are saying that with the victory, because many people are saying that this government shutdown deal was a victory for, by and large, Speaker Boehner, that that might give the Republicans a lot more wind in their sail at a time when analysts say that it really needs bipartisan work to get some of these huge, big issues sorted out."
Good Morning America’s Bianna Golodryga conducted a fawning interview with Bill Clinton on Monday and fretted that Barack Obama is “giving in too much to Republican demands” on the 2011 budget.
The ABC journalist offered the former President, the ex-boss of GMA co-host George Stephanopoulos, no tough questions. Instead, she chose broad, softball queries about the Clinton Global Initiative. At one point, Golodryga, who is married to Barack Obama’s former budget director, fawned, “We also saw your daughter moderate a panel yesterday. What was she talking about?”
The reporter also pushed Clinton as to whether Obama should “take on those who question where he was born.” She challenged, “I mean, do you think at this point, do you think the President should just say, ‘You know what? I'm sick of taking the high road’ and just either fight back or handle this once and for all?”
On World News Saturday and on Sunday’s Good Morning America, ABC continued to quote liberal commentator Ron Reagan’s recent criticisms of Sarah Palin without reminding viewers of his liberal political views and history of attacking conservatives as both shows recounted Palin’s speech in commemoration of former President Ronald Reagan’s 100th birthday.
On World News Saturday, after playing a clip of Palin’s speech, anchor Sharyn Alfonsi continued: "Reagan's outspoken youngest son Ron told the Associated Press that Palin, quote, 'is a soap opera who has nothing in common' with his father."
And on Sunday’s GMA, a piece by correspondent David Kerley used a clip of Ron Reagan from one of his recent appearances on GMA promoting his book, My Father at 100, when he had negative words to say about Palin. After relating that Palin had charged that America is "on a road to ruin because it has strayed from Reagan’s values," and after a clip of the former Alaska governor comparing her own political views to those of President Reagan, Kerley continued:
Good Morning America on Sunday continued to hype the very liberal Ron Reagan and the claims in his new book that his father showed early signs of Alzheimer's while in the White House. The network has now devoted 28 minutes to interviews and segments on the allegations. Host Bianna Golodryga even laughed at Reagan's Sarah Palin joke.
After asking the author what President Reagan would have thought of the former governor of Alaska, Ron Reagan replied, "He would say that, well, she seems like a nice young woman and perhaps, in years to come, with a little more seasoning, she might want to consider running for high office." This prompted Golodryga to giggle and repeat, "A little more seasoning." She then laughed again when he retorted, "Yeah. Or maybe even a lot more."
On Saturday morning, FNC’s Fox and Friends Saturday and ABC’s Good Morning America highlighted Democratic Senator Bob Menendez’s assertion that negotiating with Republicans taxes is like negotiating with terrorists. NBC’s Today show included a brief mention, but CBS’s The Early Show and CNN Saturday Morning ignored the New Jersey Democrat’s over-the-top rhetoric.
FNC included a soundbite of Menendez in the opening teaser, as co-host Alisyn Camerota asked if the "hostile words" of Democrats would "hurt negotiations." On ABC, correspondent David Kerley included a clip of the "tough language," and co-host Bianna Golodryga gave Republican Senator Orrin Hatch a chance to respond as the Utah Senator appeared as a guest. Golodryga: " I want to begin by asking your response to that dramatic language we heard from your Democratic counterpart, Senator Menendez, basically calling Republicans terrorists with regards to the process of tax cuts."
FNC began its show:
ALISYN CAMEROTA: Good morning, everyone. It's Saturday, December 4. Two major tax votes happening today in the Senate, but are the Democrats' hostile words hurting negotiations?
SENATOR BOB MENENDEZ (D-NJ): It's almost like the question of: Do you negotiate with terrorists?
Looks like the MSNBC-Obama merger is complete . . .
Janet Napolitano did double-duty on Good Morning America today, describing administration anti-terrorism efforts while serving as an MSNBC shill by parroting the liberal network's new marketing catchphrase, Lean Forward.
To complete the daisy chain, Napolitano was interviewed by ABC's Bianna Golodryga, wife of . . . former Obama budget director Peter Orzag. View video after the jump.
The topic was the foiled plot to send explosives to synagogues in Chicago.
The surfacing of racy photos of a Democratic congressional candidate have made the politician "something of a feminist icon," according to Good Morning America. Reporter Jeremy Hubbard and host Bianna Golodryga on Sunday offered sympathetic reports on Krystal Ball, a House candidate in Virginia.
An ABC graphic speculated, "Sexist Smear Campaign?: No Regrets for Racy Photos." Golodryga pitched softball questions about the six year old photographs of Ball and her then husband posing with sex toys at a party. Addressing the uproar after the photos appeared on websites, Golodryga comforted, "You call this whole scandal a sexist double standard. Why?"
Allowing Ball to play the victim, the host wondered, "And when these came out you said that you thought of Hillary Clinton. Why?" Yet, when audio of a Democratic staffer referring to Republican Meg Whitman as a whore appeared, GMA mostly ignored it. News anchor Juju Chang covered it in a news brief on October 8 as "some salty language in the race for California governor."
ABC on Friday did its best to find secret discrimination against Muslims, sending Good Morning America's Bianna Golodryga undercover in a hijab (Islamic head covering). Yet, despite the misleading graphic, "Life Under the Veil: TV Experiment Exposes Bias," the morning show didn't find much bigotry.
Late in the segment, Golodryga admitted, "Overt discrimination is the exception." When an ABC producer tried the experiment in New York, the correspondent acknowledged, "Everywhere, people went out of their way to be friendly." [MP3 audio here.]
Yet, Golodryga kept trying. Going to the red state of Texas, she explained, "But it was different in my hometown of Houston. At the airport, I could feel all the eyes on me."
On Sunday’s Good Morning America, during a report which focused on FNC host Glenn Beck’s "Restoring Honor" rally and the negative reaction from civil rights activists like the Reverend Al Sharpton, ABC correspondent Tahman Bradley declared that "the crowd was almost all white, giving critics an open door."
It was after recounting that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s niece – Dr. Alveda King – was a speaker at the rally, Bradley noted the racial makeup of Beck’s event:
TAHMAN BRADLEY: Dr. King's own niece, Alveda King, spoke.
DR. ALVEDA KING, NIECE OF DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.: We need to rebuild America.
BRADLEY: An obvious effort to try to show inclusion on this historic day, but the crowd was almost all white, giving critics an open door.
REVEREND AL SHARPTON, CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVIST: We're not giving them this day. This is our day, and we ain't giving it away.
And similar to reports on the rally that aired on GMA on Friday and Saturday, ABC used such labels as "controversial" and "conservative" to label Beck or his followers, but did not use ideological labels to refer to Sharpton, nor was the left-wing activist’s own controversial history mentioned. For example, in the opening teaser, substitute host Ron Claiborne asserted that the rally was "led by controversial conservatives Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin."
On Saturday’s Good Morning America on ABC, during an interview with Dr. Alveda King – a niece of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. known for her pro-life activism – substitute host Ron Claiborne challenged her to defend her participation in conservative talker Glenn Beck’s "Restoring Honor" rally in two out of the three questions he posed to her. The ABC host asked if she was "comfortable aligning yourself" with Beck – considered "inflammatory and divisive" by "many people." After failing to get Dr. King to criticize the conservative talker, Claiborne seemed to appeal to her to "understand at least" why some agree with Democratic Congressman John Lewis’s assessment of the Beck rally as an "affront" to the Civil Rights Movement. Claiborne's second and third questions:
Many people call Glenn Beck's political views and style inflammatory and divisive. Are you comfortable, are you comfortable aligning yourself with someone who once called President Obama a racist?
Well, Congressman John Lewis, who, of course, stood beside your uncle 47 years ago and marched many times for civil rights, has said that Beck's rally is an affront to what the Civil Rights Movement stood for. When you hear that kind of talk, can you understand, at least, how some people could interpret it that way?
The interview with Dr. King came right after a report filed by correspondent Claire Shipman which, similarly to her report from Friday’s GMA, assigned such labels at "right-wing" and "controversial" to Beck, while the Reverend Al Sharpton’s own controversial history was not mentioned, nor was his liberal ideology.
Good Morning America's Bianna Golodryga on Sunday featured a liberal activist arguing for more government intervention in the form of paid time off laws and "affordable" child care. The ABC host never identified Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner's ideology or the fact that she's a Huffington Post contributor. Instead, Golodryga fretted about "bias" against women who have children.
The Rowe-Finkbeiner interview and the preceding segment lamented the fact that women who have children often don't end up making as much as men and also females who don't have kids. Neither segment even hinted that there could be two sides to the story.
Instead, Rowe-Finkbeiner was allowed to lobby, "We know that passing family-friendly policies and programs like paid family leave, like affordable child care, like access to paid sick days, like access to flexible work options, those things actually help lower the gap between women and men."
[Updated] Good Morning America co-host Bianna Golodryga on Saturday chided the Reverend Franklin Graham, complaining that "one of the country's leading evangelicals is adding to the confusion" over Barack Obama's religion.
Reporter Jake Tapper then played a clip of Graham being interviewed on CNN: "He was born a Muslim. His father was a Muslim. The seed of Islam is passed through the father. He's renounced Islam and he has accepted Jesus Christ."
Yet, the New York Times struck a very similar tone in a May 12, 2008 op-ed. Contributor Edward Luttwak wrote, "As the son of the Muslim father, Senator Obama was born a Muslim under Muslim law as it is universally understood. It makes no difference that, as Senator Obama has written, his father said he renounced his religion. Likewise, under Muslim law based on the Koran his mother’s Christian background is irrelevant."
Good Morning America on Tuesday skipped the news that Peter Orszag, Barack Obama's budget director, is resigning from the White House. Perhaps not coincidentally, Orszag is also the fiance of GMA's weekend anchor Bianna Golodryga. CBS's Early Show and NBC's Today both covered the subject.
Today reporter Savannah Guthrie explained, "It's a mix of the personal and the political. Most budget directors stay about 18 months. If he had stayed much longer, he'd probably have to get into the next budget cycle and be in for the long haul. He's also getting married this fall."
The Early Show's Betty Nguyen pointed out, "Orszag would be the first high profile member of the Obama administration to leave." GMA has a history of ignoring awkward details for Golodryga. In January, the show skipped the fact that Orszag had a love child with his previous girlfriend (after divorcing his first wife). NBC covered it.
To highlight the announcement that Bianna Golodryga had been named co-anchor of the weekend Good Morning America, ABC blurred the lines of journalism on Sunday and brought on the host's fiancee, Barack Obama's Director of the Office of Management and Budget, Peter Orszag.
In a fawning piece on Golodryga's life story, an onscreen graphic identified Orszag only as the journalist's fiancee. At the end of the segment, the Democratic official strode onto the set, surprising the host. Only then, almost as an aside, did co-anchor Bill Weir explain, "...For those who may not know, Bianna's fiancee is in President Obama's cabinet." [Audio available here.]
Golodryga has a long history of finding the liberal spin for economic issues (her main subject). On February 10, 2009, she promoted the efforts of a left-wing, self-proclaimed "bank terrorist," but left out any identifiers.
When the networks get a story involving food, labeling and health, they know just how to cover it: get reaction from their favorite lefty advocacy group, and paint consumers as defenseless patsies. That's what CBS' "Early Show" and ABC's "Good Morning America" did on March 4.
In an alleged violation of the Federal Food Drug, and Cosmetic Act, the FDA has issued its biggest crackdowns in fifteen years, putting seventeen food manufacturers on notice for what they say are misleading product labels for consumers. The food companies have fifteen days to respond to the charges, either challenging the allegations or offering plans to change their labels.
With a complete lack of irony, Good Morning America’s George Stephanopoulos on Thursday commented on the revelation that John Edwards had fathered a love child. The former top aide to Bill Clinton marveled, "How did he ever think he was going to get through a presidential campaign sitting on all this?"
Stephanopoulos, perhaps not thinking of his old boss and the Gennifer Flowers scandal during the 1992 campaign, chided Edwards: "It is just unbelievable." In a second story on the subject, correspondent Bianna Golodryga introduced the story by explaining, "Former presidential candidate John Edwards, now admits that he did father a child with a former campaign worker."
Golodryga is engaged to Obama White House official Peter Orszag. On January 7, Orszag announced that he had fathered a baby with another woman, venture capitalist Claire Milonas. Perhaps ABC should be a little more careful in who they assign stories to?
Nine days after ABC announced on Good Morning America that financial correspondent Bianna Golodryga would be marrying top Obama official Peter Orszag, NBC’s Today made sure to highlight the revelation that the budget director has also fathered a child with his (now) ex-girlfriend. Good Morning America skipped this development, as did CBS’s Early Show.
Orszag, the director of the Office and Budget Management and his ex, Claire Milonas, released a statement on the birth of their daughter. In a possible attempt to embarrass rival GMA, Today touted the story with a graphic that screamed, "Oh Baby, Engaged Budget Czar Has Child With Other Woman."
Reporter Norah O’Donnell highlighted, "This comes just one week after the announcement that Orszag was getting engaged to ABC's Bianna Golodryga. She broke the news on national television." O'Donnell then played a clip of Golodryga discussing the engagement on GMA. NBC doesn’t often delight in awkward situations for the Obama administration. But the correspondent also added, "Simply put, this is an embarrassment for one of the President's top advisers and a member of his cabinet."