ABC News correspondents Brian Rooney and Laura Marquez “are among the ABC reporters whose contracts will not be renewed as the network looks to shed anywhere from 300-400 jobs by the end of the year,” TV Newser reported in a Wednesday afternoon post. (Earlier item from The Enterprise Report.). The names of the two California-based correspondents (Rooney in Los Angeles and Marquez in San Francisco) should ring familiar to NewsBusters readers. During the fires last summer, Rooney featured a resident who affirmed “he would gladly pay more taxes.”
Multiple offender Marquez last year used her World News platform to express frustration at the difficulty of raising taxes in California and on January 2 of this year described the demise of the death tax as “a big gift from Congress” to “America's wealthiest families” as she saw a loss for “all of us” who aren’t so rich as she lamented the reduction of revenue for the federal government:
Just one percent of American families are wealthy enough to pay the estate tax, but if they don't pay, it affects all of us because the federal government will lose billions of dollars in revenue.
ABC's World News, which has twice in the past few months rued how it's too hard to raise taxes in California, on Tuesday night used one homeowner's appreciation, for the firefighters battling the wild fires threatening his house near Los Angeles, to tout how “he would gladly pay more taxes.”
Reporting from Tujunga, Brian Rooney warned “California has burned through nearly two-thirds of its emergency firefighting money early in the season,” so “the Governor and other authorities today politicked for even more emergency funds.” After a clip of a union official, Rooney highlighted: “One homeowner, at least, says he would gladly pay more taxes after watching the performance of firefighters.” In the subsequent soundbite, the unidentified man didn't actually say he wanted higher taxes, just that the current high level is worth it for the performance of the firefighters (who only get a small sliver of the state budget): “I think we're the highest in the union, but for last night I'm happy to pay it.”
As it becomes clearer that California state government is unable to maintain the lavish social service structure it developed when the economy was in better shape, calls for the elixir of legalized marijuana are growing louder and louder.
And with these calls have come more and more media reports explaining how legalization is gaining traction in the California state legislature.
"And in California, where officials are struggling to close a $26-billion budget gap, there is a radical proposal on the table legalizing marijuana," "World News" anchor Dan Harris said on his July 12 broadcast.
"What they're saying," explained ABC correspondent Brian Rooney, "is that California could ease its budget crisis by relaxing with a little legal weed."
The broadcast featured Maricopa, Ariz., a community near Phoenix where one in 10 homes is for sale.
"While existing homes go begging for buyers, builders continued putting up new houses," said ABC correspondent Brian Rooney. "As many as one in 10 of the homes in Maricopa are for sale right now, as builders, banks, homeowners with mortgages they can't afford all compete to sell at lower prices."