Current, Former MSNBC Hosts Remain 'Huge Tax Delinquents'

May 31st, 2016 6:04 PM

Joy-Ann Reid, host of the new weekend morning program AM Joy, has yet to pay off a $4,948.15 tax warrant that drew a great deal of attention during 2015. The same is true for fellow MSNBC host Rev. Al Sharpton, who owes nearly $600,000 for two tax warrants listed by the New York state government.

According to an article posted Tuesday by investigative journalist Evan Gahr of the Daily Caller website, they join former MSNBC hosts Touré Neblett and Melissa Harris-Perry as “huge tax delinquents” who have been “in the hock with the Empire State for thousands of dollars.”

Last year, New York filed a $4,948.15 tax warrant against Reid and her husband, Jason. The situation became complicated since MSNBC’s hosts and guests regularly call for higher taxes on the rich, condemning wealthy individuals and corporations who don’t pay their taxes or make use of loopholes.

For example, Reid has called taxes on the wealthy “a basic fairness argument” while also promoting “smart spending and smart tax increases” to create economic growth.

In September of 2013, National Review contributor Jillian Kay Melchior reported that New York had issued a state tax warrant to Neblett and his wife, Rita Nakouzi, for $46,862.68.” Six months later, “the state issued an additional warrant to the couple for $12,849.87.”

However, Gahr stated, “Neblett, whose show was canceled last year, settled his $46,862.68 debt in July of 2015. He paid New York state the other outstanding bill, for $12,849.87, this March.”

On the other hand, Sharpton -- “whose state and federal delinquencies are the stuff of legend“-- has, according to records accessed Monday evening, "at least two open New York tax warrants for $600,000,” Gahr noted.

“One judgment, dated May 19, 2009, is for $103,156.06,” Gahr stated. “The other, from December 16, 2008, is for $492,612.41.”

However, Sharpton insisted to the New York Post in 2014 that he was paying down his debts. A New York Times article noted that his insistence conflicted with “information provided by state officials."

Also in tax trouble is Melissa Harris-Perry, who was host of MSNBC's weekend morning program until she clashed with the network's executives, claiming that “I am not a token, mammy or little brown bobble head.”

Long before she and the channel parted ways, the host and her husband, James, were slammed with a tax lien filed by the Internal Revenue Service for about $70,000 in delinquent taxes, according to an article by Michael Hewlett of the Winston-Salem Journal newspaper.

The professor at Wake Forest University responded to an inquiry by email, in which she stated she was unaware of the tax lien but knew about the debt.

“She said she and her husband paid $21,721 of the debt when they filed their taxes,” Hewlett noted. “The remaining debt, $48,581, covers a tax period ending Dec. 31, 2013, according to the notice.”

“Harris-Perry said she and her husband had been working to pay off the debt but had to deal with a series of personal crises that caused the couple to pay off the debt a lot slower than expected,” he reported.

“We were aware that we would continue to need to work to pay off the 2013 debt,” she said in the email.

Harris-Perry said the couple had an official payment plan with the IRS,” Hewlett continued. “She said she had not had any recent conversations” with that agency.

Gahr stated that these anchors' problems with taxes was “embarrassing stuff, but MSNBC rushed to provide the best possible spin to then-Politico media blogger Dylan Byers by explaining Neblett and Reid were in the process of paying down their debt.”

“Oh, no, excuse me,” he stated. “MSNBC officially said zilch. That was actually what Byers reported, unsourced and without any corroborating evidence.”

Noting that Touré, Reid, Sharpton and Harris-Perry owed the government money, Byers assured readers that all four “are believed to be working on paying off their outstanding debt.”

“Believed by whom, Dylan?” Gahr asked.

“Indeed,” he continued, “MSNBC tried to spin, without attribution and off the record, Washington Post media blogger Erik Wemple about the embarrassing disclosures, but he declined.

Instead, Wemple posted: “Let the ridiculing begin. 'We actually do better as a country when we spread the wealth around,' Harris-Perry has said, as National Review pointed out.”

“There’s just so much more of this hypocrisy in MSNBC’s storage vaults,” he continued. Harris-Perry “and these other tax-payment-challenged TV personalities work for the network of activist, problem-solving government. In the collective ethic of MSNBC, there can be no excuse for tax delinquency.”

It appears that the folks at the liberal cable channel believe in the old adage: “Do as I say, not as I do.”