Liberal Pundit Pleased That Media Coverage of Tax Cuts No Longer Favors Republicans

December 21st, 2017 4:51 PM

New York magazine's Jonathan Chait is glad that the era of conservative media bias on tax cuts is over. In a Thursday post, Chait observed that Republicans have "complain[ed] bitterly" about the MSM's coverage of the just-passed tax bill. Those gripes, he suggested, aren't surprising, given that the coverage "has been generally clear about the undeniable fact that [the GOP] plan overwhelmingly benefits the affluent," whereas previously Republicans had "succeeded in bullying the news media into treating this provable truth as an unimportant, contested partisan accusation."

Chait examined "stories about the last major tax cut, which was signed in 2003, and which benefited the rich almost exclusively," and found that

New York Times news stories focused mainly on Republican claims that the law would produce a fantastic new era of growth and job creation. (Whoops.) The stories about the tax cut passing the House and the Senate made no mention at all of its skewed distribution. News accounts that did usually made cursory mentions, like this typical account treating the distribution of the tax cut as a partisan attack, mentioning “vociferous objections from most Democrats, who said it favored the wealthy over lower-income people.”

He acknowledged that it's "hard to say why the tenor of news coverage has changed," then speculated (bolding added):

Possibly Trump’s habit of uttering wildly obvious lies about absolutely everything pushed the system to the breaking point, where the news media lost its inhibition about stating bald facts even when one of the parties denies them. In any case, the news coverage truly has a different tenor now. The public understands full well that the Trump tax cuts largely benefit rich people, including Trump himself, the president’s denials notwithstanding. People don’t oppose this law because they’re confused. They oppose it because they understand whom it’s designed to benefit.