MSNBC Talent Tax Issues…

The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple documents some pretty bad optics regarding certain MSNBC POV hosts and their positions on taxation when compared to their own tax problems.

Harris-Perry has said that her tax debt stems from 2013, but still: She and these other tax-payment-challenged TV personalities work for the network of activist, problem-solving government. Just watch one of MSNBC’s famous “Lean In” commercials or scan a day’s worth of coverage. In the collective ethic of MSNBC, there can be no excuse for tax delinquency.

Yeah, that’s not good. However, then Wemple tries to get MSNBC on the record…

And there’s even less of an excuse for MSNBC’s non-response to all this news. National Review fetched no response from the network. When the Erik Wemple Blog knocked today, the network again clammed up. A spokeswoman offered to go off-record with an explanation of things. We responded that we weren’t interested in spin that we couldn’t publish. Is it that hard for MSNBC to take a simple stand in favor of our common civic obligations?

I disagree vehemently that it’s MSNBC’s position or responsibility to have a public comment on this issue. These aren’t corporate officers we’re talking about here…people who have to answer to shareholders. These are staff…publicly facing staff but staff nontheless. This is a gotcha question wrapped up in a poison pill. It’s a lose-lose scenario. Any competent PR office is going to avoid this issue like the plague.

The network is not responsible for its staffers paying their taxes beyond their legal obligations concerning realm of standard witholding. The only question that matters is whether not paying your taxes amounts to a firing offense for the network. I think the obvious answer here is it’s not going to be. Nor should it be.

That does’t mean that comment shouldn’t be sought. But it should be sought from the parties accused, not the company that employs them. Granted, given this situation you have to go through the company to get the parties accused to comment but who seriously believes any of them would comment in the first place? I don’t.

Yes, they’re hypocrites. But that hypocrisy stops with them. It doesn’t extend to their employer, particularly when their employer hasn’t staked out any prior public position on the merits or lack thereof of the tax system. Had MSNBC done so, then it would be appropriate to seek comment from the network for these incidents. But that didn’t happen…

6 Responses to “MSNBC Talent Tax Issues…”

  1. savefarris Says:

    “The network is not responsible for its staffers paying their taxes beyond their legal obligations concerning realm of standard witholding.”

    THAT should have been their statement. Instead, by saying nothing at all, they are tacitly endorsing their personnel’s actions.

  2. It’s a slippery slope. Once you comment you give opponents something to hook in to. Not commenting is the better option…though it too gives opponents something to hook in to.

  3. Spud is right here. The network saying it “is not responsible for its staffers paying their taxes” is just not the same as the network saying “they are tacitly endorsing their personnel’s actions” i.e. not paying their taxes.

    It’s like saying a store saying ‘it isn’t responsible for an employees theft’ is endorsing that theft by not taking personal reasonability for either the theft itself or even hiring that employee.

    It’s sort of sad that hosts personal problems are discussed at all in the media but I guess it just comes it just comes with the job; particularly in the crossover worlds of politics and cable news.

  4. savefarris Says:

    The network saying it “is not responsible for its staffers paying their taxes”…

    My point was they didn’t even have the gumption to say THAT. Or “How they handle their personal business is their personal business.”

    They said nothing. As such, we are allowed to fill in the blanks.

  5. What makes me personally crazy about these tax scofflaws is: as on air personalities they make VERY GOOD money compared to many people in our country. (More than my family makes for darn stinking sure!) Find a way to make it work you hypocrites! with absolutely no effing excuses. At what they make they can afford to hire an accountant to help them out.

    Disgusting!

    (Al Sharpton is the worst and the IRS should garnish his wages.)

  6. savefarris Says:

    What a bad week for MSNBC. First, the whole tax thing. Now, Ed goes full-on racist:

    http://www.mediaite.com/tv/ed-schultz-explodes-at-obama-go-face-to-face-with-me-im-ready/

    Publicly disagreeing with the President?!? What exactly are Ed’s motivations? HMMMMMMM????????

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