What Is It With MSNBC and Taxes?

Add Toure Neblett to the growing list of MSNBC personalities who don’t pay their taxes:

Touré Neblett, co-host of MSNBC’s The Cycle, owes more than $59,000 in taxes, according to public records…. In September 2013, New York 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. …

Last month, New York filed a $4,948.15 tax warrant against Joy-Ann Reid, who serves as managing editor of theGrio.com and until earlier this year hosted MSNBC’s The Reid Report, and her husband, Jason. …

Last week, the Winston-Salem Journal reported that Melissa Harris-Perry, who hosts an MSNBC show named after herself, and her husband, James Perry, owed around $70,000 in delinquent taxes, according to a federal lien filed in April 2015. Harris-Perry told the newspaper that she and her husband had made a $21,721 payment toward that debt on Tax Day.

Then, of course, there is Al Sharpton, who is in a class by himself:

Al Sharpton’s tax problems have been the subject of extensive coverage by National Review and other publications. In November, the New York Times estimated that Sharpton and his entities owed as much as $4.5 million in taxes, penalties, and interest, a sum the MSNBC host disputes.

All of these MSNBC personalities have called for higher taxes on others, while blithely ignoring their own tax obligations. The level of hypocrisy is stunning; take, for example, this riff by Harris-Perry on Mitt Romney during the 2012 campaign:

In one breath, Romney dismisses nearly half of Americans. Why? For shirking their civic responsibility of paying income taxes. That 47 percent who is too poor, too elderly, or spent too much of their life serving this country in the military to pay income tax. Ok, so, paying taxes is the most important duty Americans have. Except, in the next breath, Mr. Romney claims that any good, responsible American should support him because he thinks people should pay less in taxes. Which is it? Is paying taxes the patriotic duty of all citizens? Or are taxes a job-killing burden imposed by greedy bureaucrats?

Neither, apparently, as far as tax scofflaw Harris-Perry is concerned.

MSNBC has refused to comment on its on-air hosts’ tax issues. So far, no one outside of conservative media seems to have taken much notice. It is a tired cliche, of course, but nevertheless true: can you imagine the hysteria if Sean Hannity owed a $4 million tax bill? And Megyn Kelly had a $70,000 tax lien, and Bill O’Reilly was delinquent to the tune of $72,000, and Greta van Susteren was the subject of a legal action to recover a (comparatively measly) $5,000 in back taxes?

Actually, you probably can’t. Such a scandal would dominate the front pages of our newspapers and lead off the evening news. So why are MSNBC’s scofflaws of so little interest? Is it because people have lower expectations of liberals? Or because no one cared much about MSNBC in the first place? Or is it the usual explanation, that publicizing MSNBC’s multiple tax defaults and evasions wouldn’t advance any of the Left’s narratives? All of the above, I suspect.


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