The tax man cometh each year, but if you’re an MSNBC host and liberal Democrat you reserve the right to ignore taxes.
It’s a pattern of default committed at the highest levels of MSNBC journalists. They rail against others not paying taxes, especially Republicans running for election, even while they have tax liens and penalties assessed against them by the IRS and state governments.
Hiding behind their liberal bias and rants doesn’t work in the age of internet searches, and one news outlet revealed the biggest tax offenders among MSNBC hosts.
A Heat Street review of public records showed six current, prominent MSNBC pundits have recently settled federal or state tax liens, while one still has tax problems. At least two other hosts who recently left the network also had massive tax liens filed against them.
MSNBC declined to comment, and none of the current or former tax debtors responded to requests for interviews sent through an MSNBC spokesperson.
MSNBC Sunday morning host Rev. Al Sharpton tops the list when it comes to tax issues, reported Heat Street. He and his various entities – including several dissolved by New York for failure to pay taxes – currently owe about $1.5 million in state and federal taxes, interest and penalties, according to public records.
While a staggering sum, it’s down considerably from the $4.5 million in outstanding tax liens tallied by the New York Times two years ago. Sharpton said he’s worked out agreements with authorities to settle his tax debt. His debts don’t stop the reverend from calling for the wealthy to pay more in taxes.
In January 2016, New York filed a lien for more than $2,500 in back taxes against MSNBC daytime anchor Craig Melvin, which he didn’t settle until the final weeks of the year.
Melvin has past tax issues, according to Heat Street. South Carolina filed a tax warrant against him for more than $3,300 in 2010 while he was a local anchor. That has since been resolved. Melvin has also run into other financial problems, with Discover Bank taking him to court in 2005 over a $3,200 debt.
Melvin’s personal tax problems didn’t stop him from speaking out on air and on social media about getting the wealthy to pay more taxes.
Should peeps earning a million $ or more a year pay more income taxes than those making less? Would a "millionaire's tax" help the economy?
— Craig Melvin (@craigmelvin) September 19, 2011
His actions were chided on Twitter:
Pay your taxes @craigmelvin. You are a 1% who tries to cheat his taxes. Why does govt have to sue u over and over for cheating on ur taxes.
— K Patrício (@thekpat) January 4, 2017
Chris Matthews, one of the most recognized hosts, has his own issues. Last summer, Maryland took out a lien against the Hardball host and his wife for nearly $4,000 before Matthews paid up, according to Heat Street.
Matthews has a history of openly calling for more taxes.
Congrats to Eric "Ebeneezer" Cantor for starving people on food stamps. Helluva victory for the 1 percent.
— Chris Matthews (@HardballChris) September 19, 2013
#Obama has rung the bell. The campaign’s on. He’s asking the American people to say they want a fair tax burden. Gutsy move.
— Chris Matthews (@HardballChris) September 20, 2011
Joy Reid also recently settled a New York tax lien for nearly $5,000, filed against her in 2015.
Both Matthews and Reid have repeatedly held forth about tax policy – including together, on the same TV segment.
In 2016, Kristen Welker finally paid off $6,700 in California tax liens. Though she’s offered little personal commentary about tax policy, she has reported on the issue.
Potus: "majority of voters agree with me" when it comes to wealthy paying more in taxes. A subtle suggestion that he's got a mandate.
— Kristen Welker (@kwelkernbc) November 14, 2012
The list of MSNBC personalities grappling with massive tax debt continues.
Touré Neblett, who was fired by MSNBC in 2015, has had significant tax problems. According to public records from the NYC Department of Finance Office of the City Register, the IRS filed two separate tax liens against him for more than $257,000, covering the years from 2008-2012.
It’s unclear whether he has made any effort to pay off these tax debts, or whether they remain outstanding.
Melissa Harris-Perry, who left the network in 2016, had a federal tax lien taken out against her for around $70,000 in 2015. She paid it off the following year.
Not everyone with tax issues is a cheat or a criminal. The daunting tax code can create issues for any citizen.
Journalists get into more than money trouble when they don’t disclose their personal situation related to any topic they’re covering. If they are somehow involved or affected by a subject, they need to refrain from any opinion about that topic and let someone else handle the issue.
Integrity and honesty are two key elements of success for journalists that today’s media members don’t’ respect or follow.
Source: Heat Street
Source: The New York Times