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ABC Exploits Kim Kardashian Gimmick to Champion Left-Wing Quest to Raise Tax Rates

Showing how no left-wing effort to raise taxes is too silly or embarrassing for ABC News to embrace, World News on Wednesday night jumped to promote a Web video, created by a group founded by a former Howard Dean operative and 'featured contributor' to the Huffington Post (Rick Jacobs), to impose a higher state income tax rate on Californians earning over $1 million.

'First it was Warren Buffett,' anchor Diane Sawyer glowed in citing her hero, 'and now it is reality TV star Kim Kardashian. What could they have in common? Both center stage on the question of fairness in the way the country taxes the rich versus the middle class. Some big unions in California have created an ad saying people like Kim Kardashian are the reason the tax code has to change.'

Reporter Bianna Golodryga, who is married to former Obama OMB chief Peter Orszag, proceeded to tout how the 'Courage Campaign' says 'Kim Kardashian, who made $12 million in 2010 alone, should pay more in state income taxes. They say she pays just one percent more than folks who make a middle class wage.'

In fact, going by the text shown on screen from the group's video which listed Kardashian as paying 10.3 percent and 'middle class Californians' paying 9.3 percent, she paid quite a lot more (10.3 percent of $12 million versus 9.3 percent of an average $47,000). And 10.3 is eleven percent more than 9.3, not one percent more. Golodryga flunks junior high school math.

She fondly recalled how 'it's an argument similar to the one made by billionaire investor Warren Buffett, who last year got the world's attention by making the case that the nation's top earners should have to pay their fair share in taxes.' More like the media's attention.

Previously:

September 20: 'ABC Trumpets 'Fairness' of Obama's 'Buffett Rule' Tax Hike Quest'

August 15: 'Networks Embrace Buffett's Call for Higher Taxes on 'Mega-Rich,' ABC Salivates Over Spending It'


From the Wednesday, January 4 ABC World News, closed-captioning corrected against the video by the MRC's Brad Wilmouth:

DIANE SAWYER: And now, first it was Warren Buffett, and now it is reality TV star Kim Kardashian. What could they have in common? Both center stage on the question of fairness in the way the country taxes the rich versus the middle class. Some big unions in California have created an ad saying people like Kim Kardashian are the reason the tax code has to change. We asked ABC anchor Bianna Golodryga to dig in.

BIANNA GOLODRYGA: She's made a fortune by talking about, well, nothing. And now she's got a lot of important people talking about her. A liberal California advocacy group says Kim Kardashian, who made $12 million in 2010 alone, should pay more in state income taxes. They say she pays just one percent more than folks who make a middle class wage.

RICK JACOBS, COURAGE CAMPAIGN: The time has come for people who make the kind of money that Kim Kardashian makes to pay a little bit more because they benefit the most from society.

GOLODRYGA: It's an argument similar to the one made by billionaire investor Warren Buffett, who last year got the world's attention by making the case that the nation's top earners should have to pay their fair share in taxes.

WARREN BUFFETT, INVESTOR: So I pay a lower tax rate on much of my income than my cleaning lady does, and I think that's crazy.

GOLODRYGA: The Courage Campaign says the same principle should apply to Kim Kardashian. We reached out to her for comment today but didn't hear back.

What do you think Warren Buffett would say about you highlighting and focusing on Kim Kardashian?

JACOBS: Well, I don't know. I wonder if he knows who she is.

GOLODRYGA: The group says even if Buffett doesn't know who she is, he'd likely support their ballot measure which would raise taxes on Californians who make more than $1 million. Bianna Golodryga, ABC News, New York.

- Brent Baker is Vice President for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center. Click here to follow Brent Baker on Twitter.