On Friday's Rick's List, CNN's Rick Sanchez attacked conservative
economic policy, singling out the right's support for lower tax rates,
and complained that "we in America are so easily led to go against
our own interests.... you would find that at least half...[are]
pulling for the rich guy." Sanchez also belittled conservative talk show
hosts: "Many...don't even have a college degree" [audio clips available here].
The anchor led the 3 pm Eastern hour with a rant against "these guys on talk radio, some of whom make hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions of dollars" and their defense of "the money guys...the super-rich, night in and night out - you know who I'm talking about - you will hear this and you have heard this consistent narrative. We're being held back by high taxes in this country, high tax rates - cut taxes on the wealthy and, zoom, there it goes. Our economy is going to be back with a vengeance. Get the government off our backs and all our problems in this country are going to be solved."
Sanchez then caricatured the conservative take on the present economic situation and, unsurprising, introduced race into the issue. He also targeted CNBC personality and Tea Party hero Rick Santelli:
SANCHEZ: And, by the way, the mess we're still digging out from: it's not Wall Street's fault, not a thing to do with the government turning a blind eye to the high-rolling financial shenanigans of some people on Wall Street. No, not at all. It's the poor people's fault, who brought the rest of us to our knees, mostly, by the way - I know you hear this - I know you hear this- mostly minorities, them Hispanics and them blacks who bought the homes that they couldn't afford. They defaulted on those loans, and then we all went down, by golly.
Do you think I'm kidding about this? Look, here's one of the biggest media darlings of this message.
RICK SANTELLI (from MSNBC's "Hardball"): Why don't you put up a website to have people vote on the Internet as a referendum to see if we really want to subsidize the losers' mortgages?
SANCHEZ: This guy's a superstar now. That's right, superstar: 'losers.' Remember that? If you lose your job and you end up defaulting on your mortgage, you are a loser. That was the rant that fueled, in many ways, the Tea Party movement. Quit subsidizing the losers, America.
How did the CNN anchor refute Santelli and "these guys on the radio"? He turned to the left-wing New York Times:
SANCHEZ: Now, let me show you something else. I want to show you- hey, Rob, are you good there. Where's the newspaper? I want to bring you in the newspaper that I had here just a moment ago. Here it is. Here's The New York Times. All right? What's that say? Can you see it? Biggest defaulters on mortgages are the rich. So, who are the losers? Hispanics? Minorities? Black people who bought more home than they could really afford? Once again, let's look at this. The biggest defaulters on mortgages are the rich...more than one in seven homeowners with loans in excess of $1 million are seriously delinquent, okay?
Now, let's look at the rest of us, people like you and me. About one in 12 mortgages below the $1 million mark is delinquent. Who are the losers again? Who are the losers again, Mr. Santelli, or whatever your name is? Okay, the article goes on to say, though it's hard to prove, the data suggests that many of the well-to-do are purposely dumping their financially-draining properties. They're doing this on purpose. You know what? I don't want it. I will dump it, just as they would any other sour investment. Fine, but let's be clear. The rich aren't paying their mortgages, and at a higher rate than anyone else.
Sanchez then set up a straw man of the conservative position on taxes:
SANCHEZ: I want to make a point about taxes now. To hear the narrative out there, you would think that we're the highest taxed nation on the planet, in the history of the planet. You hear it every day on your way home. Just turn on your radio, folks. In fact, there's another list out there I want to show you, of the top 30 industrial nations in the world. Where do you think the United States ranks? Now, you hear every single day we're the most taxed country in the world, no question about it. And it's all these politicians and the government. And where do you think we are? Of all the developed countries in the world, where do you think we are, as far as the tax rate? Where do you think we are? Twenty-sixth - twenty-sixth out of thirty. That's according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development- twenty-sixth out of thirty. Again, here's the list. Here's my highlight marks that I have put right there. You see it. We are right after- here, I'll tell you. Who comes before us? Switzerland, Mexico and Australia. Who comes after us? Ireland, Luxembourg, Iceland, and New Zealand.
After mouthing the left's consistent talking point that "the rich have gotten...richer, the poor...poorer," the anchor brought on Georgia Tech Professor Danny Boston, who agreed that the New York Times statistic "debunks the stereotype" on the economy.
Later, Sanchez returned to his tax straw man and bemoaned how so many people hold the economic conservative position:
SANCHEZ: We hear we're the most taxed country in the world. That seems to show that maybe we really aren't. We're 26th of the 30 developing [sic] nations. We hear that it was the poor people who bought too many homes that they couldn't afford. Now, we've got a statistic saying, no, that's not true. In fact, it's the rich who have been the most delinquent and defaulted on their mortgages. It's like statistic after statistic seems to - why is it that we in America are so easily led to go against our own interests? Because - and you know what I mean by that. Most of the people who are super rich in this country are - what, 1 percent? Then there's 99 percent of the rest of us, and yet, if you look at studies politically and sociologically, you would find that at least half of that 99 percent is pulling for the rich guy, and saying - oh, yes, it's not his fault, it's our fault.
Near the end of the segment, the
CNN anchor took a conservative talking point against President Obama and
applied it to Professor Boston, as a set up to launch his attack on
conservative talk show hosts, likely having Rush Limbaugh and Sean
Hannity in mind:
SANCHEZ: Well- you know, a lot of the folks who would criticize someone like you- they would criticize you, first of all, because you're a college professor, which, in their mind, makes you overeducated, and thus, stupid. But is that something that's frustrating as well, that you know this stuff and can explain it as easily as you just did to us, but yet, the people who are really leading the charge in this country are the guys on the radio and- many of which don't even have a college degree.
Well, Mr. Sanchez, as you demonstrated yourself, you can have a college degree and still make mistakes about basic geography, such as when you misidentified the Galapagos Islands as Hawaii during CNN's live coverage of the February 27, 2010 earthquake in Chile.
- Matthew Balan is a news analyst at the Media Research Center. You can follow him on Twitter here.