Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Stupid story of the day: MSNBC releases Donald Trump tax returns, makes him look good in the process...

Donald Trump. AP/Washington Post

So on Twitter today, everyone was hyped that Rachel Maddow, with help from an investigative reporter from MSNBC, had Donald Trump's tax returns, all of them, and that they were going to release them. People on the left were salivating at the thought of it. What dangerous scandals and horrible secrets did these tax returns contain? Was Trump dodging taxes and pay nothing? Did he have some horrible connections to Russia? Was there going to be truth that Donald Trump was literally Hitler? 

Nope. What was revealed in the single 2005 tax return is that Trump paid $38 million in taxes on $150 million in income. To be fair, Trump did pay at a rate of 25%, which is lower than the top rate of 35%, but way more then most people expected. After all the last tax return was dropped, people speculated that Trump didn't pay any taxes at all between the 1990's and the early 2000's. Now we know that it wasn't true for 2005 at the very least. 

This story was, to use the language of the time, a nothingburger. Even the Washington Post, or more accurately, Chris Cillizza, hardly a die hard Trump supporter, said so. There is nothing there that makes Donald Trump look bad. Indeed it made him look like someone who actually paid his taxes. Since Trump had been tarred as a tax dodger since before the election, this story actually helps him!

Which makes me wonder why Maddow even did this report. Already people are saying that Trump leaked this on purpose to make himself look good and to distract against other issues. I guess that is possible but I kinda doubt it. He did seem to know it was coming and had a statement out before it happened, but I don't think Trump would release his tax returns on purpose. Either way though Maddow got played and made herself look pretty dumb. Indeed, it's stupid and hurts her reputation. 

I do have to say that I feel more than a little Schadenfreude here. People were arguing with me pretty hard on Twitter when I pointed out that even if Trump was hiding something in his tax returns, I didn't care. It doesn't matter to me either way because I didn't vote for Trump because of his taxes and even if he didn't pay at all, it wouldn't effect me in anyway. People didn't like that and now that the report has come out it was pretty funny to see them switch from "this will be the thing that stops Trump!" and "Smell the fear!" to "Trump leaked this on purpose and Maddow got played". Gotta love it! 

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