The battle over Donald Trump’s personal tax returns has been a longstanding gripe in media and Democratic party circles. It is a revealing detail that these factions which bristle at the thought that they are engaged in a witch hunt demand to get all the evidence and testimony they can on collusion, and obstruction, and his campaign, and his personal finances, and his taxes, and his administration, and…
The Trump tax returns are the current focus, as the recently installed House Democrats have been flexing newly christened political muscle. As they subpoenaed the White House to turn those over, for murky legal reasons, the press is dutifully playing along. The New York Times has obtained a batch of Trump’s tax returns from years back, and they are crowing about what they have discovered. Many media outlets are repeating this announcement, in an overly zealous fashion that resembles the hordes seen in Heavy Metal Parking Lot.
The only thing wrong — the problematic numbers the Grey Lady claims to have found in the Orange Man’s financials are vastly exceeded by even worse performances with media players. The Times analyzes Trump’s worth in the ‘80s and ‘90s, and finds he lost over one billion dollars during that era. If the press wants to highlight Trump’s losses as a sign of some kind of trouble then what can be said of even bigger failures found in the journalistic companies? This is a question they will never address.
To start, this detail that Trump lost a significant amount of his fortune back in those years is a surprise to few (except maybe the New York TImes editors.) This has all been documented. Further, Trump wrote a book ABOUT this very reality — The Art of the Comeback, which was published in 1997. That the Times feels they have exposed something behind a gilded curtain is amusing.
But if Trump losing more than $1 billion over the span of years is a sign of problematics what then should be said of this very news outlet losing that amount in one sale? If the New York Times declares this billion dollar shortfall signifies problems then what do they have to say about their very own loss of that same amount — over a solitary deal? In 2013 The NY Times Co. sold its stake in The Boston Globe to Boston Red Sox owner John Henry, for $70 million. This was a price that came in 93% lower than what it paid initially for that paper — $1.1 billion.
This is hardly a unique occurrence in the media industry. Recall how AOL, as part of the Time-Warner empire, one year posted a shortfall of nearly $100 billion? The merger of Warner Communications and Time Magazine took place in 1990, to the tune of a nearly $15 billion stock deal. After a brief acquisition in 2017 Time was sold last year to Marc Benioff for — $190 million. And let’s not forget, The Washington Post dumped Newsweek in 2010 because it was so deep in debt for the selling price of $1.
Even today the obliviousness is heard at CNN. As the network is brashly repeating the decades-old news of Trump’s losses the ratings-beleaguered network is going through a round of buyouts of its staff, ahead of expected layoffs. The ratings have been in constant erosion and the recent acquisition by AT&T means the conglomerate is trying to desperate shed debt off its books.
These failures at commerce today are the ones dictating how Trump’s losses from 30 years ago invalidate him. Now consider how invalid they have just declared themselves to be as a result.
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