CNN IS DYING for ratings, but they’re purposed with a “newsroom” template, so making cheap political points is out. But former CNBC anchor Erin Burnett decides to step out and tell the truth to political power, getting in the middle of the Romney campaign’s business.
Transcript from Politico’s Dylan Byers:
“If he refuses to release them, it is because: one, he had a lot more money in tax shelters in prior years than he does now. Two, he did something shady. Or, three, he’s stupid,” Burnett said. “Now Mitt Romney is not a stupid man and if he did something shady — well, he didn?t, because if he did, the IRS would already have found it. So let’s assume it’s number one. He had a lot of tax shelters. Took advantage of every loophole known to man in the 72,536 page IRS tax code. That’s fair and square. That is why the tax code is so long so people can take advantage of it. But here’s our decent proposal. Release the returns.”
Byers calls what Burnett did “potentially risky” for CNN, but he’s wrong.
For anyone in the host or talking head game it’s an easy call. Democrats have called for Mitt’s taxes to be released, but now so have Republicans, including Bill Kristol on Fox News Channel, as well as Matthew Dowd, who said on ABC News “there’s obviously something there,” with George Will agreeing, saying it’s likely the cost of releasing them is worse than not.
So, Burnett is on safe ground, especially since she’s correct and has lots of people from all sides agreeing.