May 11, 2019

As you may have guessed, I really like it when journalists act like journalists. This is a podcast interview with CBS News, and I'm pleased that Major Garrett asked the obvious question of Mick Mulvaney ---which is: Why would the president be embarrassed by releasing his taxes. (I'd be even more thrilled if he'd corrected Mulvaney on his statement that the Congress is not entitled to see them "by law," but I'll take what I can get these days.) This segment starts at 23:12, via The MaddowBlog:

MULVANEY: Because they are not entitled to see them by law. By the way, they know, especially on this one, they know they’re never going to get these documents. This is a pure show-pony-type of situation. They know the legal reasons they can get those documents –

GARRETT: Legitimate legislative function.

MULVANEY: Right. And they’re not even close to that… They’re just doing this to make the president look bad. They don’t care. This is not about information about the president. Keep in mind, all of the president’s financial holdings, by law, are disclosed. Want to know what the president owns? Want to know how he makes money? All of that stuff is, by law, I have to fill out my form by the end of next week. So does he. This is just about trying to embarrass the president.

GARRETT: What’s embarrassing about his tax records?

MULVANEY: That’s what they want to know.

GARRETT: But what is it?

MULVANEY: I don’t know because I’ve never seen

GARRETT: Is there something embarrassing about his tax records?

MULVANEY: I have no idea and I don’t care.

And yes, as Steve Benen points out, there is an actual law giving Congress the authority to see anyone's taxes.

It's kind of sad, though, that extremist politicians are so used to puffy little softball questions that when journalists act like journalists, it throws them completely off their game. Here's another recent example, when Ben Shapiro appeared on a BBC show hosted by Andrew Neil:

Despite what Young Ben says, Andrew Neil is a prominent British wingut! He's anti-immigrant, calls The Guardian "the Daily Terrorist," and is a climate denier!

And even he knows Ben Shapiro is full of sh*it.

More, better questions, please.

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