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Talk About McCain Getting a Pass - What a Difference Party Affiliation Makes When it Comes to Fox Reporting the Release of Tax Returns!

Reported by Melanie - April 18, 2008 -

On Friday, April 4, the Clinton campaign released a summary of Bill and Hillary's income tax returns for the past seven years. Remember the brouhaha over that $109 million income?

That day, roughly eight minutes into his show, Neil Cavuto cut off a segment about whether "playing the gender card" was hurting Clinton to report that information about their tax returns was "just coming across the wires. The chyron changed to a FOX NEWS ALERT and read: "Clinton's Finally Release Tax Returns."

Cavuto immediately turned to Charlie Mahtesian of Politico.com, saying, "this would have to fall during the numbers guy hour, right?" Cavuto rattled off some of what he was reading off "the wires," — $33 million in federal income taxes, $10 million to charity, which translated to 10%, "something they criticized Barack Obama for not going," etc.

Mahtesian said, "Clearly, it's not the kind of thing that's going to play all that well with the kind of constituency that Senator Clinton has been running well with." It's going to be a "rich vein" for reporters to look through.

Back to Cavuto who said, the "figure's just coming across the wires now," Hillary Clinton's book, "accounted for about $10.5 million."

Some of the chyrons Fox aired during the segment included, "Clintons Report $109 Million Income From 2000 - 2007," and "Clintons Paid $33 Million in Federal Taxes from 2000 - 2007."

Immediately after Mahtesian's appearance, Cavuto introduced right wing radio talk show host Mike Gallagher with, "these are eye popping numbers." Gallagher said, "It's going to be very hard for a liberal Democrat to talk about the haves and the have nots but it didn't stop John Edwards either." He said this is a "reminder that these people make astonishing sums of money." "$50 million in speeches!" When he was "chasing Monica around the oval office you'd think he was working on his speeches!" This demonstrates a "huge disconnect."

Roughly ten minutes later Cavuto went to a break with this teaser: The Clinton tax returns show a "whopping income of better than $107 million..we're going to start picking that apart with some experts after this."

Well, he didn't "pick it apart with some experts after this" (maybe that was a tease to keep people watching), but at 4:40 p.m. there was a FOX NEWS ALERT and this from Cavuto:

Alright, um, more on the, ah, Clinton tax returns. We've been very cautious here at Fox in how we're describing the data we're getting. This is for seven completed years of tax returns with the eighth year, 2007 basically estimates on the part of the Clintons because they have already asked for a 2007 extension for filing their returns, so it's based on seven years and then an additional year worth of estimates and over that time, $109 million worth of income, $33.8 million in taxes paid. That is a rough tax rate of 32 to 33 percent and charitable contributions north of $10 million, very close to 10% given to charity, very close to what is Biblically known as tithing.
We're going to have a lot more on the Fox Business Network a little over an hour from now. Really rip apart these numbers for you.

The following week, Cavuto made much of the fact that the Clinton's released their return on a Friday, when nobody was paying attention, and he went so far as to suggest that we should stop paying Bill Clinton his presidential pension because he made so much money.

Fast forward to today (April 18, 2008). At roughly 1:30 p.m. ET (Cavuto comes on at 4:00 p.m.), John McCain released his 2006 and 2007 individual tax returns. Just his. Excluding his millionaire wife. He didn't include information about her because Mrs. McCain wanted to keep that imformation private, "in the interest" of her children. Here are some details, including that he made $405,409 last year but paid "$136,572 in wages to household employees." last year and he "gave $105,467 to charitable organizations, most of which went to the John and Cindy McCain Family Foundation." If you're paying ¼ of your entire income to "household employees," you've got some backup income somewhere!

So, what did Cavuto say about this? NOT A FAIR AND BALANCED WORD.