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Bill O’Reilly Lectures White House Press Secretary Jay Carney About Warren Buffett And GE

Reported by Ellen - September 9, 2011 -

We’ve recently posted about how Bill O’Reilly has gotten the idea that he knows better than Warren Buffett on investing, taxes and the economy. Last night (9/8/11), in an interview with White House Press Secretary Jay Carney after President Obama’s address to Congress, O’Reilly seized the opportunity to lecture Carney about Buffett's "con" of saying he pays more taxes than his secretary. Actually, it would be more accurate to say that O’Reilly yelled at Carney about Buffett. Oh, and while he was at it? O’Reilly yelled at Carney about GE’s Jeffrey Immelt – another O’Reilly obsession.

O’Reilly’s complaint about Buffett this time was that he supposedly made an “apples to oranges” comparison when he said he was taxed at a lower rate than his secretary (in his address Obama called that “an outrage he has asked us to fix”) because Buffett is taxed on capital gains while his secretary probably is taxed on her salary. Media Matters pointed out that O’Reilly’s complaint is off base because "both capital gains taxes and income taxes are taxes on income."

But even if O’Reilly were right, his treatment of Carney was more than a little condescending, though I thought O’Reilly meant it all in a sort of good-natured way – and I thought Carney took it that way, too. But can you imagine the Fox News hissy fit if Keith Olbermann or Al Sharpton yelled like that at a George W. Bush press secretary? Let’s just say it would be bigger than James Hoffa.

O’Reilly did not completely get away with his loutish behavior, however. Much later in the show, economist Ben Stein gave him a good talking to about Buffett, taxes and the economy.



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