Rachel Maddow Explains Why People Were Disappointed by Her Report on Trump’s Taxes

Mar 15, 2017  •  Post A Comment

MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow found herself on the defensive after her big scoop Tuesday, in which she unveiled documents from Donald Trump’s 2005 tax returns.

The AP reports that Maddow was defending her report after many viewers apparently felt let down by it. Maddow attributed their disappointment to the weight of expectations.

“Because I have information about the president doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily a scandal,” Maddow told the AP. “It doesn’t mean that it’s damning information. If other people leapt to that conclusion without me indicating that it was, that hype is external to what we did.”

“Maddow’s show revealed, through reporter David Cay Johnston, two pages of tax return information that showed Trump earned $150 million in 2005 and paid $38 million in income taxes that year,” the AP reports. “Trump has steadfastly refused to release his tax returns.”

The report adds: “Maddow’s tweet less than 90 minutes before her show that ‘we’ve got Trump’s tax returns’ set off a social media frenzy. Although a subsequent tweet specified it was only two pages from one year’s returns, expectations were sky high.”

“Her story was derided as ‘a big nothingburger’ by Fox News Channel’s Steve Doocy on Wednesday,” the report adds. “There were unflattering comparisons to Geraldo Rivera’s opening of Al Capone’s vault, television shorthand for an anticipated event that doesn’t meet expectations. The White House’s pre-emptive step of issuing a statement with Trump’s income and estimated taxes for that year before Maddow’s show started also took air out of the story.”


  1. Rachel’s opening segment in which she laid out all the damning circumstantial evidence of connections between Trump and his associates with Russia, Russian oligarchs and the Bank of China built up so many expectations of explosive revelations that the real minor info we got was a major letdown. A rare misstep for Rachel.

  2. Hacks gonna hack.

    The disclosure of tax returns is just another media “gotcha” game. And the game is only played against Republicans…because hacks gonna hack.

    Trump is breaking a one-way precedent that was long overdue for shattering. And even though the revealed return for 2005 showed that Trump paid nearly $40 million in federal income tax, and at a rate (approximately 25%) that was higher than what Barack Obama, Bernie Sanders and what the corporate entity Comcast (owner of NBC News) paid in recent years, NBC News acted like it was in possession of earth-shaking news, with the national punditocracy salivating in unison.

    Because hacks gonna hack.

  3. Maddow knew exactly what she was doing and knew her pre-show hype would have the desired effect. And when the actual content turned out to be less than hyped, people were disappointed and rightfully so. Just another self-important TV host pulling a fast one on the public to grab viewers and ratings. We should be used to it.

  4. Al Capone’s Vault !

  5. What a let down. Trump paying a higher percentage of his taxes than either Obama or Sanders really surprised me. Maddow also surprised me. After her tweet, I was expecting some really earth-shaking revelations. Fool me once, shame on you.

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