High-Paid News Anchors’ Self-Serving Reporting – Updated

Updated November 1, 2011 with Erin Burnett’s salary at CNN

Updated January 2013 with link.

September 29, 2010

If you pay as much attention to all the different news channels as the Old Man does you will know there are few news anchors who speak out in favor of letting the Bush tax cuts expire for those making more than $250,000 per year. With the exception of occasionally “reporting” (short reports, which are often challenged) on those who do support letting the tax cuts expire for the wealthy, only one or two argue in favor of it. On the other hand, it’s rather easy to find those who advocate keeping those high-income tax cuts. And there’s a good reason for that — they are high incomers!

Now we all know that legitimate news organizations and their anchors should be reporting the news just as it is rather slanting or twisting it (in some cases, out-right lying) to reflect their own political or personal position. But that’s not the case in today’s politically-charged atmosphere. With few exceptions, primarily on CNN and the 30-minute evening network news, most have transformed the so-called “reporting” of the worlds news into a platform for promoting their own personal ideology and biases. Such is the case concerning the aforementioned tax cuts.

(I realize that many today don’t agree that CNN is unbiased for the most part. Most people seem to think that if a news person challenges a guest or someone they’re interviewing, the news person is “for that other party”. And people from both sides of the political isle seem to accuse CNN of this. However, it is the job of a news person to challenge the person they are interviewing if that person speaks out with controversial statements, regardless of which party they belong to or support.)

By factual reporting on the additional devastating impact the Bush tax cuts will have on our deficit and debt if the tax cuts are extended (either temporarily or permanent), news anchors would be justifying the need for them to pay their fair share of taxes, as the majority of them earn more than $250,000 each year. In addition, many of them earn big bucks on investments. Then there are those who write books, have radio talk shows, make personal appearances, and so on, that earn them as much as their salaries, and in most cases, more. Therefore, expecting them to fairly report on the effects of letting the tax cuts continue would be the same as saying they need to pay the same percentage of taxes at the end of the year as common folks do. And that is simply expecting too much from them.

In our world today everybody is crying about the deficit and debt, but each one is insisting that they shouldn’t have to sacrifice. The ones with the loudest voice — news people and those that can buy a loud voice — always insist that those “beneath” them should pay the price. For example.

A few months back, when the Obama administration was advocating bailing out the auto industry, Michelle Caruso-Cabrera of CNBC (along with many others there and elsewhere) was damming to hell the auto unions, insisting they were the sole cause of the auto industry’s problem. In her opinion, unions are the cancer of capitalism. Why? Because unions permit common folks to negotiate their employment terms. At the time of her ranting I found a little bit of humor in her attacks and a universe full of hypocrisy. Caruso-Cabrera has a six-figure salary, plus expenses, and tens of thousands of dollars each year  in other benefits, all negotiated by her agent — a “union”, if you will. Yet she’s “against” employment negotiations. In other words, “rules for the common folks don’t apply to me”. Her position on the Bush tax cuts is the same.

National news anchors are not the only ones who command big paychecks. Many local news anchors also receive six-digit salaries. Why? Because of the same reason the big boys and girls do. Anchors who can attract viewers get big paychecks. Therefore, don’t be so quick to dismiss them as being neutral when you hear them talking up the Bush tax cuts.

So here’s the message. Don’t expect to hear any news anchor suggesting letting the Bush tax cuts expire for the upper class. It just isn’t going to happen (except, maybe, on MSCNBC, where most admit they’d be paying more taxes, but also say it’s necessary). They’re going to make all kinds of capitalist excuses of why the tax cuts should continue. And maybe if you were in their shoes, you’d be doing exactly the same. Therefore, when you’re listening to all those “valid” reason from news anchors of why wealthy folks shouldn’t pay more taxes, just remember that they are preaching a self-serving sermon.

Below is a list of some of the some of the big names in the news anchor business, and their reported income. It’s tough research trying to find out what they make, as most are well-kept secrets. You might also be interested in Who Owns the News Media.

A more recent and closely related post: Why News Anchors And Reporters Took Sides On Bush Tax Cuts Fight

PS: If you have reported evidence of other salaries, please let me know by leaving a comment.




Annual Income

Net Worth

Katie Couric CBS $15 Million plus $10 million in marketing money    
Diane Sawyer ABC $12 million before she got the anchor job at ABC
Peter Jennings – who Sawyer replaced ABC $54 million
Glenn Beck Fox $2 million averages $32 million a year total in income
Bill O’Reilly Fox $10 million
Rush Limbaugh – The man who backed a 50 percent pay cut for auto workers Fox Plus $28 million See all his income
Sean Hannity Fox five-year contract worth $100 million $30 million
Shepard Smith Fox $7 million
Megyn Kelly Fox $250,000 $5 million
Rick Santelli CNBC $3 million
Maria Bartiromo CNBC $1 million $22 million
Erin Burnett CNBC $750,000 (CNBC) At CNN: $2 Million
Larry Kudlow CNBC $1 million $80 million
Jim Cramer CNBC $100 million
Soledad O’Brien CNN Between $600,000 and $1 million $12 million
Anderson Cooper CNN $4 Million



High-Paid News Anchors’ Self-Serving Reporting – Updated — 1 Comment

  1. I fail to see the point to this article, as it sort of rambles a bit. What do you mean “tax cuts”, no one is talking about a tax cut PERIOD…what they really are saying is not to further INCREASE the taxes against those making more than $250,000/yr. The Federal Tax rate on those making that sum or more is already 35%, and on top of that you can add Social Security and State (taking it over 50%).

    How much do YOU think is fair? If taking 80% of their deemed as fair by you, then why not contribute 80% of your own income? Let me guess…you logic is “well they make so much, they should pay more!”. The fault with this boring mantra is two-fold: #1…they DO pay more! Even if a person making 10k vs a person making 100K, each paying 10%…the person making 100k is paying 10 times more! Thus, they are making a bigger contribution to society as a whole. #2. In servitude of some utopian ideology where you take form the rich and give to the poor, you create a stagnate society. What is the incentive to go out and try to become a high income earner if there is no benefit to be derived? You want to tax away all initiative? Well, that may sound wonderful if you deem yourself to be on the receiving end of someone else’s hard work and money, but eventually you wil create a society of “do-nothings”, and all the jobs, industry, and money wil run dry. It happens over and over again…yet, it seems as though those so cathected to their own Utopian ideals, never seem to grasp reality in any concrete or pragmatic way.

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