ABC News Lay Offs Include Two Reporters Noted for Liberal, Pro-Tax Tilt

ABC News correspondents Brian Rooney and Laura Marquez "are among the ABC reporters whose contracts will not be renewed as the network looks to shed anywhere from 300-400 jobs by the end of the year," TV Newser reported in a Wednesday afternoon post. The names of the two California-based correspondents (Rooney in Los Angeles and Marquez in San Francisco) should ring familiar to BiasAlert readers. During the fires last summer, Rooney featured a resident who affirmed "he would gladly pay more taxes."

Multiple offender Marquez last year used her World News platform to express frustration at the difficulty of raising taxes in California and on January 2 of this year described the demise of the death tax as "a big gift from Congress" to "America's wealthiest families" as she saw a loss for "all of us" who aren't so rich as she lamented the reduction of revenue for the federal government:

Just one percent of American families are wealthy enough to pay the estate tax, but if they don't pay, it affects all of us because the federal government will lose billions of dollars in revenue.

In May of 2009 Marquez blamed California's budget deficit on an "unwillingness to raise taxes" tied to 1978's Proposition 13 "mandating an almost unachievable two-thirds vote by the legislature to raise taxes."

A month later, she repeated herself as she lamented "education and social services continue to end up on the chopping block" because "it's a lot easier to make cuts than it is to raise taxes" since Prop 13 requires "the approval of two-thirds of the legislature to raise taxes, a virtual impossibility."

"ABC Uses California Fires to Tout Homeowner Who 'Would Gladly Pay More Taxes,'" from September 1, 2009:

ABC's World News on Tuesday night used one homeowner's appreciation, for the firefighters battling the wild fires threatening his house near Los Angeles, to tout how "he would gladly pay more taxes."

Reporting from Tujunga, Brian Rooney warned "California has burned through nearly two-thirds of its emergency firefighting money early in the season," so "the Governor and other authorities today politicked for even more emergency funds." After a clip of a union official, Rooney highlighted: "One homeowner, at least, says he would gladly pay more taxes after watching the performance of firefighters." In the subsequent soundbite, the unidentified man didn't actually say he wanted higher taxes, just that the current high level is worth it for the performance of the firefighters (who only get a small sliver of the state budget): "I think we're the highest in the union, but for last night I'm happy to pay it."

- Brent Baker is Vice President for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center. Click here to follow him on Twitter.