It took 22 minutes for Rachel Maddow to reveal the details about Donald Trump's taxes that she promised before her nightly cable news show. For an eagerly watching internet, it felt like waiting an eternity, with very little payoff.
By the time MSNBC's Maddow finally revealed two pages of Trump's 2005 tax return, she was scooped. The news was out there: Trump paid $38 million in taxes and earned $150 million that year. The White House had even put out a hrmmph of a statement before she got to the point.
As Maddow went on and on about stuff we already knew —Trump's shady real estate business, his possible connections to Russian oligarchs, his flawed logic on why he doesn't need to disclose his tax information — viewers were left angrily tapping their feet. Rule No. 1 of the internet: Don't make us wait.
More than a million people have signed a petition demanding that Rachel Maddow release Trump's tax returns
— Nate Cohn (@Nate_Cohn) March 15, 2017
Members of Phish are watching Maddow right now saying, "This is taking too long."
— Sopan Deb (@SopanDeb) March 15, 2017
Rachel Maddow announces she will release Donald Trump’s tax returns as a 10-episode Netflix series.
— Sam Adams (@SamuelAAdams) March 15, 2017
1. To bury the lead of a news story in order to keep people tuned into your show.
— Trey Yingst (@TreyYingst) March 15, 2017
Maddow should reveal the tax returns by freezing them inside a block of ice and melting it live on Facebook. That's worked well recently.
— Brian Grubb (@briancgrubb) March 15, 2017
Her defenders say the wind up is typical Maddow, but newcomers thirsty for information about Trump's taxes were infuriated nonetheless. Then there's the legal argument. The White House statement said it was illegal for the show to release the returns, Maddow countered with a nope during her intro.
Maddow's long intro was probably guided by legal to establish the tax return's newsworthiness in anticipation of trump threatening to sue
— TracieEganMorrissey (@TracieMorrissey) March 15, 2017
While taking what felt like forever to get to the leaked documents, the reporter on the story, Pulitzer Prize winning David Cay Johnston, also scooped Maddow with his story showing all the details that Maddow was about to reveal on The Daily Beast.
Even the Wall Street Journal was able to get something out before Maddow got to her own hyped-up exclusive.
The drawn-out reveal just reminds us of the never-ending struggle to get Trump's tax returns in the first place.
If this doesn't show how much pent-up demand there is for this info, we don't know what does. More than a million people have signed a petition demanding the president release all his tax returns. Countless protests, including some with bare bottoms, have been held.
Leading up to Election Day, the New York Times leaked three pages from Trump's 1995 returns. Those reportedly showed that he lost $916 million that year. It further indicated that Trump may have not paid any income tax for almost 20 years, though totally legally. Although, he apparently did fork over money 10 years later.
Maybe Trump's on that special every 10 years tax plan?