Larry Kudlow

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  • What Media Need To Know About Trump Economic Policy Advisers Steve Moore And Larry Kudlow

    ››› ››› CRAIG HARRINGTON & ALEX MORASH

    Politico reported that Donald Trump is tapping conservative economic pundits Stephen Moore and Larry Kudlow to assist in remaking the presumptive Republican nominee’s tax plan, which has been lambasted as a budget-busting giveaway to high-income earners and corporations. Media should be aware that both Moore and Kudlow have long histories of playing fast and loose with the facts while making outlandish and incorrect claims about the economy.

  • Here Are The Big Players In The Inevitable Smear Campaign Against Judge Merrick Garland

    ››› ››› PAM VOGEL

    As President Obama reportedly prepares to announce Judge Merrick Garland to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court, media should be prepared to hear from several right-wing groups dedicated to opposing the nominee, no matter who it is. These advocacy groups and right-wing media outlets have a history of pushing misleading information and alarmist rhetoric to launch smear campaigns against Obama's highly qualified Supreme Court nominees, using tactics including, but not limited to, spreading offensive rumors about a nominee's personal life, deploying bogus legal arguments or conspiracy theories, and launching wild distortions of every aspect of a nominee's legal career.

  • Jonah Goldberg Furious After Two National Review Colleagues Endorse Trump

    Right-Wing Economic Policy Darlings Larry Kudlow And Stephen Moore Are Regular Contributors To National Review

    Blog ››› ››› CRAIG HARRINGTON

    Moore and Kudlow

    National Review senior editor Jonah Goldberg berated two right-wing economic policy figureheads -- Stephen Moore and Larry Kudlow -- for what Goldberg saw as their abandonment of conservative principles by supporting Donald Trump's presidential candidacy. Both men have written extensively for National Review Online (NRO) promoting the conservative movement's economic agenda, with Kudlow acting as a contributing editor for the publication.

    The right-wing media civil war was on full display on March 9 when Goldberg attacked Heritage Foundation economist Stephen Moore and CNBC senior contributor Larry Kudlow for endorsing Trump, despite the Republican front-runner's lack of apparent conservative policy bona fides. Goldberg argued that Moore and Kudlow had abandoned conservative purity by endorsing "winning at any cost," and that Trump's policies are a "populist deformation of conservatism." Goldberg's decision to target Moore and Kudlow for their embrace of Trump is particularly interesting given how much the two men have contributed to National Review and National Review Online over the years.

    Moore's regular publication history with the outlet dates back to 2003, when he was an ardent champion of the Bush administration's tax cuts, and picked up steam in 2014 when he used NRO to promote Republican talking points on tax and regulatory policy, the federal budget and deficit, and the minimum wage. Kudlow's ties to the outlet where he serves as both a contributing editor (in print) and a columnist and economics editor (online) are even more extensive, dating to 1999.

    Goldberg may be targeting Moore and Kudlow for apostasy now, but they have been boosting Trump for some time now -- weeks in the case of Moore, and months for Kudlow. Moore praised Trump in a February 11 column for The American Spectator, suggesting he could "expand the Republican base to include independents and union Democratic voters" and claimed that "Trump is the anti-Obama in every way ... . Trump emanates love for America and pledged to 'make America great again.'" CNBC contributer James Pethokoukis also listed Moore as part of Trump's "council of wise men" on February 22. Goldberg wrote that Kudlow "has moved markedly in Trump's direction" on policy, and Kudlow also expressed his support for Trump's tax plan in September when it was released.

    In January, the National Review launched a conservative war on Trump with a dedicated "Against Trump" issue, referring to him as a "philosophically unmoored political opportunist." Goldberg's March 9 article berating Moore and Kudlow is just another barrage in the right-wing media civil war over Trump (emphasis added):

    In 2009, then-senator Jim DeMint declared he'd rather have 30 reliable conservatives in the Senate than 60 unreliable ones. Ted Cruz launched his presidential campaign on the premise that deviation from pure conservatism cost Republicans the 2012 election. The only way to win was to refuse to compromise and instead give voters a clear choice. Many of the right's most vocal ideological enforcers cheered him on.

    Until Trump started winning. Suddenly, the emphasis wasn't on winning through purer conservatism but on winning at any cost.

    Consider Larry Kudlow and Stephen Moore. In August, the two legendarily libertarian-minded economists attacked Trump, focusing on what they called Trump's "Fortress America platform." His trade policies threaten the global economic order, they warned. "We can't help wondering whether the recent panic in world financial markets is in part a result of the Trump assault on free trade," they mused. As for Trump's immigration policies, they could "hardly be further from the Reagan vision of America as a 'shining city on a hill.'"

    Months later, as Trump rose in the polls, Kudlow and Moore joined the ranks of Trump's biggest boosters -- and not because Trump changed his views. On the contrary, Kudlow has moved markedly in Trump's direction. He now argues that the borders must be sealed and all visas canceled. He also thinks we have to crack down on China.

    [...]

    Instead of converting voters to conservatism, Trump is succeeding at converting conservatives to statism on everything from health care and entitlements to trade.

  • Larry Kudlow Lectures Single Parents About Poverty, Admits He Has "Virtually No Knowledge In This Field"

    Kudlow: "I Believe There's Enough Documentation For Ignorant People Like Myself To Talk About" Family Issues

    Blog ››› ››› NICK FERNANDEZ

    Kudlow CPAC

    During a March 4 panel discussion, CNBC senior contributor and Republican economic guru Larry Kudlow, who recently used his profile with America's leading business network to flirt with a Senate bid, noted that he has "virtually no knowledge in [the] field" of issues that affect low-income American families, yet he still used his CPAC platform to shame low-income Americans and lecture single parents.

    On March 4, Kudlow appeared on a panel at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) to discuss family issues. Kudlow hyped the misleading claim, frequently promoted by right-wing media, that the growth of single parent households is a primary contributor to poverty in this country. In his opening remarks, Kudlow argued that "welfare is not a substitute for marriage [or] child-rearing," a theme that he returned to throughout the discussion. While Kudlow used his appearance at CPAC to shame single parent households, at the end of the panel, Kudlow bragged that he is "ignorant" of many issues facing families, but feels that he can speak about them because "there's enough documentation for ignorant people" to talk effectively about the supposed cause-effect relationship between poverty and single parents (emphasis added):

    LARRY KUDLOW: I want to talk about a subject that is, I guess not my usual discussion on the air but a very important topic. Marriage. Marriage. Economists should pay more attention to and think more about marriage.

    [...]

    The biggest issue of our time at home is the lack of economic growth. The issue is why. There are a lot of reasons. I'm not going to walk through taxes and regulations because that's what I normally do. Much of the reduction of growth is coming from an increase in poverty which is caused by family breakup. That's where it's coming from. Study after study has shown married families make more income, make more wealth, make more wealth, and are happier.

    [...]

    The problem of growth and the problem of poverty are the real issues. Not inequality. Not socialism, government spending. Not high taxing the rich, penalizing American success. The problem is American values, traditional American values, and the decline of the culture of family and marriage and only we, only we, only we can change this or bolster it or teach it. Do you follow me? No bureaucrat is going to teach that, no House member, God bless all of them you have to do it right where you are at home in your lives, there are right decisions and wrong decisions. The rise with the poverty class is so tightly linked to the incidence of divorce and out-of-wedlock marriages and kids.

    [...]

    I don't think politicians or leaders should be afraid to talk about it. So, here I am. I have virtually no knowledge in this field -- except the fact that I'm married to a saint -- and I'm talking about. And the reason I'm talking about it ... I don't know, I believe it's true. And I believe there is enough documentation for ignorant people like myself to talk about it.

    Kudlow is not alone among right-wing media figures in his poor-shaming. In fact, blaming poverty on single parents or irresponsible behavior, and downplaying the experiences of hardworking families, is a hallmark of conservative media rhetoric regarding poverty and family issues. In addition to his adoption of right-wing media's poor-shaming rhetoric, Kudlow is also a climate change denier who has launched numerous sexist attacks on Hillary Clinton in the past.

  • After Exploiting CNBC Platform, Larry Kudlow Announces He Won't Run For Senate

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    CNBC senior contributor Larry Kudlow has announced he will not run for the U.S. Senate in Connecticut. The announcement ends months of CNBC allowing Kudlow to misuse its platform to explore a run in what media veterans called "a straight-up conflict of interest."

    During the February 16 edition of CNBC's Power Lunch, Kudlow announced he would not run for the Senate, saying he doesn't want to leave CNBC. Co-anchor Tyler Mathisen asked Kudlow if he would consider serving in Washington under the right administration, prompting Kudlow to say he wouldn't rule it out. 

    It's fitting that Kudlow made his announcement on CNBC. The financial network allowed him to remain on its airwaves even as he began "leaning toward" running for the Senate run last September. Kudlow repeatedly used his CNBC megaphone to campaign against incumbent Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D), calling the Democratic senator an anti-business "career" politician and claiming he has "not done anything to help" Connecticut's business climate.

    CNBC anchors embraced Kudlow's Senate aspirations. During the February 8 broadcast of Closing Bell, co-anchor Bill Griffeth closed by calling Kudlow "senator" and added, "Was that out loud?" On February 1, Squawk Box co-anchor Joe Kernen called Kudlow "senator-designate."

    Kudlow's potential run was aided by his longtime friend and National Review publisher Jack Fowler, who launched a "test-the-waters" organization that would have become the campaign apparatus if Kudlow entered the race. The group raised $30,550 through the end of 2015, compared to more than $4 million in Blumenthal's war chest.

    Veteran journalism experts and two former NBC News presidents criticized the financial network for allowing Kudlow to use his platform to help his potential campaign. William Small, who served as NBC News president from 1979-1982, said of CNBC's handling of Kudlow: "It's a misuse of a news division, a news division is not supposed to take sides. There are a lot of people, especially at Fox, who do, but it never happened on my shift. That's a conflict of interest. I'm surprised that CNBC would allow that." 

  • CNBC's Awful Trump Interview Highlights Its Larry Kudlow Problem

    CNBC Tasks Kudlow With Interviewing Trump Despite Tax Plan Endorsement And Senate Aspirations

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    CNBC allowed senior contributor and potential Republican Senate candidate Larry Kudlow to conduct a softball interview with Donald Trump. During the February 8 interview, Trump thanked Kudlow for endorsing his tax plan and Kudlow backed Trump's anti-refugee proposal.

    When Trump released his tax plan in September, Kudlow responded: "I really like Trump's plan. ... One of the things I just love about it is the 15 percent corporate tax rate." Trump reacted by tweeting, "Highly respected economist @Larry_Kudlow is a big fan of my tax plan--thank you Larry."

    During CNBC's October 29 Republican debate, Trump cited Kudlow's support as evidence he has a serious tax plan:

    JOHN HARWOOD: Let's be honest. Is this a comic book version of a Presidential campaign?

    TRUMP: It's not a comic book, and it's not a very nicely asked question, the way you say that. Larry Kudlow, as an example, who I have a lot of respect for, loves my tax plan. We are reducing taxes to 15 percent. We're bringing corporate taxes down, bringing money back in, corporate inversions. We have $2-1/2 trillion outside of the United States, which we want to bring back in.

    When co-moderator John Harwood pointed out that economists have called the plan unrealistic, Trump replied: "Then you have to get rid of Larry Kudlow, who sits on your panel, who is a great guy, who came out the other day and said, 'I love Trump's tax plan.'"

    Kudlow affirmed his support for Trump's tax plan following the debate, stating: "I've endorsed Donald's 15 percent corporate tax rate many times. ... He's spot on. And I'm honored that he mentioned me. Honored." The CNBC contributor has tweeted that Trump is a "first-rate person. I could vote for him." 

    During a February 8 New Hampshire town hall, Trump rebutted criticism from Jeb Bush by citing Kudlow: "I just talked to Larry Kudlow, the great economist, and he was saying Trump has the best tax plan, I'm doing the biggest tax cut."

    CNBC tasked Kudlow with interviewing Trump on the February 8 edition of Power Lunch

    During the interview, Trump again thanked Kudlow for supporting his tax plan: "You gave us very high marks, which I appreciate. You've seen it." 

    Kudlow later backed Trump's plan to ban Syrian refugees, telling him: "In effect, a wartime moratorium. I mean I think that we have to do to protect the homeland."

    Kudlow has been interviewing several Republican presidential candidates in New Hampshire for CNBC.

    CNBC has allowed Kudlow to remain on its airwaves even as he is "moving toward" running for the U.S. Senate in Connecticut. Veteran journalism experts and two former NBC News presidents have criticized the financial network for allowing Kudlow to use his platform to help his potential campaign.

    CNBC anchors have appeared to embrace Kudlow's Senate aspirations. During the February 8 broadcast of Closing Bell, co-anchor Bill Griffeth closed by calling Kudlow "senator" and added, "Was that out loud?" On February 1, Squawk Box co-anchor Joe Kernen called Kudlow "senator-designate."

    The channel has claimed that "Kudlow is not a CNBC employee and no longer anchors a show and hasn't since March 28, 2014. He is now a senior contributor." Despite being a purported non-employee, CNBC has had him "report" on the presidential primary, called him one of its "top" contributors, included him in its October debate coverage, and now allows him to throw softballs at Donald Trump.

  • NBC News Veterans And Media Ethicists: CNBC Should "Not Allow" Larry Kudlow To "Misuse" Its Network To Campaign

    "It Is A Straight-Up Conflict Of Interest"

    Blog ››› ››› JOE STRUPP

    Veteran journalism experts and two former NBC News presidents are urging CNBC to remove senior contributor Larry Kudlow from the channel as he lays the groundwork for a potential campaign for the U.S. Senate.

    Kudlow has said he is "moving toward" a Senate run in Connecticut with no apparent action from the network.

    Among Kudlow's steps are interviewing potential campaign staff, creating strategy, and promoting "a test-the-water committee, which would become the campaign." At the same time, CNBC has allowed Kudlow to use its platform to attack potential Democratic opponent Sen. Richard Blumenthal. 

    In 2010, when Kudlow was also rumored to be weighing a run for office, CNBC said it would "change" Kudlow's status with the network if he started "seriously considering" running. 

    Asked about Kudlow's latest apparent political aspirations, a CNBC spokesperson told Media Matters on Monday, "Larry Kudlow is not a CNBC employee and no longer anchors a show and hasn't since March 28, 2014. He is now a senior contributor."

    CNBC offered the same response to the Washington Examiner when the paper asked about Kudlow in September. The Examiner noted at the time, "Kudlow is, however, under contract with CNBC. The spokesperson would not comment on the terms of that arrangement, Kudlow's compensation, or when exactly CNBC would make a decision on its relationship with him as he considers a run for public office."

    In a press release announcing its October 2015 Republican debate coverage, CNBC called Kudlow one of its "top" contributors and touted his involvement in the network's "special programming" surrounding the debate. He has recently been covering the Republican primary for the network from Iowa and New Hampshire

    In comments to Media Matters, news veterans criticized Kudlow and the network. 

    "If I were still there I would not allow it," said William Small, who served as NBC News president from 1979-1982. "It's a misuse of a news division, a news division is not supposed to take sides. There are a lot of people, especially at Fox, who do, but it never happened on my shift. That's a conflict of interest. I'm surprised that CNBC would allow that."

    Richard Wald, a former NBC News president from 1972-1977, said CNBC should make Kudlow clarify what he is doing and act accordingly by taking him off the air if he is running.

    "The first step is for the management of the network to sit down with Mr. Kudlow and find out his intentions and his timing. They should not skirt the ethical positions by deliberately not knowing," Wald said via email. "He can't use the network for political advantage if he is going into electoral politics. If the network finds that he is about to join the contest, or will do so on a date certain, then they should be prepared -- as you say they have stated before -- to take him off the air until the election is over." 

    Several former network news reporters agreed.

    "Anchors/reporters/'contributors' should not -- and should not be allowed -- to use a network to advance their political ambitions," Marvin Kalb, a 30-year Washington reporter and former host of Meet the Press, said via email. "This is done regularly on Fox, and it should not now spread to CNBC. If anyone, Kudlow included, wants to prepare a campaign for political office, it should not be from his or her perch atop a network."

    Frank Sesno, former CNN Washington correspondent and current director of the School of Media & Public Affairs at George Washington University, said Kudlow's actions are a "very bright red flag" for CNBC management.  

    "The network cannot, should not, doesn't want to be used as a crass launching pad for someone's political future," Sesno said. "If he hasn't had meetings with network executives, if he hasn't he's overdue. If he hasn't crossed the line, he's very, very close to it. This is not hard, if you are the head of the network you call the guy in and ask if he is running, if he says 'yes,' he is off the air. If he says 'no,' he goes back to work."

    Kelly McBride, ethics instructor the Poynter Institute, echoed that view.

    "CNBC should step in here and tell Larry he can't use his on-air platform as an exploratory committee because that's not in the best interests of the network and its audience," she said. "They should force him to make his decision and get on with it, now that he's already mentioned it. At the very least, he shouldn't talk about it on air again."

    Edward Wasserman, dean of the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley, said CNBC's problem is that anything Kudlow says, especially related to financial interests that might be funding his campaign down the road, is tainted.

    "It is a straight-up conflict of interest," Wasserman said. "The reality is that he cannot help but filter and decide what he is going to put on the air in light of how it's going to serve that ambition. And once he's done that, he is a classic conflict of interest, his judgment is impaired by a classic outside entanglement." 

  • Larry Kudlow Is Using His CNBC Platform As A Launching Pad For The Senate

    ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    CNBC senior contributor Larry Kudlow has said he is "moving toward" running for the U.S. Senate in Connecticut with no apparent response from the network, even though CNBC previously said it would have to change its relationship with Kudlow if he seriously considered running. Kudlow has taken several steps that appear to violate the network's previous standard for employees exploring campaigns, including interviewing potential campaign staff, creating strategy, and promoting "a test-the-water committee, which would become the campaign." At the same time, CNBC has allowed Kudlow to use its platform to attack potential Democratic opponent Sen. Richard Blumenthal.

  • Conservative Media Laud Scott Walker's Harmful Health Care Proposal

    Mainstream Media Explain Walker's Proposal Would Disproportionately Harm Low-Income Americans And Those With Preexisting Conditions

    ››› ››› KATIE SULLIVAN Versión en español

    Conservative pundits are hailing Republican presidential candidate and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's proposed plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), while mainstream media and experts are pointing out how the costly proposal would disproportionately harm low-income Americans and those with preexisting conditions.

  • Media Adopt Double-Standard With Demands For Independent Review Of Clinton Email

    ››› ››› CRAIG HARRINGTON

    Media outlets are demanding that Hillary Clinton be subject to an independent review of her personal email account to disprove their own baseless suggestions that she engaged in illicit activity or failed to properly disclose all work-related correspondence. The demand ignores that every State Department employee, regardless of whether they use government or personal accounts, decides for themselves whether or not to preserve their emails.

  • Myths And Facts About The Koch Brothers

    ››› ››› DENISE ROBBINS

    Charles and David Koch, brothers and the oil barons who are already shaping the 2014 midterm elections according to recently leaked audio recordings, are often portrayed as environmentally responsible advocates of the free-market that are unfairly targeted by Democrats. However, their political influence, which benefits the fossil fuel industry and their own bottom line, is unparalleled.

  • Myth and Facts: Economic Inequality

    ››› ››› ALBERT KLEINE & CRAIG HARRINGTON

    Conservative media figures have sharply criticized the recent push by Democratic politicians to alleviate poverty and reduce economic inequality. However, most of this criticism is grounded in a number of myths about the causes, effects, and importance of growing economic inequality in the United States.

  • REPORT: CNBC Still Deeply In (Climate) Denial

    ››› ››› MAX GREENBERG & DENISE ROBBINS

    In the first half of 2013, a little more than half of CNBC's climate change coverage cast doubt on the consensus position that it exists and is manmade. In the three months since, little has changed -- in a disservice to its viewers, who will need to factor climate change into their long-term business planning, CNBC has continued to deny the science.