Forget about Mitt’s taxes. Check out Ryan’s abs!

Forget about Mitt Romney’s taxes, let’s talk about Paul Ryan’s abs. (Photo from TIME)

I know that the campaign and traditional media have moved on since the partial release of only another year’s taxes by the Romney campaign a few weeks ago, but what about the full details?

We’ve seen the PWC-scrubbed and buffed documents, but whatever happened to releasing the complete information? Understanding the complete details is just as important as it was earlier in the race and just as it was for Romney’s father decades ago.

But the traditional media is bored of the serious stuff.  That’s why PBS’ Jim Lehrer couldn’t be bothered to bring up the 47% video, or Mitt Romney’s taxes — or the apparent contradiction in Romney hiding his own tax returns while berating half the population for allegedly not paying their taxes — or, for that matter, to challenge Romney on even one of his 27+ major lies he told during the presidential debate.

I call it the Lehrerization of the media.  The notion that they’re just too good to cover the “dirty” stuff like Mitt Romney’s taxes because, you know, Mitt’s such a nice guy.

It’s the reason that TIME magazine is breathlessly covering Paul Ryan’s workout routine (left).  Never mind that there’s increasing evidence that Ryan lied about his workout ethic.  It’s increasingly looking like Ryan didn’t climb 40 peaks of the Rockies, and that he doesn’t really have 6% body fat. But don’t expect TIME to mention any of that in their soft-serve story about Paul Ryan’s workout.  He’s hot, guys — and today’s readers are tired of all that thinky stuff.  Let them eat beefcake instead!

Among the “boring” issues the media is tired of covering is whether Romney participated in an IRS amnesty plan when Swiss bank UBS was under investigation by the IRS for helping Americans hide money. Romney may be hiding his taxes because he broke the law. (He sure as hell isn’t hiding them because he’s a Mormon. Yes, he actually claimed that.) And Romney still hasn’t been pressed on why he required Paul Ryan to turn over a decade-worth of tax returns, while Romney himself is only turning over two years?

Today, we still do not know the answer, and thanks to a media that has run to the next big shiny story, Romney has not been pressured to reveal any more.

Far too many in the traditional media feel that if they cover a story once, they’ve done their job, and they move on.  Forget the fact that the story isn’t finished when the GOP president candidate continues to stonewall and has yet to come clean.  If politicians know that they can simply run out the clock on the truth, and that the media will tire of any scandal after one news cycle, then there’s no incentive for politicians to come clean when they’re hiding something, nor is there any incentive to do things differently next time around.

It’s still a story that Mitt Romney is hiding his taxes.  And if anything, it’s an even bigger story that he continues to hide them this close to the election.  The fact that Jim Lehrer never even bothered asking Romney about his taxes is contemptible.

If Mitt Romney wins, he will be in a prime position to give himself yet another tax cut, while asking others to pay for it. He already pays a ridiculously low rate thanks to tax planning that is beyond the reach of most Americans. We really need to know more. It may not be as flashy as publishing a photo of Paul Ryan working his biceps, but it’s far more important.

An American in Paris, France. BA in History & Political Science from Ohio State. Provided consulting services to US software startups, launching new business overseas that have both IPO’d and sold to well-known global software companies. Currently launching a new cloud-based startup. Full bio here.

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