Editor's note: This is a preview of a story that will appear in the Winter 2013 print issue of Gateway Journalism Review.
Perhaps no media outlet gives Rex Sinquefield better treatment than KTRS radio in St. Louis.
Not only does the station regularly feature one of Sinquefield’s “experts” to talk about tax policy, when Sinquefield was interviewed on a “McGraw in the Morning” program, the person asking the questions was an employee of one of Sinquefield’s enterprises.
Former KPLR-TV news anchor Rick Edlund is now the communications director for the Show-Me Institute, the “free-market” think tank that Sinquefield helped found and finance. When Edlund took over as a guest host for McGraw Milhaven, he used the opportunity to bring Sinquefield on the program.
“Part of my job as communications director is to get him out there as well as the message of the Show-Me Institute,” Edlund said in an interview.
At the beginning of the program, Edlund disclosed his relationship with the Show-Me Institute. Then for the next 16 minutes, he allowed Sinquefield and Show-Me Institute policy analysis Patrick Ishmael to explain why they believed Missouri should get rid of its income tax.
The discussion topic was whether Missouri could compete for jobs now that neighboring Kansas had lowered its individual income tax rates and eliminated some business taxes. Sinquefield’s goal is to replace Missouri’s income tax with a gross receipts tax on all transactions.