Tami Luhby’s ears must have been ringing last Friday afternoon.
The Riverdale resident and reporter for CNN Money got an on-air tongue lashing from right-wing talk radio host Rush Limbaugh over a piece she wrote days earlier questioning golfer Phil Mickelson’s fuzzy math on his income taxes. (In case you haven’t tuned in, Mickelson stirred up controversy early last week when he told Yahoo Sports that his tax rate is “62, 63 percent,” and that he was considering moving out of California as a result.)
Doing her own math, Ms. Luhby determined his tax rate to be less. “There’s no doubt that Phil Mickelson pays a lot in income taxes as a California resident,” Ms. Lubhy wrote, “but it’s not as much as he thinks.”
Well that was all Rush Limbaugh needed to read.
In a segment called “The Sports Jihad Against Mickelson,” on Jan. 25, Mr. Limbaugh tore into Ms. Luhby, twice calling her a “reporterette” and questioning her fundamental knowledge of how taxing the super-rich works. The fact that she earns a paycheck, he assumes, means Ms. Luhby — who has been a senior reporter at CNN Money for five years — has no idea how self-employed people like Mickelson pay taxes.
Knowing nothing about Ms. Luhby’s qualifications — she began reporting when she was still in her teens, editing the Horace Mann Record, reporting for the Columbia University Spectator and The Riverdale Press and serving as consumer editor for Newsday — didn’t stop Limbaugh from telling his Dittoheads, “She doesn’t know what self-employed people pay.
“She probably doesn’t know that Mickelson files quarterly estimates. She probably doesn’t even know what that is. Well, she may know. Hell, I don’t want to assume what she doesn’t know. But based on the story here, she’s just looking at income tax and not adding anything else to it.”