Former Timesman Charles Kaiser claims Fortune and ProPublica smeared the New York Times with their piece on General Electric’s taxes. “Fortune and ProPublica say they were also working on the GE tax story” and “apparently they are unhappy because the Times beat them into print.”
ProPublica managing editor Paul Steiger tells Kaiser:
Charlie, I’m sorry you read it that way. We acknowledge aggressively that the nyt beat us on the story. We make clear that GE uses all kinds of maneuvers to cut its tax bill FAR below the statutory rate. We point out that GE’s statements were confused and confusing. We agree that for reporting to shareholders, GE shows no tax liability. But we say that GE will pay some taxes for its 2010 tax year. And we point out how all this complexity, put back into the code since the last great overhaul in 1986, makes reform in the current environment so difficult. I think that is the opposite of shameful.