I was amazed to see how quickly the New York Times hit piece on President Donald J. Trump's taxes spread all over social media this weekend. The Times piece essentially says that Trump, with billions in holdings, made a lot of money, lost a lot of money, and paid
taxes as required by law.

The New York Times claims to have come into possession of Trump's tax returns, but as has become customary these days, is refusing to show them to us or even say which unnamed sources provided them with the documents.

Nowhere in the article does it claim Trump violated the law. From what I can glean from the New York Times story, the president's alleged behavior was not illegal, unethical, or immoral. It seems to me that handing off someone's personal tax information to the press is a bit sketchy though, no?

The headlines responsible for tons of clicks on social media pages everywhere blared the news that Trump actually paid taxes. What was missing was the long-held belief by the conspirators that Trump itemized hush-money payments to hookers and porn stars. Also absent were the gazillions that Trump was alleged to have taken from Russian interests. The paper did confirm Trump's claim that he is involved in a nasty IRS audit. It also confirms that Trump paid taxes.

Trump says much of the New York Times story concerning how much he did or did not pay in taxes is "fake news." As in WRONG!

People "liked" and "shared" this info as though it were some damning new piece of evidence that proves Trump is a crook. I suspect most didn't even read the article before railing against the president.

Americans are wary of mainstream media that use unnamed or anonymous sources. I believe that if the New York Times has Trump's tax documents and feel they are worthy of ink, they should publish the documents and tell us where they got them from. Isn't that reasonable? Otherwise, it's just another faceless, nameless smear that makes Trump a more sympathetic character in the long run.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at barry@wbsm.com and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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