David Pecker, whose company owns the National Enquirer, purchased all rights to the name and likeness and prior posts of Procedurally Taxing for an undisclosed sum. Pecker, whose National Enquirer has been in the news of late due to its cozy relationship with President Trump, has long felt the need to enter the nascent world of legal blogging, especially tax, with its cross over to and connection with the world of entertainment.
In commenting on the purchase, Pecker noted that just in the last few weeks we have seen Cardi B talk about tax policy, rapper DMX get sentenced to jail for tax evasion, an innocent taxpayer sue Howard Stern and the IRS for an employee talking about her tax account on the shock jock’s radio show, and John Oliver sing the praises of tax exemptions as he discusses prosperity gospel.
Noting the extensive reach that PT has in the bar, the bench and in government, Pecker hopes to leverage his company’s marketing and publicity to expand the blog’s footprint.
“Tax is everywhere,” said Pecker. “Outlets like Procedurally Taxing do not have a clue about the real world.”
While we are working out the final details, it appears that Keith, Stephen, and I, the founding bloggers, will remain affiliated with the blog in some capacity, though it is expected that we will significantly reduce time spent on the blog to allow well known celebrity authors to post.
The first post, due to be published Monday is entitled “Frequent Contributor Carl Smith Abducted by Aliens Claiming to Know Precise Constitutional Status of Tax Court.” Written by Fogg’s Harvard Law School colleague Steve Shay, who specializes in international and intergalactic transactions, the post hopes to explore issues that have long troubled not only the tax bar but also the public at large.
Pecker has released Monday’s post in preview form to a number of tax celebrities. Frank Agostino commented: “The aliens have made a Graev mistake. There is no evidence that the initial determination to abduct was personally approved in writing by the immediate supervisor of the alien making the abduction. I plan to appeal this matter to the Court of Appeals for the Milky Way Circuit. Or, at least go out and buy a Milky Way bar.”
Nina Olson thought: “Carl Smith’s abduction no doubt violates a number of provisions of the Taxpayer Bill of Rights that I recently got Congress to incorporate into section 7803. I won’t help Carl, but I will closely monitor any litigation in this area.”
Tax Court Chief Judge L. Paige Marvel expressed surprise that PT was aware of the abduction. “Information about the abduction,” she said, “is contained within the Tax Court files of a case Smith brought, but the information is not available on line. To get this information, someone had to go to the Tax Court Public Files Office in D.C. or pay 50 cents a page for it to get it mailed out. Who would do that?”
Pat Smith of Ivins Philips argued that Carl Smith’s abduction was invalid as a violation of the Administrative Procedure Act and looked forward to any court case that might overcome the limits of the Galactic Anti-Abduction Injunction Act.”
President Trump tweeted that “Regardless, the Trump campaign and Trump Administration did not speak to any of the aliens who abducted Smith. There was NO COLLUSION. Covfefe.”
Hillary Clinton noted that Carl Smith was a resident of Manhattan, a locale that voted overwhelmingly for her in 2016. “Obviously, the aliens wanted someone smarter to probe.”