This goes back to a week ago Saturday morning, but given the content and that it occurred on a weekend, it really needs more visibility.
On June 28, Juan Williams put in an appearance on a Fox News "Cashin' In" show panel which discussed the IRS scandal. Host Eric Bolling discussed poll results revealing that three-quarters of Americans believe that the IRS deliberately destroyed emails, and overhwelmingly want to see people involved in destroying the emails to be held accountable. The video after the jump, accompanied by Mediaite coverage containing key quotes, will show that Williams not only insists that he is completely unimpressed with the newsworthiness of the story, but also believe that those who believe it to be important are engaging in a "paranoia conspiracy" (Warning: Those who are on blood pressure meds should make that they have taken them and have allowed enough time to pass for them to achieve their proper effect; bolds are mine):
The survey results presented in the video are these:
- 76 percent of those polled believe that IRS emails were destroyed; only 12 percent believe it was accidental.
- 74 percent of those polled want Congress to continue its investigation of the IRS until someone is held accountable.
Here is Mediaite's recounting of the discussion's key elements:
After contributor Michelle Fields attacked the liberal press for ignoring the story and praised Fox News for taking it on, Bolling turned to Juan Williams, who had a different view on the matter.
“You’re comparing apples and orange oranges. Remember, we have been down this road before,” Williams said, arguing that you would have to go back to the first round of IRS hearings to make a fair comparison. “Why don’t you go back to when the IRS scandal broke?” he asked.
“I’m not talking apples and oranges, these are apples and apples,” Bolling shot back.
The rest of the panel jumped all over Williams when he declared, “There’s no news here!”
“Juan, how are you not outraged by this?” Fields asked Williams. “This is a government agency that is targeting people because of their political beliefs and then they just act as though emails disappear. You don’t think that is suspicious?”
Williams made the panelists even angrier by saying, “I think you guys are loving this paranoia conspiracy.” He said “it’s easy to hate on the tax man,” but there’s no “evidence” to back up their claims.
“Juan is drinking the kool-aid,” Fields said before Bolling ended the segment.
It appears in all the crosstalk that Williams was trying to claim that the press was on the story on a sustained basis when the story first broke in May 2013 — more correctly stated, when the administration chose to break the story in May 2013 — and during the earlier rounds of congressional hearings.
If that's the case, Media Research Center studies of network news coverage from that period demonstrate how utterly mistaken he is. As Geoffrey Dickens wrote in June 2013 after presenting concrete evidence of press disinterest:
The fact that they have so quickly dropped it from the news agenda is just more evidence that the broadcast networks filter their so-called “news” through a partisan lens. After all, does anyone doubt that if an identical scandal had erupted during the Bush years, the networks would have essentially walked away after just a couple of weeks of heavy coverage?
Given the extensive coverage of "Bridgegate" in New Jersey, and of the inane obsession over "who leaked Valerie Plame's name?" during the Bush 43 administration, how can anyone reasonably disagree? The answer, of course, is that they can't — and making truthful observations is not a form of paranoia.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.