Earlier today, Geoffrey Dickens at NewsBusters noted how the Big Three morning network news shows on NBC, ABC, and CBS failed to cover President Barack Obama's denial that the Internal Revenue Service ever went after Tea Party and other conservative groups in his appearance on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Specifically Obama said that "it turned out no ... the truth of the matter is there was not some big conspiracy there ... the real scandal around the I.R.S. right now is that it has been so poorly funded."
Following the lead of the Associated Press, whose Josh Lederman completely ignored Obama load of IRS-related horse manure, the same crowd which spent years screaming about how "Bush Lied" about the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq — he didn't lie, period; even the left has to agree, thanks to the New York Times, that it's no longer arguable — has remained notoriously silent about Obama's claim.
Jay Sekulow, who has defended several organizations targeted by the IRS, went on Neal Cavuto's Fox Business channel show this afternoon to set the irrefutable record straight (HT to a longtime tipster):
Transcript (bolds are mine):
NEAL CAVUTO: Tea Party attorney Jay Sekulow. He represents some 38 groups who say that they were unfairly targeted by the IRS. The President, as you know, Jay, is saying "Not so. Let's Move on." What do you think?
JAY SEKULOW: Yeah, well, a U.S. Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia has acknowledged the targeting scheme. And here's the other thing. The president keeps saying that it never happened, but Lois Lerner admitted it happened. She said that they targeted based on names and policy positions.
CAVUTO: So what was he saying, Jay? What was the President saying, to say this is a funding issue, uh, it's a bad law, obviously dropping that on Congress's lap, but what is he saying?
SEKULOW: Yeah, bad law that's been around since 1954, by the way? I mean, please. And I guess it wasn't a bad law when all the left-wing, left-of-center groups got their tax exemption. It wasn't such a bad law then, including groups that supported the President.
But here's the reality. Let's look at what we do know. Regardless of the emails that we can't find, we do know from emails that we have found that in fact Lois Lerner was in cahoots with the Department of Justice to, in their words, quote, "piece together" — this is what she said — "potential criminal cases" against our clients for exercising their freedom of speech.
So the President should not have said what he said. But he's been doing this — he did it with Bill O'Reilly. He did this, he's always — he's in a state of denial. His own Justice Department is supposedly still investigating this criminally. So I guess the President's playing prosecutor and jury here. But it's his IRS that has done this, and they should be held accountable.
CAVUTO: Well I think (could not understand the next few words. — Ed.) ... to your point, whether you agree or disagree, whatever your politics are, he has to check with all his chielf and ask, "where do we stand on this if it ever comes out?" Just doing your homework. you know?
SEKULOW: Yeah. He would find out if he checked with his Department of Justice, supposedly, there's an ongoing investigation. He would also find out in a case called Z Street, which was targeted because they are a pro-Israel group. They were targeted because they took the position that was different from the administration's on the Middle East. They were targeted.
The IRS admitted to targeting here. The FEC and the Department of Justice were in conversations with Lois Lerner and the IRS. So this is — the President can say this all he wants. But the reality is, Neal, at the end of the day — you've been covering this for a long time — we already have the smoke, we already have the fire. We'd like to get the rest of the evidence, because I suspect it's a five-alarm fire when we see the rest of these emails.
CAVUTO: Yes, especially when these agencies themselves launch an investigation into said five-alarm fire. Jay, thank you very very much.
At this point, no one familiar with the evidence can possibly believe that the IRS did not engage in targeting of Tea Party, patriot, pro-life and pro-Israeli groups. President Obama can continue to deny it for only one reason, thanks to the U.S. estalishment press — because he can.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.