IRS Targets Tea Party
Donald Trump hasn’t even been sworn-in yet but the liberal media has obsessed almost over every Trump tweet and controversy. Conversely, Barack Obama’s administration has been full of scandals and gaffes but liberal reporters have insisted that his record is clean as a whistle. Former NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw, after Obama’s January 10 farewell speech gushed: “He’s been scandal free, frankly, in the White House. We haven’t had that what for a while.” Time magazine’s Joe Klein, back in December declared there has been “absolutely no hint of scandal” during his eight years.
These liberal reporters have the audacity to bless this administration as scandal free, because many of Obama’s controversies were either ignored or barely reported by the establishment media. The following is a look through the MRC’s archives at some of the worst scandals and gaffes made during the Obama administration and how they were underreported at the time.
At a Sunday press briefing in Lima, Peru, President Barack Obama concluded his response to a question referring to how President-Elect Trump might consider handling his extensive holdings during his presidency by saying that "I am extremely proud of the fact that over eight years we have not had the kinds of scandals that have plagued other administrations."
At a contentious impeachment hearing conducted by the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen admitted that his agency targeted Tea Party groups looking to obtain tax-exempt status. “They were totally improper criteria used to select organizations, applying for c-4 designation for further review,” testified Koskinen before the committee, “Those organizations predominantly were conservative organizations.” This stunning abuse of power went unreported by the “Big Three” networks Wednesday evening and Thursday morning.
It's a paradox. The liberal media champion themselves as the most open-minded people on planet Earth, with a devotion to the freedom of speech. How can intelligent people be so wrong? In reality, liberal elites have a nasty tendency to dismiss “conservative thought” as an oxymoron. They don’t read conservative books or magazines, and they wouldn’t lower themselves to watching conservatives on television. They have disdain for conservative talk radio. They're virtually illiterate on conservatives and conservatism.
Lois Lerner’s confession at that conference did contain one small truth. The IRS targeting scandal did indeed start in “Cincy”—as D.C. headquarters refers to that outpost. On a cold late February day in 2010, a Cincinnati screener named Jack Koester found himself focused on an application from a local Tea Party group.
After more than three years of stonewalling the IRS has finally released an almost complete list of organizations that the tax agency scrutinized in the Tea Party targeting scandal, but you wouldn’t know that if you got your news from the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) networks. In fact, it’s been 587 days since any network reported on the IRS scandal.
Angry, embarrassed Republicans went looking for a scapegoat and settled on a man who’s more than a decade past the normal retirement age. That’s essentially the explanation The Week’s Paul Waldman gives for House GOPers’ move to impeach 76-year-old Internal Revenue Service commissioner John Koskinen.
That effort, asserted Waldman in a Tuesday column, stems from Republicans’ “frustration over the failure of [the IRS] scandal to take down Barack Obama...With every controversy during this administration…Republicans say to themselves, ‘Now we've finally got him!’…And then it turns out to be a giant nothingburger.”
On Tuesday, the House began proceedings to impeach current IRS chief John Koskinen for his role in stonewalling the investigation into the IRS targeting scandal. Impeachment is something that hasn’t been done, according to Fox News’ Bill Hemmer, for a non-president since 1876. And despite Koskinen arrogantly ducking yesterday’s hearings the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) networks didn’t air a second of this latest development on their evening or morning newscasts.
If Facebook discriminated against conservative-friendly news items, mused Brian Beutler in a Friday article, it almost certainly had good reason to do so, given the abundance of nonsense that right-wingers unleash on the Web.
“The differences between mainstream and liberal political content on the one hand, and conservative content on the other, [are] critical,” wrote Beutler. “Facebook reviewers tasked with ‘disregard[ing] junk…hoaxes or subjects with insufficient sources’ are going to ensnare more climate-change denialism, more birther stories, more racist Breitbart agitprop than anything comparably dubious that comes out of the liberal internet. And those dubious stories will come not just from fringe sites or content farms, but from prestige outlets of the online right.”
New York Times reporter and reliable Democratic Party defender-Republican attacker Jackie Calmes valiantly defended that most reviled organization, the Internal Revenue Service, from unfair Republican attacks, under a battle-tinged headline in Friday’s edition: “I.R.S. Supporters Fight Back Against Republican Offensive.” She played the “reduced budget” card as an excuse for agency incompetence. Calmes even downplayed the IRS snooping into Tea Party nonprofits during an election year.
The latest stunning development in the IRS targeting scandal, that a federal appeals court on Tuesday scolded the IRS for failing to turn over its full list of groups it targeted, has yet to be reported on any of the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) network evening or morning shows. However, as NewsBusters’ Scott Whitlock reported, all three networks on Thursday found time to gush over Barack Obama’s “fancy footwork” and “dancing diplomacy” in Argentina.
The last two midterm elections have yielded big Republican congressional gains, yet most conservatives who cheered those developments now jeer at Donald Trump. That’s inconsistent thinking on their part, suggests Talking Points Memo editor and publisher Marshall.
“Trump is very little different from the average candidate Republicans elected in 2010 and 2014, in terms of radical views and extreme rhetoric,” wrote Marshall in a Saturday post. “All Trump's done is take the actual GOP issue package, turn it up to eleven and put it on a high speed collision course with RNC headquarters smack in the middle of presidential election year.” (Props to Marshall for that This Is Spinal Tap-Mad Max mixed metaphor.)