IRS Targets Tea Party
Thursday on his Your World show, host Neil Cavuto went after the Obama administration's near obsession with the coverage it gets on Fox News.
While Team Obama can count on the Big Three triumvirate of ABC, CBS and NBC to toe the line, promoting its points while generally avoiding damning information, Fox has generally remained fair and balanced, an approach which has clearly gotten under their ultra-thin skins.
Sunday's New York Times editorial page came once again to the defense of the Internal Revenue Service against the depredations of congressional conservatives, even suggesting the IRS's targeting of Tea Party groups amounted to nothing: "...payback demanded by House Republicans to penalize the I.R.S. for daring to scrutinize Tea Party operations that tried to claim exemptions under the tax code for nonpolitical groups. Democratic groups trying the same thing were also scrutinized."
Each of the network morning shows devoted some time on Wednesday to looking back at the biggest news stories of year and, while they certainly could not have included every story in the allotted time, they all failed to spend even a few seconds on topics such as Jonathan Gruber, pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, President Obama’s unpopularity, and the Hobby Lobby case to name a few.
In addition, the “big three” of ABC, CBS, and NBC each mentioned the midterm elections and how Republicans were able to win control of the Senate (in addition to the House), they devoted a scant 21 seconds to the topic over the course of their roundups, which totaled 42 minutes and 50 seconds.
A new congressional report on the IRS persecution of conservative groups in the run-up to the 2012 election? Nothing to see here, the New York Times' headline blared. The paper set the bar sky-high for anti-Obama scandal, using the evident lack of a smoking gun linking IRS persecution to the White House as an excuse to completely dismiss the scandal. The Washington Post was little better.
The MRC's “Best Notable Quotables of 2014” looks back at the worst media bias of the year. Each day, NewsBusters will present the "winners" of a different award. Today's category: "The Move Along, Nothing to See Here Award, for Denying Obama's Scandals."
On Friday afternoon, it became known that as many as 30,000 emails belonging to former IRS official Lois Lerner that were thought to be lost had been recovered. When it came to reporting this story, however, English-language networks ABC and NBC plus Spanish-language networks Telemundo and Univision have punted on this story and offered no coverage through their Monday evening newscasts.
The only network to cover the story thus far was CBS, which devoted only a meager 26 seconds to it during its Saturday morning newscast, CBS This Morning: Saturday.
On Thursday, the first paragraph of a column by the Washington Post's David Ignatius on what he thinks President Barack Obama's foreign policy might be for the next two years contained what may qualify as the "Notable Quotable" of the year.
The first sentence was a pretty impressive failure at perception: "President Obama looked almost relieved after Tuesday’s election blowout." Look, David, even the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, noted that Obama "struck a defiant tone." But it's the second sentence of Ignatius's opening paragraph that is the side-splitter (HT Patterico):
On November 5, Judicial Watch announced that the IRS admitted “that it failed to search any of the IRS standard computer systems for the ‘missing’ emails of Lois Lerner and other IRS officials.” The admission comes after the government watchdog group made a “request that a federal court judge allow discovery into how ‘lost and/or destroyed’ IRS records relating to the targeting of conservative groups may be retrieved.” So how many networks stories have been dedicated to this latest revelation in the IRS scandal? 0.
In the crucial weeks leading up to the midterm elections, the broadcast networks were obsessed with scandals, but not any of the Obama administration controversies that might influence how voters behave on Election Day. No, despite revelations in the Benghazi, IRS, Veterans Administration and Secret Service prostitution scandals it was the NFL domestic abuse scandals that captured the attention of the Big Three (ABC, NBC, CBS) networks.
So, here we are roughly 500 days after the IRS was caught red-handed using fear and intimidation to target and wage war on conservative groups, including tea party patriots, pro-Israel advocates and Christian organizations. And still we the people haven't seen a single email implicating any IRS official.
Attorney General Eric Holder resigned this week after six years working for the Obama Administration and on Sunday morning's This Week w/ George Stephanopoulos ABC’s Matthew Dowd eagerly scolded Republicans for being “way too vociferous in their things about Eric Holder.” The so-called Republican dismissed the notion that Holder was “the worst attorney general we’ve ever had” and proceeded to drag Edwin Meese, Attorney General for President Reagan, through the mud by insisting he was much worse than the scandal plagued Obama official.