Those who believe history is presumptively written by the winners haven't seen Francis Wilkinson's attempt to create a bogus narrative on the four-year IRS scandal which appeared at Bloomberg News on Monday.
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.
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.
On Tuesday, the “big three” networks of ABC, CBS, and NBC censored from their evening newscasts any mention of the House of Representative beginning the procedures to impeach IRS Commissioner John Koskinen on the heels of Republican Congressman and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s expected ascension to Speaker of the House.
On Thursday, Curtis Houck at NewsBusters noted how the Big Three networks and the two leading Spanish-language networks ignored the latest developments in the now 813 day-old IRS targeting scandal. As usual, only Fox News covered a congressional hearing on, in Fox's words, "the lack of accountability following the IRS targeting of tea party and other groups" as well as a federal judge's threat "to hold (IRS Commissioner John Koskinen and Justice Department attorneys in contempt of court for failing to produce status reports and Lois Lerner e-mails."
Not that this excuses the non-coverage, but if these outfits were relying as subscribers on the Associated Press to make sure that the contempt threat made by U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan got the visibility it deserved so they would be aware of it and use it, the wire service's Stephen Ohlemacher let them down — and, I would argue, deliberately so.
The network media’s blackout of the IRS scandal continued on Wednesday night with zero mentions of the Senate hearing held hours before as well as a threat issued by a federal judge to hold IRS commissioner John Koskinen and Department of Justice (DOJ) attorneys in contempt of court concerning Lois Lerner’s e-mails. As usual, FNC's Special Report provided coverage that the “big three” of ABC, CBS, and NBC and Spanish-language networks Telemundo and Univision did not and led its Wednesday show with a full story from chief congressional correspondent Mike Emanuel.
In Thursday’s edition of stories ignored by the top English and Spanish networks, the six of them declined to report that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has admitted that illegal immigrants could apply for back taxes under President Obama’s amnesty plan as well as a report by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that fracking does not harm drinking water.
On Thursday, with PJ Media's J. Christian Adams as her guest, Fox News's Megyn Kelly recited a list of assertions (under oath, she reminded us) made by Internal Revenue Service officials which have later been shown to be lies or cause for agency flip-flops after "new" facts have been revealed.
It's a significant list. By implication, it's an indictment of the vast majority of the establishment press, which has refused to give the IRS scandal the attention it deserves. Video and a transcript follow the jump.
In the Friday PBS NewsHour, anchor Judy Woodruff lamented the current impasse in Washington: "I don’t know what else to call it, war between congressional Republicans and the president."
She sounded shocked that Speaker John Boehner filed suit to protest the president's constant end-runs around Congress and legislating from the White House on Obamacare, immigration, and other issues. Shields called the suit "absolutely bogus" and compared it to impeaching Bill Clinton in 1998:
During Thursday’s edition of The Situation Room on CNN, host Wolf Blitzer committed an act of journalism in grilling IRS Commissioner John Koskinen with question after question about the growing IRS e-mail scandal. His questioning included one where he asked (via a Twitter follower), “[w]hy shouldn’t taxpayers use the crashed hard drive excuse when undergoing an IRS audit?”
The interview, which lasted 13 minutes and 47 seconds, is more time than ABC and NBC spent on the IRS e-mail scandal combined on both their morning and evening news programs since the outrage surrounding lost emails of IRS employees, including former employee Lois Lerner, broke on June 13. [MP3 audio here; Video below]