Joe Scarborough on Media Censoring IRS Scandal: ‘This Is Why Conservatives Don’t Trust the Newspapers’

On Tuesday's Morning Joe, host Joe Scarborough went unhinged on the mainstream media's lack of coverage of the IRS scandal. Scarborough held up The New York Times and berated news organizations on pulling a “scam” on the American people by not covering “the most shady behavior” of the IRS.

“This is why conservatives don’t trust the national newspapers,” Scarborough exclaimed. “It’s not the news they do run, it’s the stories they don’t run.” NewsBusters has documented the MSNBC hosts frustration over the IRS scandal in general.

Co-host Mika Brzezinski started the broadcast off talking about a new bridge scandal involving Chris Christie. The story was reported on the front page, above the fold of The New York Times. That’s when Scarborough grabbed the newspaper to search for coverage of the IRS. Guests Nicole Wallace and former RNC Chairman, Michael Steele informed him the story was buried all the way on page A19 of the newspaper.

The Times coverage of the scandal was on the 19th page, below the fold in the form of a Q&A with the title “Examining a Scandal Within a Scandal About Emails at the IRS” which made Scarborough shout, “A scandal within a scandal? No! It’s just a scandal.”

It should also be noted that the New York Times article covering the “scandal within a scandal” ended by quoting newly-minted White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest stating that “there is zero evidence to support Republican claims” or “conspiracy theories” that any foul play occurred. But Brzezinski made sure to point out that the Times ran a story on the front page about women in the workforce. To which Scarborough sarcastically replied, “That's great...”

Scarborough also mentioned that the Washington Post didn’t bother to place the story on its front page either. In fact, the only coverage the Post gave the scandal was an op-ed written by Dana Milbank where he referred to Congressman Issa as a “bully.”

Scarborough pointed out the hypocrisy of the situation using the argument that if “George Bush or any Republican had an IRS member go after Democrats and then there was an internal investigation launched, you would not have space on the front page to talk about women’s issues. This really is a scam!”

MSNBC’s token conservative noted that the media’s ignoring of the IRS Scandal is a prime example of why “conservatives don’t trust national news outlets because they are so biased and so slanted. It's the acts of omission when Democrats are in power. It's stunning."

The relevant portion is transcribed below:

MSNBC
Morning Joe
June 24, 2014
6:07 a.m. Eastern

JOE SCARBOROUGH: Let’s see.. So this is the top of The New York Times. I'm trying to figure out if where that IRS story -- so on they put Chris Christie there. Hold on a second. Because now -- actually on the front page, actually, there was an investigation launched yesterday about the IRS, an internal investigation. I'm sure the internal revenue service-- hold on, hold on! I’m sure the Internal Revenue Service targeting individuals, private citizens and also political groups that are against the administration would be on the front page.

MICHAEL STEELE: We are looking.

NICOLE WALLACE: I'm still looking. Hang on.

SCARBOROUGH: Do you see it? Anything? I’m sure the New York Times...

WALLCE: 17. 18. 19.

SCARBOROUGH: You know if George W. Bush –

STEVE RATTNER: One of these stories is old news and one of these stories is new news.

WALLACE: They were new enough to be on the television networks.

SCARBOROUGH: This is unbelievable. We talked -- we could talk about the New York Post as well. It is impossible that The Washington Post and the The New York Times are not putting on the front page of their newspapers the fact that an internal investigation has been launched by the IRS on the most shady behavior and, yet, they put Pulaski sky bridge, whatever, on A-1? Whatever! This is garbage.

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Look, look! “Examining a Scandal Within a Scandal About E-mails at the IRS.” Page 19, Q & A.

SCARBOROUGH: Page 19. A scandal within a scandal? No, it's just a scandal!

STEELE: That's it.

SCARBOROUGH: It's just a scandal. There have been e-mails that have gone missing ten days after the chairman of the ways and means committee started asking questions.

BRZEZINSKI: I'll get to it now. Calm down. I do like this piece, women leave their careers in peak years and the growing number of women in mid-life their work gains are slipping away.

SCARBOROUGH: That’s great... If George W. Bush or any Republican had an IRS member that went after Democrats and then there was an internal investigation launched, you would not have space on the front page to talk about women’s issues. This really is a scam. This why conservatives don't trust national newspapers. It's why they don trust broadcast news. It's because you can go back and see that there is a double standard. You can see it on every broadcast newscast. You can see it on the front page of every major newspaper. This is a scam and conservatives -- this is -- this is why we don't trust national news outlets because they are so biased and slanted. It's not the news they run, even though, this is a joke of a story to put on the front page here. It's the stories they don't run. It’s the acts of omission when the Democrats are in power. It’s stunning.

Jackie Seal
Jackie Seal is a 2014 summer intern with the MRC's News Analysis Division.