MSNBC.com Declares ‘GOP Panel Keeps Fake IRS ‘Scandal’ Rolling’

Doing its best to follow the narrative being peddled by MSNBC’s liberal hosts, MSNBC.com decided to double-down in its attempt to minimize the severity of the IRS’ targeting of Tea Party groups.

In an April 9 piece, MSNBC.com writer Amanda Sakuma blared in her headline “GOP panel keeps fake IRS ‘scandal rolling” before pushing the talking point that “Democrats accused a House committee of throwing a slab of red meat to its GOP base Wednesday after voting to refer a former IRS official to the Justice Department for possible criminal prosecution.”


Nowhere in the article did Ms. Sakuma explain why the IRS scandal was “fake” and instead seemed to take Democrats’ objections to send a criminal referral to the Department of Justice for former IRS official Lois Lerner at face value: 

Democrats on the committee called the vote a political stunt aimed at hitting GOP drumbeats over made-up scandals.

“It now seems clear that Republican members of the Ways and Means Committee have decided that they do not want to be left behind in the Republican campaign to declare this a scandal and keep it going until November,” Rep. Sander Levin of Michigan, the committee’s ranking Democrat, told the Associated Press.

Sakuma then declared that the IRS scandal was mainly a political tool for the GOP:

Republicans have harnessed the issue as a rallying cry for the base in the year since revelations that IRS agents improperly singled out tea party and conservative groups for heightened scrutiny when they applied for tax-exempt status. The agency acknowledged that officials had acted improperly, and Lerner eventually resigned at the request of President Obama.

Lerner twice invoked her constitutional right against self-incrimination during hearings before the House Oversight Committee. That committee is set to vote Thursday on a resolution to hold Lerner in contempt of Congress. If that moves forward, the measure would then go to the full House for a vote.

Sakuma’s eagerness to dismiss the GOP vote does not fall in line with MSNBC’s treatment of former Bush official Karl Rove who was threatened with contempt by Congressman Henry Waxman (D-CA). In 2007, Chris Matthews said this of Karl Rove’s refusal to testify before Congress:

I think you’re gonna see Henry Waxman, watch him today on the House committee, he’s chairman. He's got a hot subpoena ready for this guy. You gotta bet on the, on the, on the, the CIA leak case. And the other guy, even hotter, I think, Pat Leahy on the Judiciary committee of the Senate. Really, has already issued a subpoena for this guy. What happens when you’re no longer a White House staffer?

Are you still able to use executive privilege? It’s an interesting question. I’m not sure it’s been tested. I think it’ll be tested again, severely. It’s gonna be hot stuff today. It will be Hardball tonight, I gotta tell you. What I want to do is, if our producers are listening, what I really want tonight is, I really want Pat Leahy and Henry Waxman tonight.

One would think that MSNBC would be just as eager for a Republican Congress to seek answers of Lois Lerner’s involvement in the IRS scandal as they were when Democrats demanded Karl Rove testify before Congress.

Instead, Sakuma, and her colleagues at MSNBC, including Joy Reid, see the IRS scandal as nothing more than a partisan “witch hunt” as they eagerly dismiss the scandal as “fake.”Doing its best to follow the narrative being peddled by MSNBC’s liberal hosts, MSNBC.com decided to double-down in its attempt to minimize the severity of the IRS’ targeting of Tea Party groups.

Jeffrey Meyer
Jeffrey Meyer
Jeffrey Meyer is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center.