The Washington Post’s Josh Hicks can’t be living under a rock, so his piece of the IRS’ postponement of their August furlough day is probably just fluff to fill space on the website. His August 8 story had no mention of the fact that the agency is under a congressional microscope from its past activities of targeting both conservative and progressive groups. This, along with the analysis done by NewsBusters’ Geoff Dickens, is another example of the news media giving the agency political cover.
Frankly, any interesting piece of news coming from the IRS should be about the scandal, especially since Hicks quotes Colleen Kelley, the president of the National Treasury Employees Union, who has a tenuous connection to the scandal itself. Last May, Jeffrey Lord at the American Spectator wrote that Kelley could be the “smoking gun” in the IRS scandal. She met with the president on March 31, 2010, and the alleged targeting began the next day. As Lord noted:
In other words, the IRS union chief went to the White House to meet personally with the president on March 31. The union already had Executive Order 13522 behind it, issued by the President barely three months earlier. An Executive Order directing that the IRS must “allow employees and unions to have pre-decisional involvement in all workplace matters….”.
The very next day after that March 31 meeting at the White House, the IRS, with the union involved in its decision-making, was setting up its “Sensitive Case Report on the Tea Party.”
This finding was cited in the Treasury Department’s Inspector General’s report, but it's of no interest to Hicks, who seems relieved that the IRS won't have to shut down for business.
“[U]nlike some other agencies requiring workers to take unpaid leave on staggered dates under the so-called sequester, the IRS is forcing all of its employees to take the same days off work — essentially closing the agency down on those days," Hicks noted.
Heaven, no, we can't have that!