On Monday Rep. Darrell Issa, the chairman of the Oversight Committee investigating the IRS’s targeting of the Tea Party, made a stunning claim that the FBI was stonewalling his investigation.
Last week, Issa was so frustrated with William Wilkins' testimony, in which he used the phrase “I don’t recall” 80 times, he accused the IRS chief counsel of “either a deliberate attempt to obfuscate” or “gross incompetence.” Number of Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) stories on these stunning allegations? Zero.
On Thursday afternoon, FBI director Robert Mueller was called before the House Judiciary Committee to answer questions about the bureau's association with the recent scandals that have rocked the president's second term. He testified about the FBI investigation into the IRS targeting scandal as well as about the security at Benghazi and their delay in responding to the attack. Mueller stumbled through the interview, as he did not give many straight or definitive answers. In fact, he seemed to be remarkably uninformed about key elements regarding the scandals given the fact that he was supposed to be in charge of the entire operation.
Curiously, with such a significant development in these scandals, particularly the one pertaining to the IRS targeting, all of the broadcast networks’ evening newscasts neglected the story. NBC Nightly News along with CBS Evening News and ABC World News did not deem this progression in the scandal newsworthy as it was given collective total of no air time. The only network that gave this new development any time at all was the Fox News Channel. In fact one of the channel’s staple primetime shows, Hannity, featured the story as its leading piece and had a number of guests on the show to comment about the scandal and its lack of media coverage, including the founder of the Media Research Center, Brent Bozell.
Not that it absolves them from blame, but one contributor to the Big Three establishment TV networks' utter failure to report on or keep up with developments in the IRS targeting scandal -- failures which have been noted by Geoffrey Dickens at NewsBusters, as well as by the Media Research Center's Brent Bozell on Sean Hannity's TV show last night -- is the Associated Press.
The AP provides much of the raw material for the networks' stories and largely determines the nets' perception as to which stories are important. It is still quite appropriate to refer to it as the Administration's Press, even after Obama administration Attorney General Eric Holder admitted to scouring phone records involving 20 business and personal lines used by over 100 AP reporters and editors in April and May of last year. Yesterday's failure by the wire service's Pete Yost to even mention that the IRS scandal was on the agenda at a House Judiciary Committee hearing yesterday involving FBI Director Robert Mueller exemplifies how negligent or intimidated (or both) the AP has become.
It seems that every time I see something possibly redeeming put forth by the Associated Press, they figure out a way to ruin it.
Take Larry Margasak's report this afternoon on John Boehner's attempts at persuading House Republican members to support his various attempts at debt-ceiling legislation during the few two weeks. (I've made my general unhappiness with the ultimate result pretty plain here, and that is not the topic of this post.)
Maragasak notes Boehner's refusal to engage in "carrot-and-stick" persuasion, observes that it's "a major transformation from the not too distant past," and spends the rest of the report comparing the Republicans under Boehner to the Denny Hastert-Tom Delay regime. It's as if the years from 2007 through 2010, featuring the Nancy Pelosi-Harry Reid regime's Louisiana Purchase of Mary Landrieu, the Cornhusker Kickback to Nebraska's Ben Nelson, the $3.5 billion "clean energy" boondoggle to Ohio Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur, and so many, many others, never happened and don't exist. What a journalistic disgrace.
CNN's Wolf Blitzer put Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) on the defensive Tuesday in a testy interview on the debt ceiling, lecturing the congressman and asking provocative questions about any divides within the party on Capitol Hill.
Blitzer told Jordan that "you've got to deal with reality now" after reporting that the Balanced Budget Amendment, a brainchild of House Republicans, failed in the Senate. "You've got to deal with the hand you're dealt, and you can pass anything you want in the House, but if it doesn't pass in the Senate, it's not going anywhere," he added.
If future historians look back on the ruins of the American economy after a U.S. bond crisis struck in the second decade of the 21st century, many causes will be noted. Obviously, it will be seen that for decades before the catastrophe, the U.S. was spending vastly more than it could afford on government health and retirement programs.
And, just as after the Great Depression, Pearl Harbor and Sept. 11, 2011, blue-ribbon commissions will be incredulous that all the telltale signs of the coming disaster were in plain view, yet were ignored.