Media Research Center President Brent Bozell appeared on Fox News’ “The Kelly File” last night and chastised the networks for skipping the substance of the latest congressional hearing on the IRS’ targeting of conservative groups. Bozell’s comments came after Lois Lerner, the IRS official at the center of the scandal, once again refused to answer questions during a congressional hearing, instead choosing to use her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.
Rather than discussing the merits of the latest hearing, all three networks chose instead to play up the verbal confrontation between Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Congressman Elijah Cummings (D-MD), making it 99 days since ABC, CBS and NBC have even mentioned the actual IRS scandal. “I do believe that this IRS scandal is bigger than Watergate. And I think if you look at it objectively I think you conclude that” proclaimed Bozell. [See video below.]
On Thursday's OutFront, CNN's Erin Burnett teed up Democrat Rep. Elijah Cummings to call for Rep. Darrell Issa's ouster as chairman of the House Oversight Committee.
After a hearing where former IRS chief Lois Lerner dodged questions on the scandal she is at the center of, CNN joined NBC in focusing its outrage instead on Issa, who cut Cummings' microphone when the latter began railing against the proceeding. Burnett called that a "new low" for Congress on Wednesday, and then on Thursday she relayed the call for Issa's removal from the Congressional Black Caucus. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Both NBC's Today and CBS This Morning on Thursday saw the beginning of the end of an investigation into the Obama administration's IRS scandal following tirade by Democratic Congressman Elijah Cummings at the conclusion of a Wednesday hearing on the topic. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On Today, news reader Natalie Morales proclaimed: "Well, after a shouting match on Capitol Hill, California Republican Darrell Issa says his probe of alleged IRS abuses may have hit a dead end." The headline on screen read: "IRS Hearing Showdown; Probe In Danger After Chaotic Hearing." CBS This Morning co-host Charlie Rose similarly declared: "A congressional investigation into the IRS may be stalled this morning because of partisan bickering."
On Wednesday morning, Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA) had a heated discussion with Congressman Elijah Cummings (D-MD) during the most recent hearing on the IRS’ targeting of conservative groups. Following the confrontation, the folks at MSNBC rushed to defend the Maryland Democrat and condemn the Republican for ending the hearing after former IRS agent Lois Lerner refused to testify.
Appearing on the March 6 Jansing & Co., host Chris Jansing and Democratic strategist Angela Rye teamed up to criticize Congressman Issa, with the MSNBC host beginning the segment by asking Republican strategist Joe Watkins, “As a Republican…do you wish Congressman Issa had handled that differently?”
Lois Lerner, the IRS figure at the center of the Tea Party targeting scandal, once again pleaded the Fifth on Wednesday before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. In more than 20 minutes of testimony the former director of IRS exempt organizations refused to answer Committee Chairman Darrell Issa on nine different occasions. The hearing also ended with a bit of fireworks between Issa and Democratic Congressman Elijah Cummings.
So now that networks have dramatic footage of a government official repeatedly taking the Fifth and a heated clash between congressmen, will they actually report on the IRS scandal? [Video after the jump]
Media Research Center President Brent Bozell appeared on Fox News’ “The Kelly File” last night and condemned the media for its continued blackout of the IRS’ targeting of conservative groups. Bozell’s comments came after Lois Lerner, the IRS official at the center of the scandal, was recalled by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to answer questions related to her involvement in the targeting of conservative organizations.
We know that the person that was put in charge of this investigation turns out to be an Obama donor, a clear conflict of interest. And now Lois Lerner, who is at the center of all this, says she will testify if she’s given immunity from federal prosecution, and these liberals are saying there isn’t a scandal?” proclaimed Bozell. [See video below.]
Even leftist groups like the ACLU and Sierra Club are worried about being crushed by the IRS, but the Big Three networks (ABC, CBS, NBC) aren’t telling their viewers about it. The comment period for new IRS rules, that would regulate political speech of groups on the left and right, ends on Thursday and it turns out the left is now fearing they will join the Tea Party in being targeted out of existence by the IRS.
On Tuesday, in an opinion piece headlined Liberals vs. the IRS, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) observed that: “The media have remained quiet about the IRS targeting of conservative nonprofit groups and even quieter about the proposed IRS rule to restrict their political speech.” The editorial writers then pondered: “Maybe our colleagues will snap out of their slumber now that the objections are coming from liberals.” The resounding answer to that question from ABC, CBS and NBC is NO.
On Wednesday the House Ways and Means Committee released new emails proving that former IRS executive Lois Lerner secretly helped craft, with Treasury officials, new rules that would make it easier to crack down on conservative groups like the Tea Party. These new rules were being written in 2012, at the height of the IRS’s targeting of the Tea Party.
So far the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) networks have yet to mention this latest IRS scandal bombshell on their evening or morning shows.
On Monday's PoliticsNation on MSNBC, during a discussion of FNC host Bill O'Reilly's interview with President Barack Obama, MSNBC host Al Sharpton and Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank dismissed the possibility of Obama administration wrongdoing in the IRS and Benghazi scandals.
After linking the IRS commissioner's many White House visits to ObamaCare, Milbank deceptively asserted that President Obama had labelled the Benghazi attack as "terrorism" the day after it happened when, in reality, the President blamed the attack on an anti-Muslim video on YouTube rather than a premeditated attack by an organized terrorist group. Milbank:
George Will zinged the media’s duplicity in how they have approached the IRS scandal versus past major scandals when a Republican was President, a lack of interest President Obama recognizes and, “hence, his sense of weariness and boredom as he discussed this with Bill O’Reilly.”
Will, on Bret Baier’s FNC panel Monday night, recalled “three big” scandals “regarding the distortion and abuse of institutions: Watergate, Iran-Contra and the IRS,” noting “the first two were ravenously covered by the media; they were Republican Presidents’ problems.”
The Minority Leader of the United States Senate appeared on The Kelly File, Wednesday night, to announce a push back against the IRS’s latest attempt, via new rules, to silence conservative groups. Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) network reaction? Silence. Not a single network morning show, on Thursday, reported on the latest charges from Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Appearing on the January 29 edition of FNC’s The Kelly File, McConnell told host Megan Kelly about the proposed regulations: “Megyn, they’re now initiating a new rule through the Treasury Department in the IRS to quiet the voices of outside groups. It is called a c4, and what they’re gonna do is redefine what outside groups can do in a way to silence the voices of conservative critics.” (video after the jump)
David Remnick of The New Yorker showed up on PBS’s Charlie Rose Monday night to discuss his long, mostly sympathetic profile of Barack Obama from the January 27 issue of the magazine. Near the end of the interview, Rose focused in on the president’s reported desire to be “big.” The host wondered, “[W]hat's his definition of 'big,' and does he believe in his deep recesses of his own mind that the chance of that has slipped away?”
Remnick replied that no, Obama does not think his chance of being “big” has slipped away. The editor then rattled off a laundry list of Obama achievements that might be considered hallmarks of a “big” – meaning “great” – president. Among them were these two gems: [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
We at NewsBusters have demonstrated over the years that the liberal media are all too eager to flog Republican scandals to death while ignoring or downplaying Democratic scandals. MSNBC contributor Jonathan Alter provided a case study of that bias during an appearance on Sunday’s episode of Disrupt with Karen Finney.
While discussing Chris Christie’s bridge controversy, Alter brought up the Obama administration’s IRS scandal. Said Alter to the host, a former Democratic National Committee communications director: [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
CBS finally ended its almost six-month long ban on the IRS-Tea Party investigation to announce to its viewers, on Tuesday’s CBS This Morning, that the FBI is not expected to “file criminal charges” and has yet to find “proof of political bias.”
However in the time since CBS last reported on the scandal on July 24, they have censored bombshells in the investigation like: Rep. Darrell Issa accusing the FBI of stonewalling; the discovery of e-mails by IRS officials sent both to the FEC and the White House; and most recently the announcement of an Obama donor being named in charge of the Justice Department investigation. (video after the jump)
In less than 48 hours, ABC, CBS and NBC deluged viewers with coverage of Chris Christie's traffic jam scandal, devoting a staggering 88 minutes to the story. In comparison, these same news outlets over the last six months have allowed a scant two minutes for the latest on Barack Obama's Internal Revenue Service scandal. The disparity in less than two days is 44-to-one. [See a chart below.]
From Wednesday through Friday morning, the latest on Christie's Traffic-Gate led 11 out of 13 news programs. NBC produced the heaviest coverage, over 34 minutes. CBS followed close behind with more than 30 minutes. ABC came in third with just under 23 minutes.
In the competition for most obvious Obama administration apparatchik at the Los Angeles Times (i.e., the biggest tool in the toolbox), Doyle McManus has to be considered a front-runner.
As I noted on Tuesday (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), McManus, in a Sunday column, contended that "President Obama has run into his share of controversies, but none that quite reached scandalhood." He even petulantly asked, "Does anyone even remember the IRS flap?" McManus was apparently so unconcerned about being seen as inconsistent that he didn't bother telling readers that he held exactly opposite positions on at least two Obama administration "scandals" — that's what he called them – just eight months ago (HT to frequent commenter Gary Hall).
After months of stonewalling the Justice Department finally named someone to head the investigation into the IRS-Tea Party scandal - and it's an Obama donor. So far ABC, CBS and NBC have yet to mention what Darrell Issa called “a startling conflict of interest.” In fact the Big Three networks have almost completely stopped covering the IRS scandal investigation altogether.
Since July 1, ABC, CBS and NBC have devoted a total of just 2 minutes and 8 seconds to the IRS imbroglio.
In less than 24 hours, the big three networks have devoted 17 times more coverage to a traffic scandal involving Chris Christie than they've allowed in the last six months to Barack Obama's Internal Revenue Service controversy. Since the story broke on Wednesday that aides to the New Jersey governor punished a local mayor's lack of endorsement with a massive traffic jam, ABC, CBS and NBC have responded with 34 minutes and 28 seconds of coverage. Since July 1, these same networks managed a scant two minutes and eight seconds for the IRS targeting of Tea Party groups.
In contrast, journalists such as Good Morning America's George Stephanopoulos pounced on the developing Christie story. The GMA host opened the program on Thursday by announcing, "Chris Christie in crisis. Calls at this hour for the feds to step in, investigate the explosive e-mails." [See a video montage below. MP3 audio here.]
Los Angeles Times columnists have produced several delusional doozies in the past few days.
One of the more hysterical came from Doyle McManus on Sunday ("The president's hump year; The sixth year is often tough, but Obama could triumph"). While acknowledging that "The public's initial romance with the president has faded" and that "events are in charge now," he backhandedly described Obama's presidency thus far as scandal-free. Really (HT to frequent commenter Gary Hall):
On special edition of MSNBC's PoliticsNation on Monday in which a panel of MSNBC regulars selected awards for the year 2013, MSNBC contributor Joy Reid asserted that the "Knockout Game" was the "most overrated story of the year," as she complained that conservatives "went absolutely ballistic" and "wanted[ed] to stoke issues of race."
MSNBC contributor Jimmy Williams then brought up the IRS scandal in which conservative organizations were given closer scrutiny before the 2012 elections, with Williams charging, "Ain't nothing there. Never was, never will be," and with fellow panel member Krystal Ball chiming in that "It's not even a scandal."
Well, it's not perfect, but it's a start — and it's certainly a far cry from what President Obama is now willing to admit.
In his report Tuesday on the congressional hearing for John Koskinen, Obama's nominee to be the next IRS Commissioner, Stephen Ohlemacher of the Associated Press wrote that Koskinen "told senators Tuesday he will work to restore public trust in the agency in the wake of the tea party scandal even as the IRS takes on new responsibilities administering the president's health care law." That's a remarkable admission, given that the word "scandal" does not appear in Koskinen's prepared remarks, and of course given that Obama's current opinion of what is better described as the "IRS conservative targeting scandal" is that it isn't one ("they’ve got a list, and suddenly everybody’s outraged"). As nice as it is that he used the "S-word," Ohlemacher's dispatch still contained serious oversights, including his failure to cite the change in Obama's public stance since May and his contention that no one outside the IRS knew of its targeting efforts until then.
The ongoing effort to insulate President Barack Obama from the negative consequences of his "signature achievement," not only with the HealthCare.gov web site but also his false "If you like your plan-doctor-provider, you can keep your plan-doctor-provider" guarantees, is a sickening sight to behold.
Reid Epstein at the Politico contributed one small chapter in that exercise. He decided to "report" on the portion of the President's interview with MSNBC sycophant Chris Matthews (some related NewsBusters posts are here, here, and here) concerning whether Obama's "management style" contributed to "problems with the Obamacare rollout." The predictable answers: Of course not, he doesn't need to change anything, and there's no reason why a reporter should even be the least bit skeptical. Oh, and it's really all Congress's fault (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
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.
Five months after dropping coverage of the Internal Revenue Service scandal, ABC's Good Morning America on Wednesday finally found time to allow a few seconds to mention the targeting of conservatives. CBS and NBC on Tuesday and Wednesday both ignored the fact that the Obama administration is doubling down and now attempting to rein in non-profit groups.
GMA's Josh Elliott blandly noted, "In the wake of the IRS targeting scandal, the Obama administration wants to limit the political influence of tax-exempt groups." He added that the White House is seeking to create new "donation standards to curb the explosive growth in political spending." Elliott added, "The IRS has been accused of unfairly scrutinizing groups affiliated with the Tea Party." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
The latest and greatest Obama scandal is the disastrous Obamacare rollout, but it has something in common with all the others (besides Obama knew nothing). Some journalists are still brazenly trying to deny against all evidence that this scandal has any substance at all.
The same people who freaked out over President Bush's one sentence in one State of the Union speech that Saddam Hussein sought uranium in Africa are now making excuses for Obama saying everywhere, endlessly, "If you like your insurance plan, you will keep it. No one will be able to take that away from you." To them, that's not lying -- blatantly, repeatedly, shamelessly. He simply "misspoke," claimed the New York Times editorial page.
On October 31 theWashington Examiner’s Paul Bedard reported the following: “The Internal Revenue Service shared highly confidential tax information of several Tea Party groups in the IRS scandal with the Federal Election Commission, a clear violation of federal law, according to newly obtained emails. The public watchdog group Judicial Watch told Secrets Thursday that it was former scandal boss Lois Lerner who shared the information on groups including the American Future Fund and the American Issues Project.’”
So far none of the Big Three (ABC, NBC, CBS) networks have reported the latest IRS scandal finding. In fact, they’ve stopped reporting on the IRS scandal altogether.
On October 9The Blaze reported the following: “Sarah Hall Ingram, the Internal Revenue Service official who used to head the office directly involved in the targeting of conservative groups, may have shared confidential taxpayer information with White House officials, according to 2012 emails uncovered by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Ingram, who now heads the IRS’s Obamacare enforcement division, counseled senior White House officials on how to deal with a lawsuit from religious groups opposed to the Obamacare contraception mandate.”
So far ABC, CBS and NBC have yet to report on the latest IRS scandal disclosure. In fact they’ve stopped reporting on the IRS scandal altogether. It’s been 106 days since ABC last mentioned the IRS targeting scandal, way back on June 26. NBC hasn’t touched the story in 105 days and CBS last did an IRS story 77 days ago on July 24.
On October 1 theWashington Times reported that Dr. Ben Carson revealed he had his first ever encounter with the IRS after he delivered a speech critical of public policy in front of Barack Obama at the National Prayer Breakfast back in February. So far ABC, CBS and NBC have yet to report on this stunning revelation. In fact they’ve stopped reporting on the IRS scandal altogether.
It’s been 99 days since ABC last mentioned the IRS targeting scandal, way back on June 26. NBC hasn’t touched the story in 98 days and CBS last did an IRS story 70 days ago on July 24.
As Brent Bozell at NewsBusters noted earlier today, news of the forced retirement of the IRS's Lois Lerner, the agency's chief orchestrator of the campaign which targeted tea party and other conservative groups for extra scrutiny in their applications for not-for-profit status, "was censored by ABC, CBS, and NBC."
In what may surprise some, that lack of coverage didn't occur because of the Associated Press. Stephen Ohlemacher's story was mostly well-done, with two significant exceptions.
Tuesday's Today show didn't even mention the retirement of Lois Lerner, the IRS official at the center of the Tea Party targeting scandal, but it aired two full segments on President Obama talking about his old smoking habit.
"The President caught on an open mic bragging to a fellow world leader about finally beating the smoking habit," political director Chuck Todd started his report. He pointed out Obama's inconsistency with the facts in saying he hadn't smoked in six years, by noting that the President confessed in 2009 to giving into his habit.