The Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) networks have colluded with the Obama administration to censor the latest IRS scandal news. The latest: On September 17 theWashington Timesreported the following: “IRS employees were ‘acutely’ aware in 2010 that President Obama wanted to crack down on conservative organizations and were egged into targeting tea party groups by press reports mocking the emerging movement, according to an interim report being circulated Tuesday by House investigators.”
The report, by staffers for Rep. Darrell E. Issa, California Republican and chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, quoted two Internal Revenue Service officials saying the tea party applications were singled out in the targeting program that has the agency under investigation because ‘they were likely to attract media attention.’”
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.
If President Barack Obama is losing Al Hunt, there is definitely trouble in Lefty-land.
But let's not go too far. In the midst of leveling criticisms at Obama as "bordering on incompetence," the former host of CNN's Capital Gang and executive editor at Bloomberg News, who is now a Bloomberg View columnist and host of a Bloomberg TV's Political Capital Sunday news show, cited three examples of supposedly indisputable George W. Bush administration incompetence, none of which fits the description.
MSNBC host Alex Wagner appeared to tie Boston bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev to ObamaCare opposition and libertarianism on Wednesday’s Now, with liberal guests Jared Bernstein and Mark Potok taking part in the anti-conservative argument. Wagner suggested that ObamaCare “extremism would seem to be of a piece with this radicalized rhetoric” that influenced the terrorist Tsarnaev.
Bernstein, a former economic adviser to Vice President Joe Biden, argued that one “could draw a line” connecting the terrorist attacks in Boston to “vehement opposition” to the president’s health care law. And Mark Potok, of the Southern Poverty Law Center, added:
Joe Scarborough has yet again scaled his soap box to mock those of us in the conservative blogosphere. He described us today as a bunch of "very stupid people" living in their mama's basement who write "really stupid things" about him.
The thin-skinned Scarborough has often derided his show's critics as Cheetos-chewing cellar-dwellers. He was at it again this morning, depicting them as people who if not in mama's basement would otherwise be wandering the streets in their pajamas. View the video after the jump.
CNN hasn't covered developments in the IRS targeting scandal for over a week, since correspondent Dana Bash claimed on July 25 there was "no evidence" the White House was involved.
State of the Union host Candy Crowley briefly mentioned the scandal on her July 28 show but said nothing of any new developments. In the last week, National Reviewreported e-mails that "suggest collusion" between IRS official Lois Lerner and an attorney for the Federal Election Commission to investigate a conservative group. CNN said nothing of the report.
The bad news just keeps on coming for the openly left-wing liberal MSNBC channel, which is now in fourth place behind Fox News Channel, CNN and HLN after losing 12 percent of its viewers from a year ago. CNN, meanwhile, had another strong month.
"It took the networks 13 days to run a single story" on the fact that Obama-appointed IRS chief counsel William Wilkins was "getting direct reports" on the IRS's review of conservative/Tea Party applications for 501(c)(3) status, NewsBusters publisher and Media Research Center (MRC) founder Brent Bozell told Blaze TV's Andrew Wilkow on the Tuesday edition of his Wilkow! program. Likewise, it took 15 days for the mainstream media to get around to covering the Obama/Holder Justice Department was "refusing to investigate any government employees who were improperly accessing tax records."
"This goes on and on and on. These are all breaking news stories that are leading to one of the largest scandals in modern American history where the most feared arm of government is completely abusing its rights, and it looks like it's coming from the Obama administration, and there's no coverage," Bozell concluded. [watch the full segment below the page break]
Who knew that merely getting just over six dozen people together to support having Iowa "expand Medicaid under President Barack Obama's health care overhaul" would earn coverage from the Associated Press -- and then be treated as some kind of groundswell of support?
Well, it did. The item involved, complete with a headline which makes it appears if some kind of poll might have gauged Iowans' sentiments on the topic -- the better to deceive those who only see the headline -- follows the jump (posted in full because of its brevity; HT Instapundit):
Has Glenn Thrush at the Politico thrown up the white flag on Democrats regaining control of the House until 2022, the first election cycle after the next wave of congressional and statehouse redistricting? If so, he clearly underestimates Republicans' ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, but I digress.
It would appear that Thrush has thrust himself into the throes of despair, based on the bolded sentence seen after the jump from his Friday report on how 2010 losses of control of the U.S. House and especially control of so many statehouses and state legislatures "still haunt" Dear Leader Barack Obama:
Former Governor Ed Rendell (D-Pa.) drifted a bit too far off MSNBC’s pro-Obama message on Thursday’s Now with Alex Wagner, receiving a strong left-wing rebuke after suggesting that President Obama should be willing to compromise with Republicans on upcoming budgetary battles.
MSNBC contributor Joy Reid likened Republicans to terrorists, claiming that the president’s situation is like “when somebody is threatening to bomb the stadium.” Reid rejected Rendell’s call for bipartisanship, instead pushing her offensive analogy even further:
[UPDATED BELOW] CNN's New Day used Rep. Steve King's controversial remarks on illegal immigrants to paddle the GOP and hint that bigotry is partly behind opposition to the immigration bill. King had said that for every "valedictorian" illegal immigrant, 100 more are drug smugglers.
"But it's important that he [King] said it, because this is what it's about on some level," said New Day co-host Chris Cuomo on Thursday, as if to expose some Republicans as closet bigots. "There are people who believe this and that's something they have to deal with because they keep making up reasons why they don't like the bill." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
MSNBC host Joe Scarborough has been making some fairly conservative arguments on his program as of late. On Thursday’s Morning Joe, for instance, he took his liberal guests to task, blasting Politico’s Jim VandeHei and The New York Time’s Steve Rattner for characterizing the House GOP as a do-nothing, radical conference.
Scarborough insisted that Republicans have stood for the same principles “for 100 years,” while dismantling the relentless claim from liberals that the current House of Representatives is the most extreme in American history:
Michael Tomasky lambasted House Speaker John Boehner on The Daily Beast Wednesday for Boehner’s recent comment that Republicans should be judged on how many laws they repeal, not how many new ones they pass. The special correspondent summed up his feelings in the article’s sub-headline: "This is unprecedented, irresponsible, and terrifying.”
And why was Boehner’s statement “terrifying?” Because it was a sign of Republicans’ embrace of dysfunction. Apparently the function of Congress is to pass never-ending rafts of new, government-growing legislation:
Unequivocally liberal MSNBC host Chris Hayes took an underhanded jab at Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachman by comparing her career to the Titan Arum, the world’s largest species of flower which is housed at the U.S. Botanical Garden in Washington D.C. The flower, which only blooms once every few years, gives off an odor that is “oddly like rotting flesh.” After being in bloom for a few days, “the flower will then begin to collapse in on itself, embarking on a trajectory very similar to Michele Bachmann’s congressional career," Hayes cynically remarked.
Since the announcement of Bachmann’s retirement on May 29, the liberal media have had a field day mocking her Tea Party brand of conservatism. Fellow MSNBC host Al Sharpton hosted a liberal panel on his show to ridicule Bachmann on the same day that a Morning Joe panel devoted a segment solely to lambasting Bachmann as a “fringe” “celebrity politician” who will soon be irrelevant. In fact, my NewsBusters colleague Geoffrey Dickens compiled a Top 10 list of anti-Bachmann quotes.
On the June 15 Evening News, reporter Elizabeth Palmer noted that all the candidates in the Iranian presidential election had been "very conservative" and all of them met the approval of the country's Islamic theocrats. "In U.S. terms, it was as if all the candidates for the presidency came from the Tea Party," Palmer explained to viewers at home.
After watching that clip on the June 20 "Media Mash" segment of FNC's Hannity, NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell lashed out at Palmer's attack on conservative Americans. Palmer, Bozell noted, was "equating the Tea Party, that at its essence believes in freedom with a movement that at its epicenter is totalitarianism." "If that isn't character assassination, I don't know what is," the Media Research Center founder concluded. [watch the full Media Mash segment below the page break; thanks to MRCTV's Bob Parks for putting the video together]
"I am sick and tired of not getting answers from my government when my government is abusing my freedoms," NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell told the crowd at yesterday's Tea Party Patriots-organized "Audit the IRS" rally outside the U.S. Capitol. "It is time to tell this nation's top cop, Attorney General Eric Holder, it's time to go. Fire Eric Holder!" the Media Research Center founder and president added to cries of "Fire Eric Holder!" from the crowd.
Closing his brief remarks, Bozell also asked rally participants to thank the few media outlets that had showed up for doing so, but then to demand that "the national news media that have been aiding and abetting this censorship" of the IRS scandal to "do their jobs" and "report the story." [video follows page break]
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.
Instead of showing endless loops of IRS employees wasting taxpayer dollars line-dancing -- Breaking news: Government employees waste millions of your dollars every single day! -- I think it would be more useful for the public to hear a few crucial facts about the exploding scandal at the Internal Revenue Service.
At Tuesday's congressional hearings on the IRS, witnesses provided shocking details about the agency's abuse of conservative groups.
On May 27, Nicholas Confessore and Michael Luo at the New York Times filed a ridiculously incoherent, ignorant and biased report on Tea Party groups' attempts to have their organizations approved for tax-exempt status. The story's window title: "Non-Profit Applcants Chafing at IRS Tested Political Limits." The actual print edition title (Page A1, of course): "Groups Targeted by I.R.S. Tested Rules on Politics." The headlines give the impression that Tea Party groups deliberately tried to test the boundaries of legality.
The pair's content also betrayed more than a little ignorance of the rules governing campaign finance, electioneering, and literature distribution. Among those interviewed for the story was Tom Zawistowski, Portage County TEA Party Executive Director. Zawistowski took great exception to their writeup in an email he distributed on Saturday (bolds are mine; additional paragraph breaks added by me):
Time magazine's Michael Grunwald got to thinking about how to end IRS abuse of power when it comes to reviewing applications for tax-exempt status. But somewhere along the line he opted for the ol' liberal standby: more TAXES!
In his commentary piece, "One Nation, Tax Exempt," Grunwald held out the idea of completely eliminating tax-exempt status for non-profits:
As MSNBC's Al Sharpton hosted a panel on Wednesday's PoliticsNation to discuss Minnesota Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann's retirement, MSNBC analyst Karen Finney claimed that Bachmann never had an idea "that wasn't about hate or wasn't about being against something," while MSNBC analyst and former Pennsylvania Democratic Governor Ed Rendell similarly charged that historians will put her "in a group of people during this era who were just haters, who breeded hate and discontent."
After Sharpton introduced the panel by asking how history would treat Bachmann, Rendell replied:
On Wednesday May 29, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) announced that she will not seek reelection to Congress in 2014, and ever since the liberal media has had a field day mocking her political career. It appears the latest example of Bachmann-trashing has come from the Tampa Bay Times, which runs the liberally-skewed PolitiFact website, for having problems with their “Truth-O-Meter.”
In a piece published on Wednesday, Times staff writer Angie Drobnic Holan lambasted Bachmann for veering away from “verifiable fact.” At issue with Ms. Holan is the fact that PoliFact has labeled numerous statements by Ms. Bachmann has false or “Pants on Fire!” which according to the website, Ms. Bachman’s “first 13 ratings were False or Pants on Fire.” This article comes just two days after PolitiFact released a skewed study showing that Republicans were cited as dishonest three times as often as Democrats.
At the top of Wednesday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer seized on Congresswoman Michele Bachmann's decision not to seek re-election in 2014: "Breaking news. A bombshell announcement from Michele Bachmann. The Tea Party favorite says she won't seek another term in Congress....But with a swirl of controversy surrounding her, will that future include politics?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On ABC's Good Morning America, co-host George Stephanopoulos responded to the news by fretting that Bachmann not being in Congress "takes away a big target for Democrats." Correspondent Jon Karl agreed: "Oh, that's right, George. For some Democrats, Michele Bachmann was, really, target number one. She was the most high-profile and controversial leader of the Tea Party in the Congress."
Corrected from earlier*: On the May 16 Kudlow Report program on Fox Business Network, NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell hit the nail on the head, predicting that the media would quickly shift into the "Move On!" mode as they would start attacking Republicans as scandal-obsessed. The same evening on Fox News Channel's Hannity, Bozell noted how former CBS Evening News anchor Dan Rather was already using the Clinton scandal playbook and grousing that Republicans need to "move on."
Sure enough, a week later when the Media Research Center returned to Hannity for another "Media Mash" segment [watch the video embed below the page break], he had plenty of fresh material from the networks to illustrate how the liberal media are doing precisely that. After watching a montage of journalists complaining that Republicans may be guilty of "overreach" with their dogged pursuit of the IRS investigation, Bozell reminded guest host Eric Bolling that "this is the old game plan, which is":
Yesterday (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), I took apart Espo's claim that there is a "lack of evidence to date of wrongdoing close to the Oval Office" by showing that in at least five situations -- Fast and Furious, Benghazi, IRS targeting, AP phone snooping, and HHS's shaking down of insurance companies to fund ObamaCare promotions -- have all been known by people who directly report to the President, and are thus just one step away from him. On Sunday evening, the Wall Street Journal reported that in the case of the IRS targeting, it's a lot less than one step (bolds are mine):
While the the front page of today's Washington Post is actually reporting significant developments in two of Barack Obama's trifecta of scandals, the Washington Post Company-owned free tabloid the Express is busy lamenting if the president will ever get "A Break from the Storm?"
Perhaps, as "advisers say," he "should stage a major economic speech to drown out the noise[emphasis mine] of recent scandals," Express editors helpfully offered in a caption for their front-page photo illustration, which depicted a grimacing President Obama getting drenched in a downpour [see image below page break].
Jeffrey Lord at the American Spectator has reviewed the White House logs looking for a relationship between meetings listed there and the timeline found in the Inspector General's report on the targeting of Tea Party and conservative groups issued last Tuesday. Lord's work represents yet another example of alternative media scooping a lazy or negligent establishment press.
What Lord has found (single-page print version) is that President Barack Obama met with the President of the National Treasury Employees Union Colleen Kelley, on March 31, 2010. The NTEU is "the 150,000 member union that represents IRS employees along with 30 other separate government agencies." The Inspector General's report, blandly titled "Inappropriate Criteria Were Used to Identify Tax-Exempt Applications for Review," indicates that the IRS, in Lord's words, "set to work in earnest targeting the Tea Party and conservative groups around America" the very next day. Lord's work is a mandatory read-the-whole-thing item. Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine throughout this post):