MSNBC is well-known for excusing the failures of President Obama, usually by blaming Republican “obstructionism” for Obama’s faltering agenda. If that doesn’t work, they will pretend that the Obama administration is free from guilt regarding any criticism it may receive, essentially living in denial.
Take the Monday May 13 edition of Now w/ Alex Wagner when Time magazine assistant managing editor Rana Foroohar ridiculously asserted in light of the IRS/Tea Party scandal that, “What’s so sad about it is the president has been very rightfully proud of the lack of scandal in his administration so far.” [See video after jump. MP3 audio here.]
Foroohar’s bizarre analysis didn’t stop there with her doubling down on her fallacy:
I mean if you think about it, an $800 billion stimulus package. No opponents could find no evidence of graft there. There's been no major scandals around top aides.
Foroohar likes to consider herself a serious journalist but her claim that there have been “no major scandals around top aides” and there has been “lack of scandal in this administration so far” is laughable. Does Foroohar not remember the Fast and Furious Scandal involving which resulted in Attorney General Eric Holder being held in contempt of Congress? Or what about the White House denying increased security for our outpost in Benghazi last year that left fourAmericans including the first Ambassador in over thirty years to be murdered? Or what about the guaranteed loan the Obama administration gave to Solyndra, which subsequently declared bankruptcy?
What about Obama's car czar, Steve Rattner -- now a fixture on MSNBC's Morning Joe -- who was banned from trading on Wall Street due to his financial misdealings?
Apparently to Foroohar those weren't scandals at all.
Even worse, rather than challenge Foroohar’s ridiculous comments, fill-in host Joy-Ann Reid seemed to agree with Foroohar and added in another liberal bogeyman, George W. Bush:
Well you know what, and I think the response back in 2004, Bob [Herbert], when the IRS not investigated to allow a 501(c)4, but actually audited the NAACP because the head of the NAACP made some statements against George W. Bush, I remember the outrage and the firings over there were oh, wait a minute, there were no outrage and there were no firings. Something went wrong there. So we've had these scandals before. Where were the Republicans in 2004?
What’s hilarious here is that Foroohar isn’t the first journalist to claim that Obama is scandal free. As my NewsBusters colleague Tim Graham pointed out, NPR’s Steve Inskeep made the same ridiculous assertion on Morning Edition on May 13 as well. Foroohar’s revisionist history is to be expect of an MSNBC host, but for someone who calls herself a serious journalist, she should hold herself to higher standards from now on.
See relevant transcript below.
Now w/ Alex Wagner
May 13, 2013
12:43 p.m. Eastern
BARACK OBAMA: This is pretty straightforward. If in fact IRS personnel engaged in the kind of practices that have been reported on, and were intentionally targeting conservative groups, then that's outrageous. And there's no place for it and they have to be held fully accountable.
JOY-ANN REID: That was President Obama reacting to reports that IRS employees singled out conservative political groups for extra scrutiny prior to the 2012 election. And joining the panel now is assistant managing editor for "Time" magazine, Rana Foroohar. Rana thank you for being here. I want to start with you, Jay Carney spoke to this issue of the IRS, and this was actually local officials in the Cincinnati office of the IRS, that were looking at groups that were sending in applications to be 50(c)4’s. And he said the IRS is an independent enforcement agency with only two political appointees. Does seem to be based on what we’ve seen inappropriate action we’d want to see thoroughly investigated. Now when he says these two political appointees, he means the general counsel of the IRS and the commissioner who is really the boss. Doug Shulman was that person during this time period. He of course a Republican, a George Bush appointee. Is there a credible way to charge that the administration somehow influenced a Republican George Bush appointee to somehow scuttle the attempts of Tea Party groups to become 501(c)4s?
RANA FOROOHAR: Well, look it's a great question, and I think that the jury still out on what happened. I think that the president's comments were absolutely accurate. And my colleague Joe Klein has a great piece on Time.com about this whole issue. What’s so sad about it is the president has been very rightfully proud of the lack of scandal in his administration so far. I mean if you think about it, an $800 billion stimulus package. No opponents could find no evidence of graft there. There's been no major scandals around top aides. But we do need to get to the bottom of this. And it is kind of a cut-and-dry thing. Whoever is responsible should be fired.
REID: Well you know what, and I think the response back in 2004, Bob, when the IRS not investigated to allow a 501(C)4, but actually audited the NAACP because the head of the NAACP made some statements against George W. Bush, I remember the outrage and the firings over there were oh, wait a minute, there were no outrage and there were no firings. Something went wrong there. So we've had these scandals before. Where were the Republicans in 2004?
BOB HERBERT: Well we know that everyone will play politics with this sort of thing. I think both sides would. But the problem with politics here, though, is that when you're talking about the IRS, you're talking about the heart and soul of Americans' faith in the governmental processes. And so the president has to just come down or he really needs to come down hard on this issue. I mean we need an investigation. Let it lead to wherever it goes and then the people who are responsible, they have to, they have to be fired. And if there were any violations of law here, people have to be prosecuted.