Forget the Department of Justice surveillance. Associated Press is actually writing about “alleged scandals” and “alleged misbehavior” when it reports on Obama. Somehow we’re not going to take it seriously when former AP employees like Ron Fournier have predicted the AP surveillance was going to make the wire service turn critical of the White House.
Tom Raum is still barking with what George Will called “the tinny arf of a lapdog.” His story “Improving economy changes political landscape” foreacasts economic blue skies for Barack:
WASHINGTON (AP) - Alleged misbehavior by the Internal Revenue Service and other federal agencies gives the GOP something else to talk about and investigate as the economy clearly, if slowly, recovers on President Barack Obama's watch, robbing Republicans of a central argument against Democrats.
Amid a series of recent positive economic reports, the GOP is revving up its portrayal of the Obama administration as scandal-ridden and inept, while largely abandoning the party's where-is-the-recovery criticism.
Republicans had little choice, given that the economy has gained considerable strength over the past 18 months. Today, the federal budget deficit is shrinking rapidly and tax receipts are rising. Consumer confidence and spending are up, as are auto and housing sales. Stocks are near all-time highs.
Perhaps AP should stand for Alleged Press. If I say, punched an AP reporter in the face, would he write it was "alleged misbehavior" or would it be have the common sense to describe it as misbehavior? No one's claiming that the DOJ never acquired AP's phone records, or that no one unfairly investigated Tea Party groups at the IRS.
After a few paragraphs, Raum concedes the "alleged" ethical problems could become a “compelling issue” in light of Obama’s 2008 pledge to restore confidence in government:
There's "no question" that the alleged scandals are taking the attention of many politicians away from economic concerns, said Douglas Holtz-Eakin, a former director of the Congressional Budget Office and top economic adviser to Republican Sen. John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign.
AP even recruited Stanley Collender to allege that Congress doesn’t have the brains to chew gum and walk at the same time, so it’s going to waste time on scandals:
For now, the three controversies plaguing the administration are consuming most of the political oxygen in Washington. "Congress basically can't walk and chew gum at the same time, so they'll focus on these scandal things for a while longer," said veteran budget analyst Stanley Collender.
Perhaps Collender should be asked by Congress if an AP reporter gas enough brains to find more than an “alleged scandal” when someone’s tracking his colleagues' home phone calls.