According to a report by Tim Cavanaugh, news editor of National Review Online, the Federal Communications Commission “has pulled the plug on its plan to conduct an intrusive probe of newsrooms” as part of a “Critical Information Needs” survey of local media markets.
FCC spokesperson Shannon Gilson issueda news release that indicated in the course of the commission's review and public comment, “concerns were raised that some of the questions may not have been appropriate. Chairman [Tom] Wheeler agreed that survey questions in the study directed toward media outlet managers, news directors, and reporters overstepped the bounds of what is required” for the pilot study in Columbia, South Carolina.
An essay posted in October by Linda Tirado entitled “Why I Make Terrible Decisions, or, Poverty Thoughts” describing her struggles as a woman with virtually no income was picked up by the liberal Huffington Post and then went viral, drawing more than four million people to read her claim that she is “a poor person,” and “that is all I am or ever will be.”
However, an investigation by Angelica Leicht for the Houston Press discovered that the blog post’s author is a private-school-educated Democratic activist who wildly exaggerated her circumstances. She owns a home as the result of her parents’ generosity, has worked in politics since 2004 and has called herself a private political consultant since 2010.
Does L.A. Times reporter Michael Hiltzik read the news? Apparently not, since he penned one of the most lapdog press-worthy articles praising the IRS to bubble to the surface in the wake of the news that it targeted conservative Americans. Hiltzik’s column published in the May 25 Business section labeled the targeting as “supposed,” noted that for a small budget – the IRS does a pretty “good job.”
“Showing some love after the ‘witch-hunt,” Hiltzik insinuates that the current fiasco is rather peripheral since the IRS has done such a great job collecting revenue throughout its history. He noted that the changes made back in the Clinton administration, which shifted the agency from enforcement to a greater focus on treating the taxpayers like customers, is the epicenter of the trouble caused two administrations later. Hiltzik also lamented a that the shift away from enforcement led to a “brain drain” within the agency, and that real criminals, tax evaders, were left to operate freely. As for the bipartisan outrage over the scandal, Hiltzik wrote: