There have been a number of new revelations this week in the ever expanding scope of the IRS scandal. However, even with so many developments in the investigation of this egregious scandal, there was extremely limited coverage of the unfolding of this affair in the morning news of many more liberal stations like ABC, NBC, and CBS. In contrast, Fox News devoted almost 15 minutes in their programming on Thursday morning’s Fox & Friends show to enlighten the public of all of the new information in the scandal.
The only other station to provide any coverage of the IRS controversy this morning was CBS News, who barely covered it at all. The network devoted all of 50 seconds to covering the controversy on CBS This Morning while also airing a few minutes on their show Up to the Minute, which airs at 3 a.m. Eastern. You can ask CBS for verification, but I do not think their viewership numbers for that show are too incredibly high.
In addition to playing numerous clips of the committee proceedings and testimony, Brian Kilmeade, a cohost on the show, interviewed a Fox Business Network correspondent by the name of Charles Gasparino about his thoughts about the general lack of accountability that was being shown by the IRS officials and the President concerning the issue.
Here are the new developments in the scandal that Today and Good Morning America refused to cover:
>Wednesday afternoon, a number of current and former IRS officials, including former chiefs Doug Shulman and Steve Miller and the woman at the center of it all Lois Lerner, were called to testify before the House Oversights Committee to answer questions about their involvement in the affair.
>At the beginning of the hearing, Lerner read a previously prepared statement claiming her constitutional right against self-incrimination through the 5th Amendment. However, she went on to state her side of the story by telling the committee that she had “not done anything wrong … not broken any laws … not violated any IRS rules or regulation and … not provided false information to this or any other congressional committee.” [Link to the audio here]
>Later, the others, Shulman in particular, did an excellent job of answering the committee’s questions without actually providing any useful information on the issue and even seemed to claim an ailing memory when all else failed. When he confronted with the fact that he had visited the White House 118 times during his tenure and asked if, during those visits, he ever discussed the Tea Party targeting scheme during those visits, he answered that he did not and said that he visited the White House for such events as the Easter Egg Roll.
>Many of the congressmen sitting on the committee did not feel that these answers were adequate or even true, even though the IRS officials were under oath. In fact, a large group of them, led by Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), believed that by provider her side of the story, Lerner had actually waived her right not to testify, an issue to be decided later today.
For reference, the transcript of the Gasparino interview is provided below:
Fox & Friends
May 23, 2013
7:16 a.m. Eastern
BRIAN KILMEADE: The woman at the center of the IRS scandal appearing before Congress yesterday. She was asked for the accounting of what really happened, but instead of answering, she takes the fifth.
LOIS LERNER: I have not done anything wrong. I have not broken any laws. I have not violated any IRS rules or regulations and I have not provided false information to this or any other congressional committee.
KILMEADE: She makes the statement then takes the fifth. But don't we all have a right to know what the IRS is doing? Aren't we paying them with taxpayer dollars? And aren't we horrified, all of us, that they're targeting any groups, let alone conservative groups? And in this case conservative groups tomorrow might be progressive groups. Charles Gasparino, what does that reveal to you after watching these series of hearings?
CHARLES GASPARINO: That was bizarre. I mean, I don't know how you get away with taking the fifth after you start defending yourself. If this was a court of law you'd be held in contempt or something like that; it is a congressional panel. They should bring her back and hold her in some sort of contempt and get her to fess up here who knew what, where. What I think is really scary about this is it shows you how bad and how insane big government is. The guys on the top starting with the president, we don't know what happened down here. It shows you, if you were out there and you voted for this president and his economic agenda, how unaccountable it is because he wants this big government where he doesn't have to account for anything.
KILMEADE: I’ll tell you what Charles; these CEOs, Chiefs of staff, vice presidents get fired every day when their divisions don’t perform and if they ever said something like I didn’t have anything to do with it.
GASPARINO: If I was contrasting what the president what the head of the IRS is saying, with what Jamie diamond, of JP Morgan Chase. He had kind of a scandal, a problem of trading in his London office. Guess what he said. He said the buck stops with me; it’s my fault; I’m the CEO of a very big company; it stops with me. The president should say that; the head of the IRS should say that because what people demand out of big government: they do demand accountability. We're getting none of that now.
KILMEADE: And what I learned too. The IRS reputation is one of unmoving, uncompromising, arrogant, condescending. That's what I'm getting from Shulman, from Steven Miller, and that's what I get from her.
GASPARINO: You know, as big and as unwieldy as some big businesses like banks are, they are accountable. And here’s the problem and what people have to get their hands around. When you have government that's this big, it’s accountable to no one. Bureaucrats run the show. If you’re an average citizen out there and you want big government, remember the person that you deal with, the person who controls your life, is a bureaucrat.