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Poof: A Scandal Disappears. The press decides IRSís targeting of conservatives not newsworthy.
National Review ^ | 02/11/2014 | Mona Charen

Posted on 02/11/2014 5:36:26 AM PST by SeekAndFind

Remember the IRS scandal? It’s gone. Poof. So flaccid has press interest in the story become that President Obama made bold in an interview with Fox News to say that there was not a “smidgen of corruption” in the IRS’s conduct, and that the matter concerned only some “bone-headed decisions out of a local office.”

It requires terrific confidence in the passivity of the press to float the discredited “Cincinnati did it all” dodge since we know that IRS employees in that office were taking direction from Washington. We further know that IRS offices in California, Oklahoma, Washington, D.C., and other places have been identified as singling out groups with “tea party” or “patriot” in their names.

Obama’s confidence in the press is not misplaced. Despite juicy opportunities to delve into the story of government abusing its power, reporters have let the matter drop.

There was no “smoking gun” showing that Obama personally ordered the harassment of conservatives, some explain. Is that the standard? Because it seems that the press applied a different yardstick to Chris Christie. Well, there’s a “scandal attention cycle,” says the Columbia Journalism Review. To some extent that’s true. But there are different rules for Democrats, and particularly for Obama.

To review: When the behavior of the IRS was first revealed in May of 2013, the press furor was considerable. For a week or so, it was almost as if the press remembered how to cover the administration aggressively. The president was alarmed enough about the damaging story to hold a press conference. “If, in fact, IRS personnel engaged in the kind of practices that have been reported on and were intentionally targeting conservative groups,” he said, “then that is outrageous, and there is no place for it, and they have to be held fully accountable. . . . You should feel that way regardless of party.” He continued, “I have got no patience with it, I will not tolerate it, and we will make sure that we find out exactly what happened on this.”

Or not. Now it’s just “bone-headed decisions out of a local office.” This is tamely accepted. If it concerned just a local office, why did Obama fire the director of the IRS? Why did Lois Lerner plead the Fifth and resign? (Republicans on the House oversight committee erred by not granting her use immunity and questioning her intensely on what really happened. They could still do it.)

It was also a non-scandal when the Justice Department appointed an Obama donor to investigate the IRS. Nor did the press follow up on uncontested accounts of IRS employees leaking confidential taxpayer information — which is a felony. The donor list of the National Organization for Marriage was leaked by someone at the IRS to the Human Rights Campaign, a group that supports same-sex marriage.

Last week, Catherine Englebrecht, a small businesswoman from Texas who founded True the Vote and King Street Patriots, testified about her ordeal at the hands of the federal government. Though she had never been audited in her life before exercising her First Amendment rights, after she became politically active she was subject to personal and business audits by the IRS going back several years. Then the FBI came knocking to ask about someone who attended one of the meetings of the King Street Patriots. The IRS returned with an armamentarium of questions about True the Vote. Then OSHA showed up to examine her business with a fine-tooth comb. (They fined her $17,500.) Finally, the Englebrechts were graced with a visit from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.

Englebrecht’s experience should chill anyone concerned about government intimidation, overreach, arrogance, and abuse of power. But most of all it should alarm the press — supposedly the fierce guardians of the First Amendment. The press made Sandra Fluke a household name when she testified before a House subcommittee about the terrible injustice she would suffer if taxpayers did not purchase her contraceptives for her. Yet Catherine Englebrecht, an ordinary person merely attempting to join with other Americans in petitioning the government for redress of grievances, was hammered by a succession of powerful government agencies. Not even a bleat from the press about this flagrant assault on free speech.

It is an article of faith that agencies will operate in a strictly neutral and nonpartisan fashion when enforcing the law. If they become politicized, we’ve entered banana-republic territory. The press, by failing to beat the drums on this, is complicit in corruption that goes far beyond a “smidgen.”

— Mona Charen is a nationally syndicated columnist


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: irs; media; press; teaparty

1 posted on 02/11/2014 5:36:26 AM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

We entered banana republic territory some time ago.


2 posted on 02/11/2014 5:38:09 AM PST by TheConservator ("I spent my life trying not to be careless. Women and children can be careless, but not men.")
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To: SeekAndFind

The Marxist Media agrees with the tactic.

Pray America is Waking Up


3 posted on 02/11/2014 5:39:17 AM PST by bray (The Republic of Texas: www.braylog.com/id47.html)
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To: SeekAndFind

Come on... It’s not like he caused a traffic jam on a bridge or anything


4 posted on 02/11/2014 5:40:51 AM PST by Mr. K (If you like your constitution, you can keep it...Period.)
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To: SeekAndFind

I doubt German newspapers were keeping a running tally of how many Jews were being exterminated in the death camps either.


5 posted on 02/11/2014 5:41:53 AM PST by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: Mr. K

“Come on... It’s not like he caused a traffic jam on a bridge or anything”

Or, contrarily, closed down parks and concessionaires, or had armed men evict people from houses they owned.


6 posted on 02/11/2014 5:44:57 AM PST by lepton ("It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into"--Jonathan Swift)
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To: SeekAndFind
Starve the propaganda media out of existence.

watching their programs and supporting their sponsors keeps them alive.

7 posted on 02/11/2014 5:46:04 AM PST by oldbrowser (Obamacare is Obama's Great Leap Forward)
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To: Mr. K

Looks like that is a tactic the democrats are going to employ elswhere.

Here in Michigan they’re blaming the governor for a prison escape last week.


8 posted on 02/11/2014 5:46:05 AM PST by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: SeekAndFind

This article is completely wrong. The IRS scandal went away because the GOP ignored it. Nobody pays attention to those debate club hearings.

Obama lied about the IRS scandal in his Super Bowl interview. Boehner did nothing. Catherine Engelbrecht continues to be assaulted by her government. Boehner does nothing about it. He could engage the obama admin directly but chooses not to. Everytime time the GOP turns down the temp on an obama scandal it goes away.

There is no engaged opposition party in DC right now. It’s silly to blame the media for the GOPs lack of engagement and message.


9 posted on 02/11/2014 5:54:12 AM PST by lodi90
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To: SeekAndFind

The guard dogs of the fourth estate have turned into the Lap Dogs of the White House. We will have to wait until a Republican President is elected before their Hydrophobia returns.


10 posted on 02/11/2014 5:58:37 AM PST by Timocrat (Ingnorantia non excusat)
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To: lodi90

I don’t know about that. There is only so much that can be done by the house.

As much as we DETEST the GOP RINOs, we had better get out and vote and take the Senate. Unless we take over the Senate, nothing can bed changed.


11 posted on 02/11/2014 6:05:37 AM PST by Bryan24 (When in doubt, move to the right..........)
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To: SeekAndFind

The Democrats and the media act as if they will always have the White House...which could be true. Anyway, if a Republican administration were to do a small fraction of this there would be non-stop press coverage. Remember the contrived scandal over Valerie Plame?


12 posted on 02/11/2014 6:10:34 AM PST by Verginius Rufus
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To: Verginius Rufus

The Lame Plame thing was the biggest hoax ever told by the DNCmedia. Very successful even though it was a lie.


13 posted on 02/11/2014 6:16:12 AM PST by shelterguy
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To: shelterguy

The media is responsible for this IRS misuse as much as the POS they put in the white house. They elected him, twice, so they have to protect him. Even when the whitehouse began producing their own news, a province of the private media, they did not complain. Obvisously it made their job of pandering that much easier.


14 posted on 02/11/2014 6:25:53 AM PST by Mouton (The insurrection laws perpetuate what we have for a government now.)
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To: SeekAndFind
“That’s the good thing as a president. I can do whatever I want,” Mr. Obama said.

Mockingly spoken hours after yet another unlawful Obamacare dictate.

15 posted on 02/11/2014 6:31:29 AM PST by TexasCajun
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To: lodi90

If the House GOP didn’t let ANY business proceed until this was fully investigated to their and their constituents’ satisfaction,

we might see a news article or two.


16 posted on 02/11/2014 6:33:29 AM PST by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter admits whom he's working for)
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To: SeekAndFind

Because targeting conservatives is the right thing to do. :-)


17 posted on 02/11/2014 6:39:43 AM PST by Georgia Girl 2 (The only purpose of a pistol is to fight your way back to the rifle you should never have dropped.)
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To: shelterguy
Valerie Plame's husband, Joe Wilson, invented the theory that her name had been leaked to get back at him for supposedly disproving the Bush administration case against Saddam Hussein wanting nukes (he didn't prove or disprove anything by his trip to Niger), and the prosecutor just took Joe Wilson's claim as Gospel truth. The media thought they could use the story to destroy Dick Cheney so they treated it as a major scandal.

Leaking by a Democratic administration, on the other hand, is OK, whether it is to damage Linda Tripp or any critic of Obama.

18 posted on 02/11/2014 6:45:05 AM PST by Verginius Rufus
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To: oldbrowser

Starve the propaganda media out of existence.
watching their programs and supporting their sponsors keeps them alive.

Bingo! The liberal media is propping up the liberal agenda. Cut your cable. Buy local/generic whenever you can.

When you eat out, go to the local storefront restaurant instead of the national chain.

Buy the plain label product or local product instead of the national name brand.

The only way we can get the liberal media companies attention is to hit their bottom line.


19 posted on 02/11/2014 6:54:06 AM PST by joshua c (Please dont feed the liberals)
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To: Verginius Rufus

Oh, but Val was a “victim”. Yeah, right.


20 posted on 02/11/2014 7:16:09 AM PST by shelterguy
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To: SeekAndFind
The contemporary press has two directives:
21 posted on 02/11/2014 7:16:23 AM PST by Amagi (Lenin: "Socialized Medicine is the Keystone to the Arch of the Socialist State.")
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To: cripplecreek

Great point!


22 posted on 02/11/2014 7:21:35 AM PST by RandallFlagg ("I said I never had much use for one. Never said I didn't know how to use it." --Quigley)
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To: SeekAndFind

Well apparently so has the “opposition” party.


23 posted on 02/11/2014 7:23:40 AM PST by chris37 (Heartless.)
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To: SeekAndFind
When we get in office and stick the IRS on liberal groups to shore up our elections, I'm sure the two bit whores in the press won't notice...

I'm talking about YOU New York Times and Washington Post. And Chicago Tribune... and LA Times. Would you notice if we dis it?

(and no, we won't do it because we're not the human filth of the world like you liberal elite democrats.)

24 posted on 02/11/2014 8:33:47 AM PST by GOPJ ("Hillary Clinton says (the) press has big egos and no brains". - Tony Blair - May 19, 1993)
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To: SeekAndFind

Blog that lists articles for each day of the scandal.

http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/irs_news/

From today - Day 278

Christian Post: A Timeline of the IRS Targeting of Conservative, Evangelical and Pro-Life Groups Scandal
http://www.christianpost.com/news/a-timeline-of-the-irs-targeting-of-conservative-evangelical-and-pro-life-groups-scandal-114324/


25 posted on 02/11/2014 9:57:03 AM PST by Whenifhow
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To: SeekAndFind

Bump


26 posted on 02/11/2014 5:20:26 PM PST by lowbridge
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