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The Real Story of the IRS Scandal: How the MSM Spins the Story of the Lost eMails
National Review ^ | 06/18/2014 | Jonah Goldberg

Posted on 06/18/2014 6:21:22 AM PDT by SeekAndFind

‘Congressional investigators are fuming over revelations that the Internal Revenue Service has lost a trove of emails to and from a central figure in the agency’s tea-party controversy.”

That’s the opening sentence of the Associated Press story on the IRS’s claim that it lost an unknown number of e-mails over two years relating to the agency’s alleged targeting of political groups hostile to the president.

But note how the AP casts the story: The investigators — Republican lawmakers — are outraged.

Is it really so hard to imagine that if this were a Republican administration, the story wouldn’t be the frustration of partisan critics of the president? It would be all about that administration’s behavior. With the exception of National Journal’s Ron Fournier, who called for a special prosecutor to bypass the White House’s “stonewalling,” and former CBS correspondent Sharyl Attkisson, it’s hard to find a non-conservative journalist who thinks this is a big deal.

Let’s back up for a moment. In 2013, IRS official Lois Lerner planted a question from an audience member at an American Bar Association meeting. She used her answer to apologize for — and favorably spin — the agency’s actions, and then later claimed that the apology came as an unprompted response to a question.

Lerner laid the blame for the inappropriate targeting of tea-party and other groups on a few low-level bureaucrats in Cincinnati. That was a lie. Senior officials in the IRS knew and helped to coordinate the effort. She said she only heard about the problem when tea-party groups protested. The targeting, in fact, had already been under internal and external investigation.

In short, Lerner worked hard at denying her agency’s tactics on applications for nonprofit status from groups deemed to be hostile to the president’s agenda. According to IRS officials’ congressional testimony, agents were told to “be on the lookout” for groups that “criticized how the government is being run.” Lerner even joked to colleagues that she should get a job at Obama’s activist group Organizing for Action.

President Obama insists he didn’t know about any of this until he was briefed on it the way he’s briefed on so many issues: from news reports. Nevertheless, we’ve since learned that White House officials were aware earlier.

Lerner, who was forced to resign, took the Fifth Amendment rather than clear the air.

In the June issue of Commentary, Noah Rothman notes that the mainstream media initially treated the IRS story as a very big deal. ABC’s Terry Moran dubbed it a “truly Nixonian abuse of power by the Obama administration.” But as Rothman notes, the media were just as quick to buy the story that this was a minor bureaucratic screw-up being whipped up into what the president called yet another “phony scandal.”

More recently, Obama proclaimed there was not even a “smidgen” of corruption at the IRS, despite the fact that his administration’s own investigations are still underway. Obama’s assurance seemed good enough for most of the media.

This is one of the great public-relations turnaround stories of all time. Liberal groups successfully spun the incident as a well-intentioned mistake by a government agency trying to deal with a deluge of new applications from right-wing crazies let loose by the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision. The “real” story was — again — Republican overreach.

Never mind that there was no evidence for such an “uptick” in applications — Lerner’s word. Indeed, evidence suggests that Lerner went looking for that evidence as an excuse for abuses she had already undertaken.

So now the IRS claims that a computer crash has irrevocably erased pertinent e-mails (an excuse I will remember when I am audited). National Review’s John Fund reports that the IRS manual says backups must exist. If e-mails — which exist on servers, clouds, and elsewhere — can be destroyed this way, someone should tell the NSA that there’s a cheaper way to encrypt data.

The storied City News Bureau of Chicago famously lived by the motto “If your mother tells you she loves you, check it out.” The bureau closed down several years ago. Perhaps that kind of skepticism died with it.

— Jonah Goldberg is the author of The Tyranny of Clichés, now on sale in paperback.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: email; irs; media; scandal

1 posted on 06/18/2014 6:21:22 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

This is a cover-up FAR worse than watergate, yet the msm lays back and refuses to be lournalists...all they do is reprint Obama’s press releases as news. really sad and lazy partisan politics now embeded in the msm.


2 posted on 06/18/2014 6:24:57 AM PDT by 1Old Pro
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To: SeekAndFind

Expect what is to be expected. No surprise accordingly.


3 posted on 06/18/2014 6:26:33 AM PDT by the anti-mahdi
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To: SeekAndFind

It’s going to be harder for Barry Soetoro to say, “I am not a crook!” in the history books because everybody knows that he IS a crook.


4 posted on 06/18/2014 6:30:15 AM PDT by FlingWingFlyer (Obama's smidgens are coming home to roost.)
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To: SeekAndFind

The corrupt MSM need to be the first ones to go.


5 posted on 06/18/2014 6:31:35 AM PDT by Obadiah (None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.)
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To: SeekAndFind

All congress has to do is hold IRS Employees the the exact same standard the IRS demands of Citizens, Guilty until you prove your innocence, upheld by the Supreme Court.


6 posted on 06/18/2014 6:35:40 AM PDT by eyeamok
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To: SeekAndFind

The junior-high-schoolers in the population have voted for their fellow junior-high-schoolers for high office so we now have junior-high-school administrations throughout the country which are bringing us to junior-high-school internment camps run by.......junior high school psychotic thugs.

IMHO


7 posted on 06/18/2014 6:38:08 AM PDT by ripley
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To: Obadiah
"The corrupt MSM need to be the first ones to go."

Yes. The media, in burying the story and hiding the truth are no less than criminal accomplices.

8 posted on 06/18/2014 6:49:01 AM PDT by eCSMaster ("It is not the color of his skin, ... it is the blackness that fills his soul")
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To: SeekAndFind

The administration used the irs against its enemies. The shriveled up old hag lied to protect her sorry a$$ and her boss. The media is in full coverup mode to protect the two of them.


9 posted on 06/18/2014 6:57:22 AM PDT by I want the USA back (Media: completely irresponsible. Complicit in the destruction of this country.)
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To: I want the USA back

Ask a lib if the party in power should be able to use the resources and authority of the government against its political opponents and they might spout a quick “no”...

they’ll think about it for a moment, then, if they were actually honest, say “well, only if they are democrats”.


10 posted on 06/18/2014 6:59:02 AM PDT by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter admits whom he's working for)
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To: SeekAndFind

I’ve been wondering if any of the emails the committee has already received fell within the time period the IRS say are now lost.


11 posted on 06/18/2014 7:08:41 AM PDT by RetSignman (MODERATE Islamist are not as extreme, they stop cutting just before the jugular vein.)
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To: eCSMaster
Yes. The media, in burying the story and hiding the truth are no less than criminal accomplices.

Congress should call the media in then question them on the crap they've printed or cross those 'IT professionals' they supposedly used on what they really know. If they lie to Congress they could be held on real charges, if not the people would hear the truth.

12 posted on 06/18/2014 7:25:41 AM PDT by Kenny
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To: RetSignman

Republicans need to start pulling Alinsky’s on the media. Look into their “IT professionals” and tear them apart. Show that they’ve never worked in government facilities or if they’re flat out lying, expose them.

Same with any columnist who uses their position to poison the public. Call attention to the fact that Republicans are the only ones going after the evil IRS. Americans hate the IRS, go after them.


13 posted on 06/18/2014 7:30:37 AM PDT by Kenny
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To: SeekAndFind

“London After Midnight” is lost.
The Library of Alexandria is lost.
The original Roanoke colony is lost.

Lois Lerner’s e-mails are not lost.


14 posted on 06/18/2014 7:32:58 AM PDT by william clark (Ecclesiastes 10:2)
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To: SeekAndFind
As much as I respect Jonah Goldberg, I think he is wrong HERE;

Lerner, who was forced to resign, took the Fifth Amendment rather than clear the air.

Ms Learner has taken 'early' retirement with a full pension and benefits package. I also believe that her legal bills, being associated with her official duties, may be helped by the IRS but there have been organized efforts at fund raising by her husband's law firm. Michael R. Miles, tax lawyer, is a partner at the law firm Sutherland Asbill & Brennan in Atlanta.

15 posted on 06/18/2014 7:37:20 AM PDT by SES1066 (Quality, Speed or Economical - Any 2 of 3 except in government - 1 at best but never #3!)
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To: SeekAndFind

The Commies know this is a distasteful tactic but they’re just trying to run out the clock for an end game that’s obviously worth it to them. Be afraid my friends, be very afraid...


16 posted on 06/18/2014 7:47:56 AM PDT by Enduro Guy
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To: Kenny

Look into their “IT professionals
++++++
I couldn’t agree more. The reason I asked my question is because the committee has already obtained many emails and if the IRS computers crashed and data were lost over a period of two years, how did the committee acquire anything?

Being not to savvy about that kind of stuff, I was curious how that could happen...selected data loss maybe?


17 posted on 06/18/2014 7:59:37 AM PDT by RetSignman (MODERATE Islamist are not as extreme, they stop cutting just before the jugular vein.)
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To: SeekAndFind
The Republicans need to point out that the only way that all traces of the emails could have been lost is by an extensive, on-going criminal conspiracy. Even the IRS IT people are not so incompetent that the emails could just disappear without a through, systematic scrubbing of the computer systems.

Because the Republicans control the House and therefore, the purse strings, Republican leadership needs to let it be known that they are going to play hardball on this issue. The criminal conspiracy will be explored and if any Presidential pardons are issued to IRS officials, the IRS budget is automatically slashed by 50% (or some other draconian percentage). Of course, that would take courage that the Republican leadership will never show.

The Republican leadership needs to realize that this issue is political gold. Even liberals are outraged by the use of the IRS as a political agency - most (not all) realize that if such practices are allowed, someday their pet causes could be attacked by a government agency with unreasonable powers. Campaigning against clear abuses of the IRS resonates with the voters.

18 posted on 06/18/2014 8:18:04 AM PDT by CommerceComet (Ignore the GOP-e. Cruz to victory in 2016.)
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To: 1Old Pro
" yet the msm lays back and refuses to be lournalists"

And the Pubbies refuse to call the MSM out on their left leaning partisanship. Unless it is on the alphabet network, news does not exist (sorry bout that FOX, you do try). EVERY Pubby when on the networks should bring the subject up - take no prisoners. Do it EVERY TIME. The networks can only resist to a certain degree on live TV.

19 posted on 06/18/2014 8:26:30 AM PDT by I am Richard Brandon
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To: I am Richard Brandon
EVERY Pubby when on the networks should bring the subject up - take no prisoners. Do it EVERY TIME. The networks can only resist to a certain degree on live TV.

Good strategy

20 posted on 06/18/2014 8:37:20 AM PDT by 1Old Pro
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To: SeekAndFind
It goes w/o saying that the msm is in the tank for the regime.

Every republican elected official should be DEMANDING the head of the IRS on a spear.

This is outrageous!

If these people aren't locked up it is literally the end of the republic.

21 posted on 06/18/2014 9:09:15 AM PDT by Pietro
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To: SeekAndFind
...if this were a Republican administration, the story wouldn’t be the frustration of partisan critics of the president? It would be all about that administration’s behavior.

There's reason journalists are trusted about as much as used car salesmen... and this kind of stuff's the reason...

22 posted on 06/18/2014 9:12:15 AM PDT by GOPJ (#2 reply spot RESERVED for Tokyo Rose comments: "nothing works - give up - it's all hopeless".)
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To: SeekAndFind

If the GOP possessed even minimal eloquence, the MSM couldn’t get away with half of these spins.


23 posted on 06/18/2014 9:14:14 AM PDT by Mr. Jeeves ([CTRL-GALT-DELETE])
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