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How Liberals Think about World Events

August 2nd, 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments

I came across a very strange article in The American Prospect, “The Rise and Fall of a “Scandal”, about the IRS scandals. It’s noteworthy because it looks at the following figure and concludes that the media, though well-meaning, has unfairly blackened the reputation of the IRS by its coverage.

I look at that, and I conclude that the liberal media covered the scandal at first, but then stopped covering it in accordance with the White House strategy of denying that anything wrong had happened. Recall that first the Administration denied conservative groups were targeted at all for a couple of years, then admitted they were targeted but blamed it on low-level Cincinnati employees, then admitted it was directed from the Washington office but denied political appointees had anything to do with it, and were silent when Lois Lerner took the 5th to avoid criminal charges and when the office of the politically appointed Chief Counsel was implicated and it was discovered that he and his boss were both, and separately going to White House meetings with timing suspiciously close to known events in the Tea Party targeting. And, of course, there was the smokescreen false claim that liberal groups were also targeted, easily refuted by public documents and by the lack of any real liberal group that has complained about being targeted (since it would look too silly to complain about being delayed 2 months when Tea Party groups were delayed for literally years).

But The American Prospect article looks at it differently: The IRS was unfairly criticized, which made big news, and then the rebuttal of the criticism didn’t get covered because it wasn’t dramatic, so people are left thinking there is a scandal.

This looks ridiculous already to anyone who is actually following events (which excludes NY Times readers, of course). If the White House strategy of refusing to cooperate in Congressional investigations continues, we’ll see what happens. It will be interesting, too, to see if the IG tries to do a serious investigation. His initial investigation was highly diffident, slow, and staying as far away from blaming anyone in the IRS as possible.

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