Almost everything you hear and read in the media about the current IRS “scandal” is based on deliberate falsification of basic facts. Some might call it lying. Here’s a reasonably typical media-framing of the IRS lie, from the usually careful and accurate Economist, posted May 23: Even before this month’s revelation that conservative political groups applying for 501(c)(4) status were being singled out for special scrutiny . . .
You see this false framing of the IRS story across the media spectrum, from Infowars to ABC News and NBC News to the Economist to DemocracyNOW (the latter on May 24: “the scandal over the targeted vetting of right-wing groups . . .”). Even the usually reliable Wonkblog at the Washington Post doesn’t get the story right, apparently because it hasn’t read the relevant law … //
… Anatomy of a false narrative—lying, laziness, partisanship, what? … //
… NBC News reporting achieves incompetence and partisanship: .. //
… If you hate government, do you hate it more when it does due diligence? … //
… Somebody needs to give this story a little perspective and proportion:
Only near the end of the story, in a clumsily written paragraph, does the AP reporter touch on the factual context for the news Lerner was breaking and in which she had been a central player: “In all, about 300 groups were singled out for additional review,” Lerner said. “Of those, about a quarter were singled out because they had ‘tea party’ or ‘patriot’ somewhere in their applications.”
In other words, about 225 applications were not “political conservative groups, as AP had reported at the top of the story, and for which it has yet to issue a correction or an apology.
Given her unusual behavior over the past few years, it doesn’t seem all that strange that Lois Lerner has refused to answer questions in Congress, pleading the Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination, while refusing to resign from her $180,000-a-year job (she’s now on administrative leave).
What seems much stranger, but not as surprising as it should, is that so much of the media goes on reporting as fact the partisan political version of a story that never happened.
(William M. Boardman has over 40 years experience in theatre, radio, TV, print journalism, and non-fiction, including 20 years in the Vermont judiciary. He has received honors from Writers Guild of America, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Vermont Life magazine, and an Emmy Award nomination from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences).
Will IRS scandal give momentum to tax reform? on Hot Air, by ED MORRISSEY, JUNE 4, 2013;
IRS tax scandal in US: new evidence undermines political bias claims: Officials reveal three-quarters of political groups subject to extra tax inspection not identifiably White House opponents, on The Guardian (incl. related links), by Dan Roberts, June 4, 2013;
video: RS Scandal Agency Draws Bipartisan Fire At Hearing Hearing Update, 12.22 min, uploaded on YouTube by Mass Tea Party, May 17, 2013;
Mass Tea Party / Massachusetts Tea Party;
Google News-search for IRS scandal;