Spreading ‘Scandal-Free Administration’ Ignorance

Brent Bozell,

 The latest and greatest Obama scandal is the disastrous Obamacare rollout, but it has something in common with all the others (besides Obama knew nothing). Some journalists are still brazenly trying to deny — against all evidence — that this scandal has any substance at all.

The same people who freaked out over President Bush’s one sentence in one State of the Union speech that Saddam Hussein sought uranium in Africa are now making excuses for Obama saying everywhere, endlessly, “If you like your insurance plan, you will keep it. No one will be able to take that away from you.” To them, that’s not lying — blatantly, repeatedly, shamelessly. He simply “misspoke,” claimed The New York Times editorial page.

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This War on Facts erupted on “The Diane Rehm Show” on NPR on Nov. 4. Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus stubbornly stuck with ignorance by proclaiming “this has been a really relatively scandal-free administration, first term and second term.” CNN political analyst David Gergen seconded that bizarre assertion: “This has been a scandal-free administration by and large, and we should appreciate that.”

Washington Post media reporter Paul Farhi agrees with his colleague Ruth Marcus. He’s also blaming the media for Obama’s woes. “It’s often a scandal what the news media finds (sic) to be a scandal,” he tweeted, linking to a Sunday commentary he wrote complaining that the Obama scandals that erupted in May have been exposed as somehow phony. “A few months later, these ‘scandals’ look more ambiguous and a lot less scandalous.”

Farhi didn’t claim anything “a lot less scandalous” with the Department of Justice searching the emails and phone records of Fox News reporter James Rosen and reporters from the Associated Press. He barely touched on Benghazi but suggested that somehow the State Department clearing the State Department should crumble any complaints.

Farhi singled out the Internal Revenue Service scandal as the one where Obama has been wronged. “Rather than exclusively targeting conservative and tea party groups, as many news organizations had first reported, the IRS held up applications from liberal and nonpartisan organizations, too, amid confusion and bureaucratic foul-ups.” But after the “overkill at the beginning … don’t expect many corrections or apologies,” he concluded.

Nor should they, since what Farhi is promoting is a red herring, which itself has been proven to be false.

In August, NPR’s website posted a chart from the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that revealed there were only seven “progressive” groups targeted and all seven were approved for tax-exempt status. By contrast, the IRS targeted 104 anti-Obama groups, and 56 of them were still waiting for approval (or stopped trying to gain approval). The seven left-wing groups were asked 33 questions by the IRS. The 104 anti-Obama groups were asked 1,552 questions.

So there’s no reason, none whatsoever, for the “news” media to drop coverage of a scandal involving the Obama administration using the most feared arm of the federal government to persecute its critics.

How can this Washington Post media specialist proclaim what’s been unfolding since May is “a lot less scandalous”? In October alone, there were at least three scoops worthy of national coverage.

On Oct. 1, the Washington Times reported that Dr. Ben Carson revealed he had his first-ever encounter with the IRS after he delivered remarks against Obamacare in front of Barack Obama at the National Prayer Breakfast back in February. Coincidental — in this atmosphere?

On Oct. 9, The Blaze reported Sarah Hall Ingram, the IRS bureaucrat who used to head the office directly involved in the targeting of conservative groups, “may have shared confidential taxpayer information with White House officials, according to 2012 emails uncovered by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Ingram, who now heads the IRS’s Obamacare enforcement division, counseled senior White House officials on how to deal with a lawsuit from religious groups opposed to the Obamacare contraception mandate.”

On Oct. 31, the Washington Examiner’s Paul Bedard reported the IRS “shared highly confidential tax information of several Tea Party groups with the Federal Election Commission, a clear violation of federal law, according to newly obtained emails.”

The networks are dismissing this as a trumped-up GOP-Fox News bag of air. ABC, CBS and NBC have ignored every new IRS scandal scoop. It’s been 131 days since ABC last mentioned the IRS scandal, 102 days for CBS and 125 days of silence on NBC — until there was a very brief Chuck Todd mention of the IRS probe on Oct. 30.

Obama only looks “relatively scandal-free” when the media quit doing their job and choose to dwell in a wonderland of denial.

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