THE AUGUSTA CHRONICLE ON OBAMA ADMINISTRATION SCANDALS
If it weren’t so serious, it would be comical to watch the media try to spin the Obama administration scandals the president’s way.
When White House spokesman Jay Carney continued Friday to cling desperately to the fairy tale that the administration had not substantively altered the CIA talking points on the Benghazi attack - ABC News has released evidence that the talking points were revised 12 times to hide the truth of the attack - some in the media wanted to downplay Carney’s fable.
“Jay Carney has got caught saying something that wasn’t completely true,” liberal commentator David Corn meekly admitted on one talking heads show.
“That’s called a lie, David,” responded Danielle Pletka of the American Enterprise Institute.
Even Watergate legend Carl Bernstein quickly came to Obama’s defense after the IRS admitted targeting conservative groups, saying he “can’t imagine” the outrageous and frightening tactic could’ve had the president’s blessing.
Beyond that, we’re all aware by now of the love affair much of the media have had with this president. They’ve even admitted they gave him favorable coverage - and the favoritism was so obvious so early on that Saturday Night Live performed a skit in which reporters offered him a pillow to be comfortable in a 2008 primary debate with Hillary Clinton.
Obama also has benefited indirectly from the manic, unfocused attention of most media outlets, who run from sensational local story to sensational local story (e.g., Jodi Arias, the Cleveland kidnapping). Now that the victims in the Cleveland case have asked for privacy, will the media leave a place where they’re not wanted - and finally go to a place (the Benghazi and IRS scandals) where they’re actually needed?
For now it appears inevitable.
Some also allege the Benghazi lies are covering up an Obama administration gun-running operation that would be illegal - can you say Iran-Contra? - and at the very least highly hypocritical for an administration intent on gun control here at home.
It will be interesting to see how much interest the media take in all this.
THE ALBANY HERALD ON IRS PROFILED TEA PARTY CONSERVATIVES
Sometimes people who are dismissed as being paranoid have good reason to be paranoid.
Case in point: The admission last week by the chief of the Internal Revenue Service that the agency targeted conservative organizations seeking status as tax exempt social welfare groups.
While both liberal and conservative groups were taking advantage of the “Citizens United” ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in January 2010 to create organizations that engage in political spending, the agency focused primarily on the applications from organizations that had words such as “tea party” and “patriot” in the name in questioning the validity of those organizations.
A word like “progressive” in the name of a group, for instance, didn’t spark similar interest by the agency. IRS officials later expanded their increased focus to groups that criticized “how the country was being run.” That this happened at all is an outrage. That then-IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman lied to congressional Republicans about the unfair IRS screening in March 2012 is worse.
“It is unconscionable that in the United States of America, groups were unfairly targeted by a government agency for exercising their First Amendment rights,” U.S. Johnny Isakson, R-Marietta, said Friday. “Americans from every political affiliation should be outraged by this discrimination. I look forward to hearing additional information from the agency as to how it will guarantee this type of harassment is not continued in the future on any level.”
We agree with Isakson. The 501(c)4 organizations are prized by political advocates because they’re not required to disclose donors’ names. Whether that is a healthy situation for American politics and whether those qualification requirements should be tightened are other topics.
But what should not be up for debate is whether an organization should be singled out simply because of the political views of its members and supporters. Government only works when those being governed believe that rules and regulations are being applied fairly, particularly across political lines.
In this case, it is clear that they have not.