Last Year, Media Ridiculed Claims IRS Targeted Conservatives

During the 2012 presidential campaign, many conservatives complained that the IRS was targeting them for harassment, some even claimed that Obama had an “enemies list.” During that time the progressive media complex ridiculed these claims but now the IRS itself has come forward to “apologize” for just the sort of behavior that conservatives accused it of during the late campaign for president.

The New York Times, led the way last year not only dismissing claims that the IRS was acting in a partisan manner by saying that the IRS was just doing its job, but the so-called paper of record went further calling for the taxing agency to step up its efforts to an even higher degree.

In another report, the Times attempted to spin the whole discussion as little else but a Republican effort to create a false political narrative.

Huffington Post joined that line of attack with a piece by Dan Froomkin who similarly praised the IRS for its targeting of political groups and insisting that more be done.

Froomkin additionally reported that everything the IRS was doing was “perfectly normal and appropriate.”

Lefty PBS commentator Bill Moyers also got into the game with a piece penned with Michael Winship headlined “Pity the Poor Billionaires.” The taxpayer-funded Moyers pulled no punches saying that conservative complaints that the IRS was targeting them was something worthy of reply by “the world’s smallest violin.”

Moyers ridiculed claims by a Romney supporter who said Obama had targeted him for harassment. In June of 2012 Frank VanderSloot made news with his announcement that Obama and his left-wing followers had targeted him for his support of conservative causes. The billionaire also reported that he had been the subject of no less than two federal audits.

Moyers referenced an American Prospect piece by Paul Waldman that also attacked VanderSloot for his claims of harassment. Waldman slammed VanderSloot asking, “Is there a group of people you can think of who have thinner skin than America’s multi-millionaires and billionaires?”

Waldman made fun of the whole claim of an Obama’s enemies list and dismissed the idea that the IRS might be used as a dirty tricks squad. “I find VanderSloot’s whining particularly grating because as a political writer, I get attacked all the time,” he complained.

New Republic’s Alec MacGillis was also full of sarcasm, snark and ridicule over the whole idea that Obama could possibly have an enemies list or might use his power as president to target his opponents.

This discussion predates the 2012 election cycle, too. Back in 2010, another Huffington Post writer, Sam Stein, dismissed claims that Obama was using the IRS as a means to attack conservatives when the Koch brothers said that the IRS had been increasing its activities in their accounts.

Yet, despite the media’s skepticism that the IRS could be used as a tool to harass Obama’s opponents, the IRS has now apologized for doing just that.

One group that was targeted, TheTeaParty.net, has told the IRS that “its apology is not accepted.”

“What we’ve long suspected to be the case is now confirmed to be true. The Obama administration has used the IRS as a political weapon. The IRS may claim that it is ‘sorry.’ But given the damage that has been done, their apology is not accepted,” said Niger Innis, Chief Strategist for TheTeaParty.net.”

Jay Sekulow of the American Center for Law and Justice provided legal counsel for several of the organizations targeted by the IRS. Sekulow also released a statement on this admission by the IRS.

“We knew from the very start that this intimidation tactic was coordinated and focused directly on specific organizations,” Sekulow said in a statement. “This admission by the IRS represents a significant victory for free speech and freedom of association. There was never any doubt that these organizations complied with the law and applied for tax exempt status for their activities as Americans have done for decades. And for the many tax-exempt groups we represent, this is an important day–and underscores the need to stand up and defend your constitutional freedoms.”

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Posted by on May 12, 2013.
Filed under Barack Obama, corruption, Culture Of Corruption, Democrats, Leftist Tolerance, Liberals, Libya, Libya, Media.
Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago-based freelance writer, has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and is featured on many websites such as Andrew Breitbart's BigGovernment.com and BigJournalism.com, RightWingNews.com, CanadaFreePress.com, RightPundits.com, StoptheACLU.com, Human Events Magazine, among many, many others. Additionally, he has been a frequent guest on talk-radio programs to discuss his opinion editorials and current events. He has also written for several history magazines and appears in the new book "Americans on Politics, Policy and Pop Culture" which can be purchased on amazon.com. He is also the owner and operator of PubliusForum.com. Feel free to contact him with any comments or questions, EMAIL Warner Todd Huston: igcolonel .at. hotmail.com "The only end of writing is to enable the reader better to enjoy life, or better to endure it." --Samuel Johnson

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  • jim_m

    I think the dismissal of these allegations was rooted in a naive belief that obama could never be as partisan and petty as his detractors complained he was. They believed that such Nixonian corruption could never occur on their side of the aisle.

    Now they know better. The more honest among them will denounce this behavior as it is a powerful delegitimization of the government it occurs under.

    • http://www.rustedsky.net JLawson

      They’re starting to. New Yorker’s essentially saying “Uh, bad move, guys…” on Benghzai.

      http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2013/05/benghazi-cia-talking-point-edits-white-house.html?mobify=0

      I think it’s going to be an interesting and rather unpleasant week inside the Beltway. There’s blood in the water – and whether the media sharks decide it’s something edible is another matter. But then again, there’s the smell of the IRS in the water also. Joe Klein at TIME is comparing Obama to Nixon, and the “I” word is being mentioned.

      The press has been very supportive of Obama to this point – but they could turn on him in a heartbeat given a big enough story. And now it’s looking like there’s TWO big ones.

      “President Biden”, however, still worries me.

      • stan25

        Biden has his sticky fingers in all of this corruption too. He should be impeached the same time that Barry is. There is a lot more stuff, besides Benghazi and the IRS waiting in the wings. Just have to wait and see. These two scandals are just the tip of the iceberg.

        • http://www.rustedsky.net JLawson

          I think you might well be right. You don’t get just one thing like the IRS going – though it might be (at least right now) the most major one.

          We might end up seeing how far down the food chain we’ve got to go to find the next President.

          • stan25

            After Biden, the next person in line is the Speaker of the House.

          • http://www.rustedsky.net JLawson

            Like I said…

  • cirby

    The next thing is pretty simple.

    One of the Republican Congresscritters needs to ask a high-ranking IRS manager who, exactly, wrote the policies and questionnaires used.

    If the answer is “I don’t know,” then the next thing to do is publicly demand their resignation. There’s more than enough paper trail for the IRS to find the person or persons who started the whole mess. Since it was admitted by the IRS that this was so terribly wrong, they should be happy to make sure the perpetrators get caught and punished.

    No leaves-with-pay, no “administrative punishment,” no pension, no retirement for people whose names we never see – this is the sort of thing that should be shouted to the rooftops. With criminal charges, if possible.

    Some of the officials who denied it in the past have been directly tied to the continuing actions. Those should get some nice contempt-of-Congress citations.

  • Paul Hooson

    Here’s what I see. Some groups named themselves after the legendary Boston Tea Party tax protest and then later find themselves investigated as possible tax protesters by some IRS agents. Duh? The only thing worse would be for some groups to try to name themselves after al Qaeda. Who wouldn’t expect some investigation for that. A lot of people aren’t real clear just what “Tea Party” means. And, for some IRS agents that probably is thought to mean political tax protesters. Sometimes you just reap the problems that you sow.

    • cirby

      You mean “some groups named themselves after the early American patriots, and the Democrats just can’t have that.”

      You do realize that you’re trying to justify something that _the people who did it_ admitted was wrong, don’t you?

      The Tea Party groups were never “investigated as possible tax protesters” in the first place (by the way, tax protests aren’t illegal, so investigating them for it would be stupid and illegal in the first place).

      They just had a whole lot of additional and intrusive paperwork dumped on them because they were inconvenient to the current ruling party in the White House. Read some of the freaking articles, you twit. You’re making up justifications that they won’t even use themselves…

      • Paul Hooson

        The IRS is an independent agency not under any direct control or political pressure from the White House. Tax investigators acted on their own to investigate some individual groups who raised some red flags as possible tax protesters or not making proper use of nonprofit rules. Further, so many organizations make questionable use of nonprofit rules such as some religious or political organizations, that many such organizations now face additional scrutiny.

        Look for the ACLU to rush to defend these political organizations if they were treated unfairly by the IRS due to their political views.

        • LiberalNightmare

          >> Tax investigators acted on their own to investigate some individual groups who raised some red flags as possible tax protesters or not making proper use of nonprofit rules.

          Really, because its a widely known fact that mid level govt drones can advance their careers by sticking their necks out and violating federal law in the hopes that upper management will notice the extra effort?

          • http://www.rustedsky.net JLawson

            If you manage to make the tax code complex enough, you can get damn near everyone for something. At that point, you get to pick and choose who you beat on and for what.

          • Jwb10001

            That is exactly where a smart politician should focus effort. Clear the books of all the non sense cut the IRS to about 1/3 of current size and stop all this crap.

          • Jwb10001

            Hey no different than those over enthusiastic low level campaign workers that made that little mistake of breaking into Dem Party HQ. How did that end up?

          • LiberalNightmare

            I do believe a president was impeached over that little incident.

          • Jwb10001

            I do believe you’re right one of the charges was misuse of the IRS in that impeachment. I think we are likely to see that pop up again.

        • herddog505

          Such touching naiveté! Such unbridled faith in our politicians, the IRS AND the ACLU! It’s… it’s… it’s like the whole “Yes, Virginia: there IS a Santa Claus” letter thing updated for the 21st century.

          There are tears in my eyes…

        • cirby

          “The IRS is an independent agency not under any direct control or political pressure from the White House.”

          That is, of course, a lie.

          The head of the IRS is a political appointee, nominated by the President for a five year term with consent by the Senate.

          The IRS is a bureau under the Department of the Treasury. The Secretary of the Treasury is a member of the Cabinet, and is also appointed by… you got it.

          • Paul Hooson

            My view here isn’t that any of this is justified, just that this is about what is to be expected. I’m not surprised about this story. I wonder why it’s even news. Many government agencies including, of course, police, use profiling techniques to look at various persons and groups.

            But, I’m concerned where some persons have developed political philosophies grown from psychological issues such as paranoia. Some persons are so sure and convinced that government’s only job is to persecute them.

            On the other hand, there are many problems with some groups that call themselves nonprofit organizations. One “nonprofit” group that I’ve condemned in some Wizbang Pop stories is Morality In Media. It is a similar organization to some of the old 1950′s antiCommunist crusading of Charles Keating, who was convinced that sexually oriented literature was part of some Communist plot. Keating was later sent to prison for his role in Lincoln Savings & Loan scandal for being a crook himself. But, Keating and others began to crusade against drugstores selling girlie magazines and other literature back in the 50′s, with the outrageous and paranoid belief that Communists were behind PLAYBOY Magazine, GENT, and other older generation girlie magazines. Their thinking was both confused as well as wrong and mentally ill. These materials were sexually oriented, but they most certainly were not part of some political conspiracy from the Soviet Union. That was just plain paranoid and stupid thinking.

            Morality In Media takes a tax deduction status as a nonprofit religious organization, although the organization has no religious ministry that it offers. Nothing about faith or God is mentioned anywhere in it’s materials or Web postings. The organization has even received government grants for claiming to monitor illegal obscene pornography sites, although there are claims that for this federal grant money paid, this organization has failed to turn up evidence of one single illegal obscene Website some years. Further, the Better Business Bureau has had many difficult years to get this organization to comply with public disclosure how their donations are actually spent. It appeared that about six persons have largely dumped most of the hundreds of thousands of dollars a year of donations into their checking accounts as salary income.

            Unfortunately, Morality In Media is much like many of these nonprofit groups that pop up that claim to be religious or political. They rake in huge donations from followers, that only get dumped into the salaries of a few individuals looking to have big nontaxable incomes.

            At one time, a nonprofit used to mean an organization like the Salvation Army, which is an actual church, with numerous programs for the persons they serve. Today, nonprofits can mean almost anything when some guys want a big income and don’t want to pay taxes. And the IRS is getting wary of that stuff.

          • jim_m

            Saying that “everybody does it” is not an excuse for criminal activity. While that might pass in the dem congressional caucus it doesn’t hold much sway elsewhere.

          • Paul Hooson

            Like I said, it’s not justified. But, it’s about what’s to be expected with government profiling.

          • fustian24

            This is more serious than you think.

            The rate of tax paying is very high in the US. This is, in part, because people have believed that the IRS has been more or less playing it straight.

            If we lose that, expect to see some big societal changes.

            What needs to happen is that senior people in the IRS need to go to jail over this. It’s that serious.

            Because if they don’t, the IRS will be viewed as just another perk of holding office and harassment of those out of power will dramatically increase.

          • cirby

            “My view here isn’t that any of this is justified”

            …and five more paragraphs trying to justify it.

            Thanks.

          • fustian24

            Yeah. You mean like NPR. They’re a non-profit too. I don’t recall them offering any kind of religious ministry unless you consider Marxism or feminism a religion.

            I expect you’re okay with the next Republican administration using the IRS to ride NPR hard. RIght?

            We wanna know every single contributor to NPR and to MoveOn. Details on every meeting they have and who attended. We want to know family members of every NPR staff including phone numbers and addresses.

            Still see nothing wrong Paul?

          • Paul Hooson

            In 1955, of the 5,000 members of the Communist Party USA(CPUSA) 1,500 were said to be either FBI members or else informants. These infiltrators looked for any little thing to prosecute actual party members and take down this controversial political organization. Compared to this, a little extra IRS scrutiny is pretty mild for a few groups like some small town Alabama Tea Party group who are opposed to the IRS or the current tax system. If you’re on the government radar, then expect to be looked at. That’s the reality. Don’t join controversial groups if you don’t like the government scrutiny.

          • fustian24

            Since your average Marxist believes in violent overthrow of Capitalist countries, perhaps some oversight is warranted.

            Just for one example, Obama pal and advisor Bill Ayers was planning to murder as much as 20% of the American population because he didn’t think they could get with the revolution.

            I wouldn’t mind rooting out a few more of those sickos.

            Modern terrorism, of course, started with Muslim scholar Qutb putting a thin veneer of Islam on top of standard Marxist philosophy he picked up in Paris.

            The Tea Party is a very different animal and if you don’t know that, Paul, you really need to get out more.

          • LiberalNightmare

            >> Some persons are so sure and convinced that government’s only job is to persecute them.

            Gee, I wonder how they would get an idea like that?

          • Paul Hooson

            Probably through mental illness. Then finding other kooks to join together with and call it a tax exempt political organization. That only seems to invite problems as evidenced by these latest IRS revelations. Being crazy, then creating a goofball group raises flags for the folks in government.

          • fustian24

            C’mon Paul. Surely you’re kidding here?

            You can’t really believe this?

        • Jwb10001

          So isn’t it interesting that these independent types in the IRS don’t go after groups like enviro nit wits or NOW or Unions, only Tea Party and Patriot groups. I guess when we have a repub in the white house it will be ok to harass those groups with left leaning views, I suggest we start with the Southern Poverty Law Center.

    • LiberalNightmare

      Let me explain it to you this way Paul.

      Is this what you voted for when you pushed the “Obama” button at the polling machine?

      ( I assume you voted for President Nix .. oops, I meant Obama, because I cant imagine any other reason to try and defend him on this.)

      • Paul Hooson

        Well, I actually worked for President Richard Nixon as a 17 year old.

        • fustian24

          Is that what happened!

          • Paul Hooson

            President Nixon was interesting in real life. He had far more charisma than most people realize who had never seen him in person like I had. He seemed to have an excellent grasp of foreign policy details. His failing was his own insecurities and paranoid thoughts which only helped to undo his presidency. I feel a little bad at some of these attacks on Richard Nixon. He was certainly flawed, but he had many achievements as well. He was a mixed bag of good and bad.

          • fustian24

            I shook his hand once. After he was Vice President and before he was President, he was flying through our little town in a small plane. My mother took us to the little airport and about 20 people had gathered to watch. He walked over to us, shook my hand and signed his autograph to a postcard. Lost that blasted postcard long ago. Too bad.

            I always thought Nixon tried to behave like a Kennedy and the press refused to cut him that kind of slack.

          • EricSteel

            Off topic, but my father was in the Secret Service. At one point during the Watergate scandal our house was illegally bugged. My father found the bugs, but never found out who planted them. He left them in place and some months later they disappeared. So somebody broke into our house twice, bypassed the security system to plant and remove multiple listening devices throughout our house. Isn’t that a scary thought? That was the only time I ever remember my father ever looking scared.

            I also have one of my father’s old diplomatic passports. It is full of custom’s stamps from all over the world. Many are tied to historic events like Nixon going to China, Kissinger’s peace talks with North Vietnam, Detente, etc.

        • Jwb10001

          And we now have the 2ond coming of tricky dick. At 17 you’re not expected to have very good judgement hopefully it improves.

          • http://wizbangblog.com/author/rodney-graves/ Rodney G. Graves

            Progtards grow old (and how), but they never grow wise.

  • herddog505

    This should be easy to clear up, especially for The Most Transparent Administration EV-AH:

    1. Who wrote the directives?

    2. Who approved them?

    3. Fire those people immediately.

    However, my guess is that the people will be “unnamed tax specialists” or some such, and any disciplinary action will be limited to a month of paid leave (with no loss of seniority) and the requirement to move to another office down the hall upon return. Natch, NOBODY in the White House or Treasury Dept. will know f*ck-all about it.

    Nothing to see here. Just a partisan witch-hunt. Move along. Move along. What difference does it make?

  • Hank_M

    Gotta hand it to the Obama administration.

    They removed Jimmy Carter as the worst President in modern history.
    Now they’re busy rehabilitating the Nixon legacy.

    History beckons…..

  • http://wizbangblog.com/author/rodney-graves/ Rodney G. Graves

    The names and faces of the “low level” IRS officials in charge of Tax Exempt organizations.

    Subpoenas start here.

  • http://wizbangblog.com/author/rodney-graves/ Rodney G. Graves

    In 2013 it’s estimated that 75% of Paul Hooson’s comments are fact free and un-supported, while the other 25% are outright lies.