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Boardman writes: "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."

IRS building. (photo: Chris Hondros/Getty Images)
IRS building. (photo: Chris Hondros/Getty Images)


The IRS "Scandal" Scandal

By William Boardman, Reader Supported News

30 May 13

 

How does the IRS doing its job become a made-up political outrage?

lmost 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.

An exception to this remarkable mental stampede in the wrong direction was Jeffrey Toobin (New Yorker, May 14) who wondered, "Did the I.R.S. actually do anything wrong?" His answer started to put the story in reasonable perspective, with a focus on tax law and political money: " ... the scandal isn't what's illegal - it's what's legal. It's what society chooses not to punish that tells us most about the prevailing ethical standards of the time."

Anatomy of a False Narrative - Lying, Laziness, Partisanship, What?

How is it that the conventional framing is dishonest? Here are some of the ways:

  1. It wasn't a revelation. All kinds of people were aware of the underlying problem, that 501(c )(4) tax status abuse had been going on since 1959, and that it took a quantum leap after 2011, when the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision opened the democratic process to money flooding that would be facilitated by the secrecy offered by the 501(c )(4) status.
  2.  

  3. There were bi-partisan public hearings on the problem scheduled by the Senate well before the "scandal" broke. Anyone could look it up.
  4.  

  5. As soon as the story broke, Lawrence O'Donnell (MSNBC's "The Last Word") was reporting accurately on the issue, rooted in the difference between a law that says 501(c )(4) organizations should be "exclusively" for social welfare and a 1959 IRS regulation that says, with Orwellian authority, that "exclusively" is to be interpreted to mean "primarily." Too many reporters and others still do not get this, even though responsible research begins with these primary sources.
  6.  

  7. No one was singled out. That's right, no one was singled out. The problem with 501(c )(4) applications is that the IRS must review every one to see if the applicant qualifies for tax exempt status. Given the flood of applications from political groups of all sorts post-Citizens United, the IRS needed some way to make sure those applications were "primarily" for social welfare, even though political insiders knew that had been a joke for years (Karl Rove's Crossroads GPS and MoveOn.org are both IRS-approved 501(c)(4) organizations, of which there are thousands - reportedly 97,382 in 2011).
  8.  

  9. There is no reason within the law that any political organization should get a tax subsidy from American taxpayers. That is allowable only under the IRS regulations put in place in 1959 under the Eisenhower administration. And the Congress could fix this virtually overnight by restoring "primarily" to its original meaning in the law, "exclusively." Perhaps the real scandal, and a bi-partisan one at that, is that that's not happening.
  10.  

  11. No one was singled out. The IRS at some level (that eventually included Lois Lerner) made a remarkably stupid, tone deaf, inept effort to identify applications that were more likely than others to be primarily political. Looking for applications tagged "tea party" may have reflected the reality of an inordinate number of such applications, but it was really dumb. Using the tag "party" not only would have done the job, but would have been wholly defensible, since no political party is eligible for public tax subsidy and secrecy for its donors.
  12.  

  13. No one was singled out. The IRS net for possibly political organizations caught some 300 applications. Of these, no more than a third were "conservative" or "tea party" or "right-wing." The rest were something else, including "liberal" and "left-wing." None of the so-called conservative group applications were denied. Some were delayed, deservedly so, but a group can function as a 501(c)(4) with an application pending, so it's hard to see how much damage a delay would do, if any.
  14.  

  15. At least some of the groups on the right were clearly partisan and perhaps broke the law. The New York Times of May 26 reports in a story wrongly headlined "Groups Targeted by I.R.S. Tested Rules on Politics" describes several tax exempt groups that spent money on partisan activities.
  16.  

  17. One of the groups, Emerge America, was granted 501(c)(4) status in 2006 in order to train women to run for elected office. In 2012, when an IRS review showed that Emerge America was training only Democratic candidates, the IRS revoked the group's tax exempt status.
  18.  

  19. Another group calling itself "CVFC 501(c)(4)" on its application in 2010 gave its address as the same as "Combat Veterans for Congress PAC" (political action committee). Perhaps PAC triggered a closer look. While awaiting an IRS decision, CVFC spent almost $8,000 on radio ads for a Republican candidate. CVFC omitted this expenditure from its 2010 tax return. On a questionnaire asking if it had engaged directly or indirectly in political activity on behalf of a candidate, CVFC checked "NO."

 

NBC News Reporting Achieves Incompetence and Partisanship

In a report on May 29, "Open Channel Investigative reporting from NBC News" (bylined Lisa Myers, Rich Gardella, Talesha Reynolds) starts with a flat-out false headline: "IRS higher-ups requested info on conservative groups, letters show."

The story begins: "Additional scrutiny of conservative organizations' activities by the IRS did not solely originate in the agency's Cincinnati office, with requests for information coming from other offices and often bearing the signatures of higher-ups at the agency ..."

The letters don't show that. NBC provides two letters, and both come from and direct responses to the IRS Cincinnati office, although one letter also has an apparently hand-stamp signature for "Lois Lerner, Director, Exempt Organizations" and no address other than Cincinnati. The letters comprise nine pages, of which five pages are form letters. Each of the applicants also received a personal, two-page request for additional information to justify tax exempt status.

The IRS asked Ohio Liberty Council Group in March 2012 to update a two-year-old filing, and to describe its planned activities, public events, membership recruitment, political activity, and lobbying - if any.

The IRS asked Linchpins of Liberty if they had adopted bylaws or chosen a board of directors. The IRS also wanted to know, among other things, about the organization's income and expenses, its loan agreements and other contracts, and whether its activities would go beyond selling a book ("Linchpins of Liberty") written by its president. NBC fails to note that this isn't a response to a relevant 501(c)(4) application, but the IRS answer on May 6 to an application for the more stringent 501(c)(3) tax exempt status.

If You Hate Government, Do You Hate It More When It Does Due Diligence?

Nothing in these two letters suggests anything more than due diligence by the IRS in protecting public policy and assets. The information in the story came to NBC mostly from attorneys representing the complaining groups. NBC provides no reliable, independent support for the opinions of its biased sources, even though it reports those opinions as more or less fact.

The IRS story went off the tracks of fact the moment Lois Lerner planted a question with a reporter at an American Bar Association conference on May 10. In answer to the reporter's posing of Lerner's question, Lerner answered this way, as reported by Associated Press (no transcript appears to be available):

 

The Internal Revenue Service apologized Friday for what it acknowledged was "inappropriate" targeting of conservative political groups during the 2012 election to see if they were violating their tax-exempt status.

 

"IRS agents singled out dozens of organizations for additional reviews because they included the words 'tea party' or 'patriot' in their exemption applications," said Lois Lerner, who heads the IRS division that oversees tax-exempt groups. "In some cases, groups were asked for lists of donors, which violates IRS policy in most cases," she said.

 

For whatever reason, the AP makes the IRS apology institutional even though it comes from a mid-level IRS manager ratting out people she was supposed to be managing. The news catches her superiors in the IRS, as well as the White House, completely off guard. It also sets off a right-wing feeding frenzy, which the AP reports at length in the same story.

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.

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News.

 

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+20 # katela 2013-05-30 20:20
Sorry. Lawrence O'Donnell was there at the beginning too.
 
 
+10 # WBoardman 2013-05-31 06:54
QUITE SO.

SEE BULLET POINT #3.
 
 
+10 # T4D 2013-05-31 16:12
Who in 1959 requested the IRS regulation change from the letter of the law, "exclusively" to mean " primarily?" I nominate the then Vice President Richard M. Nixon. Anyone want to prove me wrong?
 
 
+48 # Billy Bob 2013-05-30 20:44
The "scandal" is the inability of anyone (supposedly) on the left to actually STAND UP and call this what it is.
 
 
+36 # Billy Bob 2013-05-31 06:04
I can see now that what I wrote can be take two ways - both in opposite directions.

Let me clarify:

... "the inability of anyone (supposedly) on the left to actually STAND UP to Republicans who will use anything they can think of to obstruct progress. Now, our government will be at a sand-still for the next 3 years while Republicans try to figure out a way to turn this into something it isn't.

Maybe they can link it to Monica Lewinsky somehow...

I guarantee the next time a Republican is in the White House, it's agenda will run very SMOOTHLY with very little obstruction from Democrats.

Republican politicians have evil convictions.

Democratic politicians have NO convictions (other than self-preservation).

-----------

The I.R.S. was trying to do its job. Now, T-publicans can add one more scam to their list of things they've been able to get away with.
 
 
0 # AMLLLLL 2013-06-07 13:35
there should be a storm of liberal groups complaining that they too were held up in review. Lerner was inarticulate and what came out looked biased. In the flood of applicants (apparently there is no need for application, but you could be denied at the other end)I'm sure it made it easier to single out the low hanging fruit; the easiest names to associate with political activity. You would call this lazy except for the sheer volume of applications.
 
 
+19 # PABLO DIABLO 2013-05-30 20:54
Don't bother with illegal wars, torture, rendition, spying on news reporters, (or even blow jobs), this is certainly the BIGGEST scandal.
 
 
+18 # bmiluski 2013-05-31 08:32
NO...its just a continuation of the scandalous behavior of the republicans to keep this country at a stand-still.
 
 
-63 # lnason@umassd.edu 2013-05-30 21:15
This article ignores many relevant facts and also the larger context. It is true that the IRS (and other agencies) have been harassing conservatives for decades as any anti-tax activist who has been repeatedly audited can tell you. Government employees believe that they "know" the correct political positions and enforce their ideas with regularity.

As for "no one being singled out" -- has Boardman considered the audits and DOL investigation of van der Sloot? Just days after Obama's website labelled him as a shady character trying to do evil by supporting Romney? I could point to dozens of others but space does not permit.

Democrats wrote letters to the IRS telling them to investigate conservative groups and the IRS obliged. The IRS went on to say that they had "targeted" tea party and other conservative, Zionist, fundamentalist Christian groups. And the lies from various IRS officials about a couple of "rogue" agents are laughable as the scope of the harassment becomes clearer.

If a fairly progressive government can do this to its political opponents, what will happen when Republicans control the apparatus of government?

Lee Nason
New Bedford, Massachusetts
 
 
+66 # Alternative 2013-05-31 05:18
Quoting lnason@umassd.edu:

If a fairly progressive government can do this to its political opponents, what will happen when Republicans control the apparatus of government?

Lee Nason
New Bedford, Massachusetts


The only problem with your argument is that you are under the false impression, like most Americans, that this is a Progressive government. That has been the problem all along. Real progressives are rarely seen or heard in this country. They certainly have never governed. I am really tired of this myopic view of the political spectrum which assumes the entire range is from extreme right to barely left of center. We live under conservatives rule and they spend way too much time deflecting and blaming progressives. If we ever had the courage to have a real progressive government, we would see some real positive and meaningful changes. We would have campaign finance reform. We would stop this empire building. We would bring the troops home. We would refocus the military industrial complex to build other things than weapons. We would have fair living wages and less inequality. We would have medicare for all. We would stop subsidizing big oil, big pharma, big agra. We would tilt the playing field back towards local small businesses. We would have a clean renewable energy policy. We would put the nuclear genie back in it's bottle. Let's get real!
 
 
+25 # Barbara K 2013-05-31 06:35
Alternative: Absolutely, you are spot on. If this were a progressive government, we would have more people back to work, jobs would not have been paid to go to China, etc, etc.

..
 
 
+14 # WBoardman 2013-05-31 07:08
1. This critique goes way beyond the current "scandal,"
which is fine, but not a relevant critique.

2. The current "scandal" is not about audits. It's not even about "harassment," except as alleged in the IRS perhaps being too assiduous in its inspection of some tax subsidy applications that it is required by law to inspect in any case.

3. Lee Neson make a number of other, somewhat paranoid-soundi ng claims, but documents none of them. It's possible the things he decries were done for valid reasons, if they were done at all.

4. If there is a larger context, it's not demonstrated here, where the story is about 501(c)(4) applications.

5. Any coherent larger context should include the Nixon rapes of the President ordering that the IRS go after his perceived enemies, as well as safeguards put in place since then.

6. In more than a dozen instances of the ORS singling me out, I suppose I could cry political harassment -- but the evidence usually suggests someone is being rigid, ignorant, or plain stupid, the the IRS almost always backed down -- because it was wrong.
 
 
+18 # bmiluski 2013-05-31 08:35
It is true that the IRS (and other agencies) have been harassing conservatives for decades

Could the reason for this harassment be that these organizations where actually breaking the tax laws? If you're not doing anything wrong, they you shouldn't worry about an audit.
 
 
+47 # X Dane 2013-05-30 21:20
Unfortunately the media is now only interested in sensationalism and sleaze. They are NOT interested in reporting FACTUAL NEWS. They JUST have to put a spin on it to make it seem the people are guilty of wrong doing. It sells more papers.

The IRS was overwhelmed with the flood of applications, so I sure don't blame them for seeing if there was a way to tell what the group's actually were up to.

They could NOT get any more help by hiring more agents, so what would YOU do. Common sense is unfortunately in short supply. To me, it makes perfect sense what they did.

But then I am not in politics. I am a regular citizen with plenty of good common sense. Wouldn't it be wonderful if politicians possessed that too.
 
 
+23 # Lolanne 2013-05-31 06:25
Quoting X Dane:
Unfortunately the media is now only interested in sensationalism and sleaze. They are NOT interested in reporting FACTUAL NEWS. They JUST have to put a spin on it to make it seem the people are guilty of wrong doing. It sells more papers.
. . .


Absolutely true, X Dane, and not only that -- many of them no longer bother to report anything FACTUAL because they're owned by Murdoch or others like him, and they print only spin -- whatever espouses their own POV. As so many have already pointed out, where was the outrage when liberal groups were so targeted during the bushco disastrous years?

As you say, there is no common sense left anywhere -- not in the media and certainly not in gov't (with a few rare exceptions in both).
 
 
+53 # MindDoc 2013-05-30 22:08
Bravo! The scandal was and is: how We the People are being diverted from the real scandal - political influence of "corporate people" over living breathing tax-paying "We the People". The People government is meant to by of and for, so that we all pay a fair share of taxes, and don't get a break on taxation or anonymity as do the 'corporate people' that most 'big media' reflects. Freedom to know reality without the spin. Some might rightly wonder if it's not a scandal that we're not hearing more (any?) stories about filibuster correction or efforts to protect the people from (ahem) money buying government jobs for those willing to bash government....

Taking up air time with this manufactured 'scandal' was bad enough. But it's not too hard to notice that the IRS had been faced with a tidal wave of laundered, anonymized, tax free organizations wanting to be declared 'non-political' .... and the scandal was that there is such an influx of money (~raw sewage) into the decision-making in Washington among those supposedly representing *us*, all of us in the United States. So what's the scandal? That the IRS was engaging in its new job of processing endless numbers of tax exemptions, or that they weren't letting them go through fast enough to hide all the false fronts which are now the name of the game. The game is called scandal. It is spelled: Congress. As in how they are, or are not, engaging in The People's business. IMHO. That's the scandal, along with media coverage.
 
 
+50 # jstick 2013-05-30 23:15
Thank you Bill for clarifying & documenting what I've been saying all along -- the IRS staffers were only doing their jobs. No scandal here. Move along. . .
 
 
+33 # tishado 2013-05-30 23:18
Amen. This covers a lot of the points that I am frustrated that I have not been hearing.
 
 
+42 # Skippydelic 2013-05-31 00:58
Between the GOP and the media, they've turned a few little molehills into the Himalaya - or, more accurately, "Him-a-liar" - Mountains...

Of course, we *never* saw this *manufactured* outrage from the Right during Dubya's administration when the IRS investigated left-leaning groups like the NAACP. We *never* saw the 'outrage' about US Embassy personnel being killed during Dubya's term, either, did we?

Unfortunately, the Fox News mentality has oozed into the mainstream media, so it comes as *no* surprise that they got this story *completely* wrong!
 
 
+32 # overanddone 2013-05-31 01:21
Finally some sane reporting, on a totally made up issue.
 
 
+40 # NOMINAE 2013-05-31 04:31
Prosecutor to defendant:

"Sir, you are an adulterer, a proven prevaricator, a convicted pedophile, and a lifetime member of the John Birch Society."

Defense attorney :

"Your honor, the entire community knows these charges to be absolutely false, and my client's innocence is easily proven."

Judge:

"The Jury will disregard the last statement made by the Prosecution."

Yup, age-old scam. The Jury, of course, being human, *cannot*
"disregard" what has just been thrown out there. In fact, the charges they were instructed to "disregard" are usually the charges that they will best remember. Once out, even provable lies effect their damage before they can be formally refuted.

As Mark Twain said "A lie can get halfway around the world while the Truth is still putting it's boots on."

And these political operatives know that. All that matters is to get the "scandal" out before the public, no matter how egregious the lies. By the time the faux charges are refuted and proven false, that proof will run, if at all, as page 47 news.
 
 
+41 # Barbara K 2013-05-31 04:33
It is really irritating to find that taxpayers have been funding thru this fraudulant filing of claims that these political sites are claiming that they deserved tax exempt status as these claims were that they were for charity, when it was pure political. That means we ended up funding political campaigns that we did not want to fund. That is the real scandal. I hope they are required to go back at least 20 years and refund the moneys they didn't deserve to avoid. They should pay the taxes actually owed for those years.

..
 
 
+11 # X Dane 2013-05-31 13:39
Barbara K.
They SHOULD pay back the money, but we can hope in one hand and spit in the other, and I can tell you which hand will have the most.

WE are PAYING for all the disgusting crap these groups send out, because they are not taxed, and unfortunately too many voters fall for all the false information and outright dirt they sling round.

It is infuriating, and also infuriating that most people do NOT understand, that the IRS did NOT do anything wrong in questioning ANY of the groups.

The SCANDAL is that SO MANY of them are exempt from taxes. Karl Rove is involved in doing good for the community????????
I doubt ANYBODY BELIEVES THAT. He spends million to defeat democrats and democracy. as does the Koch Bros. and many others.
This mess needs to be CLEANED UP.
 
 
+25 # zach 2013-05-31 04:40
Even more scandalous is this. I read Toobin's New Yorker commentary when he first made it, and was persuaded the IRS should stand its ground. He had a point.
Toobin is usually CNN's "go to" guy for legal issues like this. But, I have NOT seen him on CNN discussing this at all.
Why? Is it simply because his opinion is contrary to CNN's political agenda? If so, shame on CNN.
I tried to pose that question to CNN, but could not find a way to do that. There is no contact link on CNN's web page to Toobin, either, so there was no way I could ask him if he was being stonewalled by CNN.
Shameful.
 
 
+12 # kelly 2013-05-31 11:14
I have. I've seen him a number of times saying:
The question here is did the IRS do anything wrong? They are supposed to look into anyone requesting this status and make sure they are doing things to help the community or for the public good and not specifically for partisan purposes. I've seen him talking with people with Gerghen and others. However, they almost always follow him with some self-righteous zealot who turns the conversation into an accusation against the WH of a witch hunt. Facts are dismissed or waived off in favor of roiling up the anger of the masses through disinformation.
 
 
+26 # ddd-rrr 2013-05-31 04:56
William Boardman hits, oh, about “2 billion” nails-on-the-he ad with this article. One wonders how a simple and basic truth, such as the wording of the underlying law for the 501(c)(4) tax exemption, could be so thoroughly confused and obscured. Many thanks to Jeffrey Toobin, Lawrence O’Donnell, and now to William Boardman for clarifying the issues involved.
--DR
 
 
+29 # DavidtheLiberal 2013-05-31 05:04
I have been tweeting and emailing news organizations since this idiocy started. This is the FIRST time outside Laurence O'Donnel's program I have seen anyone acknowledge that the IRS 1959 regulation that changed the meaning of the law was the real IRS Scandal. I deeply appreciate the detail this author provides.
 
 
-34 # angry 2013-05-31 05:43
I know we need an IRS, but its employees DO NOT NEED a free-for-all credit card (which most of them have, thanks to the taxpayers). Inappropriate charges should result in jail time.
 
 
+1 # angry 2013-05-31 07:17
I know we need an IRS, but its employees DO NOT NEED a free-for-all credit card (which most of them have, thanks to the taxpayers). Inappropriate charges should result in jail time.

(Sorry, guys, I meant to say " Inappropriate charges should NOT result in jail time.")
 
 
-13 # RobertMStahl 2013-05-31 05:43
How is it that the 'collective' property of the human race, of homo sapiens and their 'intelligence,' has promoted the lot of us to need PROTECTION from the protection? Is the psychology of protection this agenda, only, as Saul Bellow stated it might be in More Die of Heartbreak, about the difference between slime and moss, right before he was murdered?
 
 
+12 # Pancho 2013-05-31 05:51
I don't disagree with this article at all.

What seems to be at least as important a question, though, is why Obama chose to throw the IRS employees under the bus?

What about the conservative charges that some low-level IRS employees asked inappropriate questions of officials of the applicants? Was that b.s., and if so, why haven't those facts come out?
 
 
+10 # WBoardman 2013-05-31 07:21
Seems to me (speculating) that if you're
an American politician with an opportunity
to demagogue the IRS, you're going to do it
unless you have remarkable strength of character.

So Obama doing that didn't surprise me,
especially since he has other priorities
(to echo Dick Cheney's view of military service).

Obama's stated position high-minded and unexceptionable --
that such activities as the IRS was accused of
are unacceptable -- that he didn't bother to figure out
what was real rather than alleged is understandable,
but way far from admirable.

To me, an even more interesting question is why
no one has yet thrown Lois Lerner under the bus?

[Yes, the bus may be approaching.... ]
 
 
+7 # jack406 2013-05-31 07:02
We need a President who is bold enough to stand up to the right wing press and explain the stupid law and explain that the Tea Party wasn't being targeted.
He also should explain that they probably should be targeted and that it is a travesty that Karl Rove's group is tax exempt.
But President Obama seems not to care anymore!
 
 
+10 # Trish42 2013-05-31 07:02
The reasons conservatives are screaming about this are obvious, but what about reporters? The reason they don't go to primary documents any more is financial (costs too much), there aren't enough of them to do it, and intellectual laziness! It's just so much easier to take secondhand information and run with it---even when you know that info may be biased!
 
 
+11 # tbcrawford8 2013-05-31 09:10
I saw Jeffrey Toobin's excellent reporting but forgot to reference it for future use. So Thank You Mr. Boardman for describing once again the verbal assassination attempt against IRS. From the start I though they were doing the obvious given the Citizens United invitation for everyone to apply for tax-free status for "good deeds" (which depends on interpretation) . They were trying to faced with a tsunami of applications; to prepare, it seems obvious the use of key words would help sort types of applications. Certainly, no one commented on Congress's determination not to provide extra funding given the overload. In business, an employee offering such a suggestion would have probably received a raise or a plaque praising a creative solution. My bottom line is to beg the media to take back their independence and pride of profession and give the American public the truth they deserve.
 
 
+6 # MindDoc 2013-05-31 10:38
"Show and tell" or "A picture's worth a 1000 words" time...

Perfect illustration in today's (so-far-muted) news reportage.
Why is this not the big scandal, rather than the notion that a government agency representing We the People might stop to question the 'non-partisan' nature of such groups as this?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/30/donations-from-tobacco-maker-reynolds_n_3362136.html

Please read... and then feel free to explain how there's nothing political about Grover Norquist, the Koches, or the tobacco lobby. Scandalous, *really*. What's wrong with this picture? Scandal, anyone? Or is this not newsworthy amid today's 'media'?
 
 
+13 # bigkahuna671 2013-05-31 16:41
Recently, my wife donated to the Giffords-Kelly Gun Reform Committee. She asked me if it was tax deductible and I told her no, since the committee worked for a political agenda. That's the problem here, the committee isn't tax deductible and it shouldn't be. For the same reason, the Tea-Party pacts and other right-wing ideological pacts shouldn't have TD status as they all work for their political agendas. All the IRS is doing is enforcing our federal tax laws. If the media would get the REAL FACTS out and not cover up what these pacts are doing, maybe people would realize the IRS is actually working for us, not against us. Of course, since most of the media belong to multi-millionai res, billionaires, and corporations, they'll conveniently spread falsehoods, then hide the corrections back near the obituaries. Great job, 4th Estate, you're a true embarassment to a once-proud tradition.
 
 
+10 # Cappucino 2013-05-31 17:06
I told my sister several weeks ago that the truth would turn out to be something exactly like this. Clearly, I should start a 1-900 psychic hotline predicting unbelievably obvious future events. The key fact-- and there's just no way around it-- is that MOST of the groups denied this status were NOT conservative. The only way this all makes sense is if conservative groups expect to automatically get tax-exempt status without actually having to fulfill all the requirements of the law. Because they're special, you see. Hmmm... could that be IT??

(shakes crystal ball)

Signs point to yes.
 
 
+4 # WBoardman 2013-06-01 08:27
The key fact, as you say, seems indeed to be the key fact.

One of the things that mystifies me is that Lois Lerner
apologized only to "conservative" groups,
even though she herself gave the clarifying numbers.

Almost as mystifying, though hardly as surprising,
is that -- given the accurate information --
reporters across the political spectrum
mostly went with the spin and not the story.

Sigh.

Keep that crystal ball polished ;-))
 
 
+4 # bingers 2013-06-02 11:35
I don't know for sure why she took the fifth, but I'd bet it was because a previous question opened up a line of questioning that could be used to fabricate charges against her, and if you answer any question in thaat line of questioning you cede your right to stop answering anything on that issue later. If so her attorney would heve correctly advised her to take the 5th.
 
 
+5 # bingers 2013-06-02 11:32
Predicting that conservative charges will turn out to be 100% false is not the basis for a business. All you have to do is say it will and have a 100% accuracy record.

The really sad thing is that lots of decent well-meaning people that we love actually are so poorly informed that they don't understand that there is no such thing as an honest right wing politician.
 
 
+11 # motamanx 2013-06-01 03:12
As big kahuna said: All the IRS is doing is enforcing our federal tax laws. If the media would get the REAL FACTS out and not cover up what these pacts are doing, maybe people would realize the IRS is actually working for us, not against us. The word that got everyone's attention was "scandal", when it wasn't that at all.
 
 
+1 # X Dane 2013-06-03 20:43
motomanx.
"If the media would get the REAL FACTS out"
Now WHERE is the fun in THAT?? The truth is boring. A made up "scandal" is much more exiting. to hell with accuracy and truth the media wants sensation, above ALL.
And few of our citizens look "behind the curtain",
 
 
+6 # wullen 2013-06-01 03:21
I know the woman in the IRS who is doing the investigation for the IRS. She is nothing if not a truly honest extremely intelligent woman and if her investigation leads to wrong doing or no wrong doing I guarantee it will be factual.
 
 
+1 # tbcrawford8 2013-06-03 12:46
And I'm sure she's not the only one!
 

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