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Editor: Paul L. Caron
Pepperdine University School of Law

Friday, March 17, 2017

The IRS Scandal, Day 1408: Why Won't The Media Cover It?

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The Hill op-ed: Why Won't the Media Cover IRS Scandals?, by Jenny Beth Martin (President & Co-Founder, Tea Party Patriots):

Sometimes the most insidious attack on our individual liberty arises not from the government’s wholesale trampling on those rights, but instead from a widespread chilling effect, in which individuals “self-police” or regulate their behavior out of fear of the government’s retaliation.

The years-long IRS scandal surrounding its abuse of power when it engaged in a systematic targeting of conservatives is a powerful example of the government’s ability to initiate a chilling effect on free speech.

It has been nearly four years since the IRS admitted in May of 2013 to singling out and targeting conservative groups, especially tea party groups, for additional scrutiny, onerous paperwork, and even audits. The IRS’s abusive targeting, which lasted for years, was entirely motivated by political animus and caused untold — incalculable, even — devastation to conservatives and to conservative groups. ...

After meeting with, and speaking with, hundreds of local tea party organization members in 2013, I was convinced of three key points: 1) the IRS’s targeting scandal had had a profound impact on organizations’ abilities to attract new members, fundraise, and engage on important policy battles; 2) the chilling effect of the federal government’s actions was real, devastating, and impossible to calculate; and 3) the American public needed to know the full extent of the targeting scandal so we could ensure it would never happen again.

When news of the targeting became public, the media was completely disinterested. And, now, four years later, it seems, not much has changed with the media’s interest levels.

Just this past week, the IRS revealed that it had found nearly 7,000 documents potentially related to the targeting of tea party groups. Yes, the agency that has stone-walled Congress for four years, lost computers and hard drives and tens of thousands of emails, just discovered 6,924 documents in response to an ongoing Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request from Judicial Watch.

Mainstream media outlets have barely reported on this latest revelation at all. And why should they? It’s only the latest chapter in a tome the media has made clear it has no intention of sharing with the American public. ...

Two hallmarks of a free society are that individuals do not have to live in fear that their political views or activities will cause them to be subjected to abuse by the federal taxing agency, and that the press holds government accountable when it becomes abusive to its citizens. It seems, in both areas, we have a lot more work to do.

http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2017/03/the-irs-scandal-day-1408-why-wont-the-media-cover-it.html

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Comments

The mainstream media has been fully supportive of the IRS targeting conservative groups. That has been clear from Day 1. It is a business full of partisan hacks, and the country knows it. Which is why the levels of respect and trust they once received have disappeared, and aren't coming back any time soon.

Posted by: ruralcounsel | Mar 17, 2017 4:16:47 AM

Because they're Democratic operatives with bylines.

Posted by: Art Deco | Mar 17, 2017 8:03:31 AM

"Why Won't The Media Cover It?"

Are you really that naive? "The media" exists for the purpose of deceiving you, distracting you, and conditioning you, and if you're still waiting for them to report real news, it's because you've been deceived, distracted, and conditioned (brainwashed).

Posted by: Jolly Roger | Mar 17, 2017 8:33:56 AM

If anybody thinks this is only limited to groups like the tea party I guarantee they target individuals who don't have the resources to fight back.

Posted by: suezz | Mar 17, 2017 8:45:09 AM

Maybe the reason is that both major political parties use the IRS for their own political gains. Being in the grasp of the IRS, from accounts I have read, can be a very frightening situation. Always remember: Al Capone was not brought to justice by Eliot Ness, but by the IRS! I believe most Americans fear the IRS!

Posted by: TheBrainyRodent | Mar 17, 2017 9:24:43 AM

In all of the reporting I've seen on the Obama weaponization of the IRS, it has always been about "conservative groups". But thousands of individuals were also targeted. All I had to do to trigger harassment was donate the maximum allowable individual contribution to the 2012 Ron Paul campaign. But I got the last laugh -- I shut down my business and it has now cost the government hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxes for their stupid stunt.

Posted by: Tom | Mar 17, 2017 10:34:40 AM