Thursday, November 7, 2013

Guest Post: Obama Scandals and NPR

Obama Scandals and NPR

To the everlasting surprise of my more liberal friends, I regularly listen to NPR when I'm driving. It's not all slanted liberal stuff, some of the stuff they do is apolitical and very good. Even some of the political stuff is not all biased and is worth hearing for views a bit different than other sources.

However, on "The Diane Rehm Show" on NPR on Nov. 4. a bunch of media people were discussing the accomplishments of the Obama Administration. I got their names later from a report on the Net. A Washington Post columnist named Ruth Marcus blew my mind when she went on blithely claiming "this has been a really relatively scandal-free administration, first term and second term." Then CNN political analyst David Gergen seconded her with: "This has been a scandal-free administration by and large, and we should appreciate that."

Next Washington Post media reporter Paul Farhi agreed with Marcus, tweeting "It's often a scandal what the news media finds to be a scandal," linking to a Sunday commentary he wrote with the now-familiar claim that all the supposed scandals were really phonies.

I'm sitting there listening to this, and thinking that how Farhi missed little things like the our government department in charge of making sure guns don't go where they shouldn't somehow deciding it was a good plan to ship 2000 guns into the hands of Mexican cartels. One of which killed a US Border Patrolman, the kind of detail that it's really hard to miss. Or the little incident where two members of the New Black Panthers stood outside a polling place dressed in fatigues and fondling a large club, even making clearly racist comments to someone interviewing them on camera, who were subsequently allowed to walk away from any charges because our current Attorney General doesn't care to enforce laws when members of his own race are the perpetrators. Then there's the other detail of an Ambassador left at risk in a country soaked in violence from myriad groups, despite his requests for more security; which led to his death and those of three other Americans, while the known falsehood of it all being a spontaneous attack because of a stupid video made in California was repeated by all those in charge for weeks before it was admitted it was a planned attack by Al Qaeda.

Things like giving half a billion dollars to Solyndra when it was already on the ropes and then watching it fall to pieces with all our taxpayer dollars clearly would never attract even a blink from Mr. Farhi.

Farhi did finally get to the IRS scandal, as a great example of Obama being falsely accused. He stated "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."

In August, NPR's website posted a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chart that revealed there were just seven "progressive" groups targeted and all seven were approved for tax-exempt status.

In contrast, the IRS targeted 104 anti-Obama groups, and 56 of them were still waiting for approval (or stopped trying to gain it). The seven left-wing groups were asked 33 questions by the IRS. The 104 anti-Obama groups were asked 1,552 questions.

Gee, somehow seven versus 104 and the lack of approvals even after enough questions to satisfy the KGB doesn't exactly seem like information that says nothing really happened here, that it was all just "confusion and bureaucratic foul-ups".

But just checking on recent events, what can we find?

Well, on Oct. 1st, Dr. Ben Carson made it known that he had his first-ever encounter with the IRS after he criticizing ObamaCare in front of Obama at the National Prayer Breakfast back in February. Just a coincidence, sure it was.

A week after that it was reported that 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 e-mails 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." Hmm, she "may have shared confidential taxpayer information".... blabbing the very secrets you are charged with and sworn to protect is really NOT what our federal employees are supposed to be doing.

And just before Halloween activities, Paul Bedard at the Washington Examiner 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 e-mails." Say, that information-sharing thing seems to really have caught on in this Administration. I'm trying to think of how the media would have handled similar events when George Bush was in the White House. Somehow a very different picture comes to mind.

The networks just roll on with all the other news, and if pressed, their talking heads say all such mention of these events are stuff made up by the GOP in collusion with Fox News. That's a wonderful reply to the publication of facts that are easily confirmed if you want to bother with doing so.

It is the responsibility of the media to inform the nation about what goes on in the nation and especially in the corridors of power. When Mr. Bush was President, no one could fault the media for not paying very close attention to everything he did, or did not, do. Personally, I thought they were really overzealous with that, there seemed to be a real animus against him.

I don't want any animus towards Mr. Obama, but I do want the same zealous examination of what goes on during his watch. Clearly the media are not eager to do that.

Even when it comes to the very numerous videos showing him stating in simple declarative sentences that we would all be able to keep our doctors and our plans, people in the media and elsewhere rush to make a variety of ridiculous excuses. He wasn't lying, people misheard what he said or what he meant to say, exaggeration in politics is normal and excusable, and he had to tell a little white lie to get the ACA Bill passed. I like that last one, that's a classic "the ends justify the means".

It is positively insulting to the intelligence of everyone for any of these silly statements to be made. Guys, get over it, he stood up and lied, time and time again, and there is no getting past it. The only real answer is that he did it to get the Bill passed. That's Chicago politics, why are you surprised?

But I don't think I am alone in being very, very tired of the scandals and lies. And I don't think we've seen the last of such things. But November 2014 is coming.


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