CBS Ends 6-Month Censorship of IRS Scandal to Tell Viewers FBI Won't File Charges
CBS finally ended its almost six-month long ban on the IRS-Tea Party investigation to announce to its viewers, on Tuesday’s CBS This Morning, that the FBI is not expected to “file criminal charges” and has yet to find “proof of political bias.”
However in the time since CBS last reported on the scandal on July 24, they have censored bombshells in the investigation like: Rep. Darrell Issa accusing the FBI of stonewalling; the discovery of e-mails by IRS officials sent both to the FEC and the White House; and most recently the announcement of an Obama donor being named in charge of the Justice Department investigation.
In a 15-second-long brief CBS This Morning co-anchor Norah O’Donnell pronounced: “Well The Wall Street Journal said the FBI is not expected to file criminal charges after the IRS gave extra scrutiny to conservative groups. Investigators did not find proof of political bias when the agency dealt with organizations using names like Tea Party or patriots.” If CBS This Morning had devoted more than a few seconds to the Journal’s reporting it could have found time to relay the Journal’s concerns, as laid out in its January 14 editorial by James Freeman and Brian Carney:
The Journal reports that the Federal Bureau of Investigation is unlikely to file any criminal charges in the targeting of conservative political organizations by the Internal Revenue Service. Yet Cleta Mitchell, an attorney who represents many of the targets, says that the FBI has never contacted any of her clients to discuss their treatment at the hands of the IRS. "Shouldn't law enforcement talk to the victims in an investigation?," she asks in an email. "That's like investigating a burglary without interviewing the burgled," notes a Journal editorial.
The press corps suddenly cares a great deal about cancelled meetings in New Jersey state government. Perhaps they should be asking why the FBI at first promised that the official in charge of the IRS investigation, Valerie Parlave, would meet with Rep. Jim Jordan of the House Oversight Committee and then—after contacting a senior political appointee at Justice—declined to make her available.
Beyond the harassment of Tea Party groups and the leaking of confidential taxpayer data to political opponents, the IRS case also involved senior government officials falsely assuring Congress for a year that there was no targeting. IRS brass then falsely and publicly claimed that the targeting was the work of low-level employees. Yet when it comes to allegations of misleading Congress, the Obama Justice Department was more interested in trying to prosecute baseball pitcher Roger Clemens for comments about steroids than it was in pursuing a case involving the use of the nation's tax-collecting authority against the President's opponents.
So far neither ABC or NBC have yet to report on the Wall Street Journal’s report or editorial.
— Geoffrey Dickens is Deputy Research Director at the Media Research Center. Follow Geoffrey Dickens on Twitter.