Networks Skip Audio of IRS Official Lecturing Pro-Life Group: Don't 'Force Your Beliefs' on People
A pro-life legal group on Monday released audio footage of an Internal Revenue Service agent telling them, "You cannot force your religion or force your beliefs on someone else." Yet, ABC, NBC and CBS all have ignored the story so far. In the audio, IRS agent Sherry Wan lectured, "...You have to know your boundaries."
Alliance Defending Freedom, a Arizona-based group, is a non-profit legal organization. Wan continued, "But you have to respect other people’s beliefs, other people’s rights and not, you know, use some kind of confrontation." While the networks ignored the story, Sean Hannity featured it on Tuesday, touting, "This is audio proof that conservatives in fact were targeted and it's proof that they were bullied into keeping their belief silent." [MP3 audio here.]
He added, "Second, this is only one woman story. How many other Americans were also unfairly harassed by the IRS?"
At one point, Wan insisted, "you have no right to go against other people's beliefs."
What has ABC's Good Morning America covered instead? On Wednesday, the morning show devoted a segment to the "art of mantiquing,"a story on turning your man cave into a more cultured place. The same show also looked at a "pain test" for women's high heels.
Considering the recent revelations about the IRS, plus the time devoted to superficial stories, the networks could at least look into this.
To read a full transcript of the exchange between the IRS agent and the group, go here.
A partial transcript from the June 11 Hannity is below:
SEAN HANNITY: Now, while leading Democrats are trying to say that the IRS enemy's list has been, quote, "solved." New evidence is emerging that proves this couldn't be further from the truth. Now, the latest example comes to us courtesy of the alliance defending freedom. Now, that group released a recording of an IRS agent tape back in March of 2012 telling a prolife activist to remain quote, "neutral" on certain issues if she wanted to gain tax exempt status. Here's part of that conversation.
SHERRY WAN: You have the religious freedom, you have you the freedom of speech. And other people also have their civil rights, human rights. For other people you don't have the belief. So, I don't believe you need the right to do this. Start confrontation, protesting if you do apply for tax exemption. You have your right of belief to do what you're supposed to do. But you have no right to go against other people's beliefs. And like I said, you have the right to believe. You have the right to do, your religion told you what's right. You have a right to, you know, outreach to other people. But meanwhile, you have to know your boundaries, you have to know your limits.
HANNITY: Pretty unbelievable. Now, here is why the story is important to you. First, this is audio proof that conservatives in fact were targeted and it's proof that they were bullied into keeping their belief silent. Second, this is only one woman story. How many other Americans were also unfairly harassed by the IRS? Will we ever know the answer to that?
-- Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center. Click here to follow him on Twitter.