My, my… how times change! At the moment, the right is up in arms because the IRS is doing its job: questioning the political activities of groups that apply for tax-exempt status. And with good reason. But of course since a small number of Tea Party groups were included among the nearly 300 groups investigated (and often flat-out lied when asked on their applications if they’d be spending any money on electioneering), conservatives are acting like they’ve been singled out for victimization, even though not one of these Tea Party organizations was denied the tax status they sought –in fact, the only group that was denied was a left-leaning group in Maine.
Since the whole thing began, the melodramatic outrage on the right and at Fox “News” has been nonstop. The tyrannical government is overstepping its bounds! It’s a conspiracy! It’s an affront to our liberty to have the IRS deliberately single out groups based on their political affiliation! They’re practicing viewpoint discrimination! This is all horribly, horribly wrong! Congress, you must investigate this!
Oh, but what have we here? The good folks at NewsCorpse got to thinking that all this rang a bell, so they did some digging into their archives, and bingo! Seems back in 2011, Fox ran a campaign against that repository of right-wing lies, Media Matters for America, encouraging viewers to insist that the IRS investigate the watchdog organization for its purported left-wing bent, and snatch back the group’s tax-exempt status — even though Media Matters doesn’t involve itself in political ads, campaigns, lobbying or electioneering… it simply collects examples of lies and hypocrisy in the media and debunks them.
But this is Fox — whose new slogan should be “We Never Let the Facts Get in the Way of a Good Story”– so of course they proceeded to do what they do best… create scandal out of whole cloth. “File a complaint with the IRS!” came the call to action. Excitable host Steve Doocy (falsely) exclaimed:
Your tax dollars are subsidizing Media Matters’ liberal propaganda war against Fox News. They’ve declared a war on Fox.
In another segment in this baseless campaign against reality, they instructed viewers to lie on the IRS complaint form, and check the boxes for “Organization is involved in a political campaign” and “Organization is engaged in excessive lobbying activities.” Neither is even close to true. Media Matters is guilty of one thing: exposing the lies, hypocrisy and misinformation in the media. Unfortunately for Fox, the vast majority of it just so happens to emanate from their own studios.
And in perhaps the most prescient observation we’ve heard in quite some time, author “Mark” at NewsCorpse had this to say in July, 2011:
If NBC were to instruct its viewers to file tax status complaints against the Tea Party because the organization attacks the network, would the folks at Fox News consider that acceptable?
Of course not. Fox would regard that as scandalous, unethical, outside the jurisdiction of a news network, and deliberate harassment.
For a huge, Fox-sized helping of lies and contrived righteous indignation, enjoy the video below, courtesy of The American Intel Report: