I donât like reading the New York Times in the morning because Iâm always afraid my head will explode and that would make it difficult to go through the rest of the day. My aforementioned head almost did explode when I read this headline on page one:
I.R.S. Focus on Conservatives Gives GOP an Issue to Seize On
Get it? The real story isnât that the IRS abused its considerable power by giving special scrutiny to groups with the name âTea Partyâ or âPatriotâ in their title âŚ or that they actually went far beyond those keywords and took aim at groups seeking to âmake America a better place to liveâ or those who would âcriticize how the country is being run.â No, the real story is that this gives Republican an issue to seize on.
Arenât Democrats interested in seizing on this despicable behavior by one of the most powerful agencies of the federal government? The New York Times, Iâm guessing, never thought about that.
Hereâs the problem, as succinctly summarized on Hot Air:
âIf itâs a scandal involving Republicans, the story is the scandal. If itâs a scandal involving Democrats, the story â or at least a significant part of it â is whether and how Republicans will âpoliticizeâ the scandal for their advantage.
Itâs the same with Benghazi. Liberal journalists are more concerned with how Republicans will use the apparent cover-up to hurt Hillary Clintonâs chances in 2016 than they are with finding out what really went wrong and who tried to mislead the American people about it.
Hereâs Exhibit A, a headline in the Los Angeles Times: ââPartisan politics dominates House Benghazi hearingâ âŚ as if this is Washington politics as usual and weâre not going to learn anything from the witnesses who swore to tell the truth.
Too many Washington journalists see everything through a prism of politics. Benghazi isnât about the death of four Americans âŚ itâs about the future of Hillary Clinton. The IRS scandal isnât about the abusive use of federal government power âŚ itâs about how the GOP will use it to score political points.
But even if you play by these rules, why isnât the story on page one of the New York Times about how Democrats in the Obama administration may have been going after conservative groups âŚ for political gain?
Why isnât the Benghazi story framed in a way that questions Hillary Clinton and Barack Obamaâs political spin? Is she trying to stay out of trouble precisely because she wants to run for president? Was Mr. Obama more concerned about winning re-election, running in part on the phony premise that he had al-Qaeda on the run, than he was in admitting early on that al-Qaeda was responsible for the attack in Benghazi? Is he now more concerned about his reputation than âŚ well, than anything else?
There has been a subtle shift in how Mr. Obamaâs most loyal base, the so-called mainstream media, are treating him. When ABC News revealed the emails about Benghazi and their many re-writes to scrub any reference to terrorism (instead blaming a dopey video for the attacks) that gave mainstream journalists permission to question the president in a way they hadnât before. If Fox came up with those emails the mainstream media response would have been a giant yawn.
There may be a new, less adoring relationship between the slobbering media and their hero, the president â especially after it came out that his justice department got a secret court order to go through phone records of journalists at the Associated Press. Now thatâs something they can really get worked up over. Benghazi? Who cares! IRS? Big deal. But when you go after journalists, theyâll turn that into Watergate, the sequel.
But if there is a new tougher relationship between the press and the president, Iâm guessing it wonât last long.