Time to Wake Up
As I first wrote in The Daily Pamphlet last December, under the title “The Servile Press,’ it was the “journalistic” work of two reporters who broke open the scandal now know as Watergate. It cemented the legacies of Woodward and Bernstein for posterity and forever made all government scandals “Gates.” At the time I lamented the fact that the press was giving President Obama and his administration a pass on Benghazi by their failure to fully investigate the murder of four Americans. We now have multiple “gates” unfolding and while the press has begun to stir, it is obvious they are still not fully awake. It leads one to wonder where is today’s “Woodstein” as the intrepid reporters of Watergate became known? Are there no journalists concerned with their ethical responsibility as members of the 4th Estate? Let us examine further.
For at least two years reporters knew that complaints had been lodged against the Internal Revenue Service by conservative groups, specifically those with “Tea Party” affiliations. Those groups with “Patriots” “TeaParty” or Conservative implying names had been targeted for unwarranted scrutiny, and at times what appears to be unconstitutional invasions of privacy. This at the same time the government was involved in the gun running scandal, that became know as “Fast and Furious.” F&F led to the death of an American Border Patrol Agent and hundreds of American and Mexican citizens. The media was largely silent. In earlier times journalists would have been tripping over themselves to investigate these potential Pulitzer Prize winning stories. Sadly, that is no longer the case.
One has to wonder why that is the case. Is it because todays journalists were trained in journalism schools by liberal elite professors? Is it because it makes ones job easier to report the daily blathering of press secretaries from the White House, and other government agencies, than actually digging for a story? Is it because their political beliefs are more important than their journalistic integrity? In both cases these stories were ignored and the rumination’s of Jay Carney became the daily news. The majority of the main stream media became the American version of Pravda.
Then the Associated Press scandal broke. When the collection of AP phone records was discovered the story changed. The press awakened to the fact that the Obama administration no longer just targeted their enemies (remember the Valerie Jarrett statement on getting even after the election) they targeted their friends in the media. This same media that withheld crucial stories on Bengazhi and IRS targeting until Obama had been re-elected was now a target. Political beliefs had out ranked journalistic integrity. Do you think these stories would have been held if George Bush were running for re-election? As long as it were conservatives being targeted it wasn’t a story. When it became known that the Obama Administration attacked the AP, the press was suddenly awake. The revelations of Obama administration actions against James Rosen further caused the media to react even though Rosen was employed by the despised Fox News Network.
Lets put this into perspective, using just one example, of a great story that was missed. You may or may not have heard the name Catherine Engelbreht. Had just one journalist, in the past two years, shown interest in her story, things might have been different. A great column could have been written about how Mrs. Engelbrecht and Tea Party groups were treated as compared to liberal groups like say Media Matters for America.
In the case of Mrs. Engelbrecht and her husband, owners of a small manufacturing firm, she became disillusioned with government activities and rather than sit by quietly she decided to take action. She applied for tax exempt status for two different groups. The groups were “King Street Patriots” (there is that Patriots word so despised by this administration) which was to unite conservatives and “True the Vote” (can’t have a fair election in a Banana Republic) which wanted to remove dead voters from the rolls (no wonder the Obama Administration was so upset, they didn’t want to lose a core constituency). What happened to her would make the “Kings” of Banana Republics Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez proud.
The list of harassment includes the following:
1. On two different occasions in late 2010 and early 2011 the FBI questions her about attendees at her meetings.
2. In January 2011 the IRS audits her business tax returns.
3. More attention in May 2011 from the FBI making inquires about King Street Patriots.
4. The Engelbrecht’s personal tax returns were audited in June 2011.
5. The FBI called again in June 2011.
6. In October 2011 questions are raised about True the Vote.
7. Additional questions from the FBI in both November and December of 2011.
8. February 2012 IRS makes third inquiry on True the Vote.
9. February 2012 IRS begins questioning on King Street Patriots.
10. February 2012 The ATF performs an unscheduled audit of the Engelbrecht’s business. The business has a license to, but does not manufacture firearms.
11. Every government agency had to get into the act so in July 2012 OSHA makes an unscheduled audit.
12. November 2012 more IRS questions on True the Vote.
13. March 2013 more IRS questions.
14. April 2013 a second ATF audit.
In none of these government intrusions was any wrong doing uncovered. If any in the media are interested, as of this writing, neither King Street Patriots or True the Vote have been approved. The Engelbrecht’s have sued the IRS.
It is not just the media that has been asleep, they have been fully joined by a feckless Congress. Multiple hearings, without holding anyone responsible, is just a waste of time and hot air. When will Congress ascertain what President Obama knew and when he knew it? That question is relevant regardless of the scandal. On Bengazhi we must discover what the President was doing during the attack and what orders he gave. Did he give the Stand Down order? If not, who did, and who gave them the authority to do so?
The IRS operation was political. If it were not, then progressive groups would have been targeted as well. The IRS gave conservative donor lists to liberal groups yet no conservative group received liberal group donor lists. Where is the progressive group that has received the same scrutiny as the Tea Party? Where is the liberal equivalent to the Engelbrecht’s?
The alarm has sounded, will the media stay awake? Will Congress begin to do their jobs? The Congress needs to remember “checks and balances.” At this point the only potential solution remains a special Counsel. Americans deserve nothing less.