Acting IRS commissioner Danny Werfel, whose surname, quite appropriately, means “whirl” in German (my first thought was that it meant weasel) has engaged in an awful lot of whirling for the Obama administration recently. As much as Werfel and white–African-American-who-identifies-as-black Barack Obama would like the IRS scandal to disappear, it’s not going anywhere, thanks to our representatives in Congress.
On June 24, 2013, IRS representatives released to reporters documents that they implied were proof that the IRS targeted progressives as well as Tea Party and other conservative groups. Werfel held a conference call with reliably complicit members of the media in order to whirl (spin) for the administration.
As would be expected, the mainstream media embraced the false implication and ran with it, eager to help the Obama administration get out from under a billowing cloud of scandal. It was typical Journolist-style whirling, but the truth would inevitably come out: [emphasis added to quotes]
A November 2010 version of the list obtained by National Review Online, however, suggests that while the list did contain the word “progressive,” screeners were in fact instructed to treat “progressive” groups differently from “tea party” groups. Whereas screeners were merely alerted that a designation of 501(c)(3) status “may not be appropriate” for applications containing the word ”progressive” – 501(c)(3) organizations are prohibited from conducting any political activities – they were told to send those of tea-party groups off [to] IRS higher-ups for further scrutiny.
That means the applications of progressive groups could be approved on the spot by line agents, while those of tea-party groups could not. Furthermore, the November 2010 list noted that tea-party cases were “currently being coordinated with EOT,” which stands for Exempt Organizations Technical, a group of tax lawyers in Washington, D.C. Those of progressive groups were not.
In other words, unlike the progressive groups, the conservative groups had to be cleared by a group of lawyers in Washington, D.C.
The EOT is not to be confused with “Group 7822“, which was merely a group within the IRS itself, in Cincinnati. However, that IRS group was not the only one targeting conservatives–there were 12 groups, all across the country. There was also the Tax Exempt and Government Entities Division in Washington, D.C., which also targeted conservative applications.
In the meantime, however, a plethora of headlines falsely exonerating the IRS served well to leave a false impression in the minds of “low information” members of the public. A sample of some of those headlines:
CNN: “IRS targeting included liberal groups”
New York Times: “Documents Show Liberals in I.R.S. Dragnet”
USA Today: “IRS: Other ‘inappropriate’ screening of groups done”
Yahoo!: “IRS chief: Inappropriate screening was broad”
Salon: “How the media outrageously blew the IRS scandal: A full accounting. Almost everything ‘reported’ about the big Obama scandal was wrong, and no one has been held to account“
Case closed! Nothing to see here, folks. Move on.
These Saul Alinsky acolytes well know that
perception is reality.