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May 13, 2013


I wouldn't say that Politico or Fournier are great examples of weathervanes politically.

And until a scandal can directly be tied to Obama, I doubt any will leave much of a mark.

The Republicans have basically been engaging in a "throw everything at the wall and see what sticks" strategy. It really doesn't matter how ridiculous any of the accusations are, as long as they can find *one* that the mainstream media will at least give some credibility to than it will be seen as worthwhile to do it.

In fact, the plethora of scandal accusations provides an added benefit: it allows the Republicans to push a "scandal plagued administration" narrative if and when any of the crap flung at the wall actually manages to get any traction.

So those on the left who though the right was being ridiculous to leap on everything no matter how stupid it was may find that it was stupid to just laugh this stuff off.

Throw everything at the wall and see what sticks you say... well it just so happens' EVERYTHING STICKS..just because the msm doesn't acknowledge it.. doesn't mean it isn't true.. If the thought of this corrupt' despicable act sickens you....just wait till the msm acknowledges the irrefutable evidence that they've been duped by a fraud that has no right to be in the white house...but every right to have a cell at Gitmo.

When will Brendan acknowledge the massive media bias? The IRS story ought to be a scandal of Nixonian proportions. Misusing the IRS to harass political adversaries. The lies. The cover up.

senior IRS officials knew agents were targeting tea party groups as early as 2011, according to a draft of an inspector general's report

Who prevented the Inspector General's report from being made public in 2011? Will we ever find out whether high-level Obama staffers were involved in hiding the 2011 inspector general's report? Will those who broke the law be prosecuted and sent to jail? Will Obama fire the IRS people who lied, claiming that only low-level employees were involved?

Yes, the media should be treating this as an enormous scandal. The Washington Post did have a very strong editorial, but the New York Times downplayed the issue, to such a degree that their own public editor pointed out their political bias . I've not seen much from other media, except, of course, from Fox News.

The media tilts strongly left. They don't want to criticize a black person too much (unless he's conservative). And, they fear punishment from the Obama Administration. IMHO these three factors will ensure that the media will never treat this scandal with the seriousness it deserves.

I don't know how broadly the IRS discriminated against conservatives. Nor do I know whether members of Obama's inner staff or Mr. Obama himself knew that this was going on. For this to become a scandal akin to Watergate, we'd need answers to these questions. But, IMHO we will never get reliable answers.

At the moment the Obama Administration is investigating itself. The fact that the Inspector General's 2011 report was kept secret before the election shows how inadequate that process has been. There's no interest in an Independent Prosecutor. The White House is free to refuse Congress's request for relevant information. So far, they have not indicated that they will supply the information requested by the House Oversight Committee

Perhaps a unified media demand for an end to White House stonewalling would force the White House to cooperate with Congress. However, IMHO we will not see such a unified media demand, for the reasons in my prior post.

Benghazi has gone the way of Fast and Furious now that the actual emails between the various agencies have been released. Jon Karl, the ABC reporter (with a right wing political background) has now been exposed as having passed on emails that had been "edited" to support GOP talking points. Note that the GOP congress had the full dump of emails far earlier, so they knew very well what they were doing. They apparently never expected the WH to release them publicly.

IRS. It is very hard for me to believe that an admin that has been as careful as this one regarding potential scandals would be so dumb as to target opponents via the IRS. Moreover, there is quite a degree of isolation between any admin and the IRS. Added to that are the inconvenient realities that the IRS commissioner in charge for the last 5 years, Douglas Shulman, was a Bush appointee and presumably a Republican stalwart, and that an Inspector General inquiry was ordered as soon as IRS execs discovered the problem. Last but not least are some very basic facts: that the applications for non profit status and non disclosure of donors were voluntary, all the IRS did was request more information, there were tens of thousands of them, there was a surge of Tea Party labeled applications, and that non Tea Party groups got the heightened scrutiny. While more facts have yet to be seen, and the GOP right wing will have one of its usual hissy fits (as in birtherism, re-education camps, death panels, gun confiscation, and Benghazi), I would say that the odds now are that this affair will be another nothingburger.

Consider doing a time series study of the change in the correlation between when the "scandal" events occurred and the quality of investigative journalism at the same time.

Maybe "quality investigative journalism" could be defined as "speed to report" where you calculate the amount of time elapsed between when the "scandal" occurred and when Four or Five of the Top media outlets (print, television) report the event. Then, match this quality variable with the time of the scandal and do a study of the changes in quality.

My guess is that you would end up with quite a different soundbite. The new study probably would not discuss whether or not the nexus exists right now for "scandal reporting." It probably would suggest that investigative journalism quality was extremely poor in the first Obama term. However, it might be getting better. For example, the time to report "Fast and Furious" scandal probably took longer than the "DOJ investigation of AP" scandal. Then you could look to see why quality as defined is getting better.

Don't know, but otherwise, your story sounds like dog bites man. Your third paragraph says something like when news is slow, something still has to be reported. So you have to finally report on scandals.

If that is the case, you have really issued an indictment against "investigative media sources" in general. Are you suggesting bias in the media?

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