Megyn Kelly went there on her show Wednesday, but you knew this was the goal all along, right? Republicans have wet dreams every night of a special prosecutor so they can harass Barack Obama through the last three and a half years of his presidency and make sure they don't get anything done. From Benghazi to Fast and Furious, they're practically squirming with anticipation.
For the recipe to work, they have to distort the facts in order to suggest something happened that didn't. Via Media Matters:
Fox News ignored President Obama's explicit demand for accountability in the wake of news that the Internal Revenue Service applied extra scrutiny to conservative groups. The network's omission gave it cover to accuse Obama of not taking the IRS's actions seriously and to call for a special prosecutor.
They also ignored the fact that the IG's report clearly stated that targeting was not exclusively limited to conservatives, because of course, that would be too much like the truth. Instead, they tried to pretend the president wasn't taking the scandal seriously, and went even farther into fantasyland in order to gin up their audience for only one thing.
Kelly and Stirewalt used their mischaracterization of Obama's response to call for a special prosecutor into the IRS's actions. Stirewalt told Kelly that if he were the president, he would "find a Republican of good standing" to appoint as an independent investigator. Kelly responded with the charge, "Where is the harm to this administration, if as these IRS employees state, no one outside of the IRS had anything to do with this, this was just IRS employees deciding to target conservatives. So if the White House and no one else had anything to do with it, where is the harm? Why doesn't the president just say 'absolutely'?"
As usual, they're employing the Fox Effect. Fox News has now uttered those words, and the National Journal is piling on. Fox News published an op-ed by Ted Poe claiming that Department of Justice investigations are biased, so of course a Republican should take care of things. National Journal picked up on it too, giving their audience a crash course on special prosecutors.
Following the usual Fox Effect pattern, Republican governors have called for a special prosecutor, Haley Barbour pal Ed Rogers wrote a column for the Washington Post with the same dog whistle, and Town Hall dishonestly claims the IRS "purged" the Tea Party. Ed Rogers really hit the intellectual dishonesty meter with this bit of nonsense:
Armed with this new information, Republicans need to demand an independent counsel, i.e. a special prosecutor, to investigate the political abuses at the Obama IRS.
Because what we know is that the ball started rolling under a Bush appointee who used to work for Grover Norquist. So of course it's the Obama IRS. Naturally.
Someone needs to remind these folks that those tea party groups were not entitled to tax-exempt status. In fact, no group with primary engagement in politics -- conservative, liberal or otherwise -- should have tax-exempt status. There was no purge, there was no entitlement to escape taxes and hide donors, and there is no reason for a special prosecutor. I hope their dream turns into a nightmare.
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