Never mind the facts, Fox is still pushing the discredited story that the IRS commissioner appointed by George W. Bush supposedly visited the White House 157 times.
June 1, 2013

And the scandal-mongering over at Fox continues. On this Saturday's so-called "media watchdog" show, Fox News Watch, which does a good job of actually making Howard Kurtz look legitimate in comparison, host Jon Scott and a couple of his panelists were determined to continue to push the fake story about the IRS commissioner, appointed by George Bush, supposedly visiting the White House 157 times, despite the fact that the story has already been completely discredited.

Mediaite's Noah Rothman threw a little bit of cold water on some of his fellow panel members who were more than happy to go along with Scott, by pointing out that, no, IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman did not actually visit the White House that many times, but was simply approved for that many visits. It didn't stop him from doing his best to pretend that there's some validity to the rest of the piling on we've seen lately with them playing this IRS story for every ounce they can squeeze out of it, nor did he bother to point out that the fake story originated from Fox contributor Tucker Carlson and his rag, The Daily Caller.

He also couldn't bother to point out that it's pretty ridiculous to believe that some Bush appointee was doing political favors for the Obama administration. And he did not let the Fox viewers know, as the story in The Atlantic pointed out this week -- which he clearly read since he knew the 157 visits number wasn't correct -- that those clearances to visit the "White House" also include all of the surrounding buildings as well.

Fox regular and faux "liberal" Ellen Ratner gave some mild push back as well, but just like Rothman, she couldn't be bothered to point out all of the obvious, glaring problems with this latest, trumped up bit of "scandal" either.

I'd recommend reading the entire article from The Atlantic linked above on this, but Josh Marshall at TPM summed some of it up nicely here: Why GOP Scandal Mongers Can’t Have Nice Things:

As Bill Clinton and John Edwards and Bill Jefferson and various others have made clear, Democrats do have scandals. Plenty of them actually. But here we have another good example of why Republicans so often have bad luck these days with bogus scandals they’re so hyped up about or ones that actually are legitimate scandals but which get overrun by so much hysterical nonsense that the actual scandal gets forgotten amidst a lava-like deluge of The Crazy. In a few words, most of the right-wing press is just astonishingly bad.

Here’s today’s example. Yesterday I heard word on Twitter that ex-IRS Chief Douglas Shulman had visited the White House a whopping 157 times. The story started at The Daily Caller. It’s not totally clear whether that was whopping or sub-whopping. But whatever. Clearly Shulman was there often enough to be in regular contact with President Obama about cracking down on the West Memphis Tea Party. When I first saw my usual twitter trolls yapping about it, the first thing that seemed a bit off was that, remember, Shulman was actually appointed by George W. Bush and remained in office through most of President Obama’s first term. So presumably he’s not a really strong Democratic partisan.

But now a real reporter (in this case my old friend Garance Franke-Ruta) has looked past the toplines of the White House visitor logs and done frankly just the very basic due diligence that any reporter would do when reporting out a story like this. There are a few problems with the story. First, why on Earth would Shulman need to visit the White House 157 times except to crack down on the Tea Party and other American Patriots? Well, it turns out there’s this thing conservatives have never heard of called OBAMACARE, which actually relies a fair amount on the IRS for implementation. [...]

But it gets better. Those 157 visits? Those are times he was ‘cleared’ to visit the White House. The logs only show he actually showed up 11 times. It’s quite possible that the records missed a couple visits. But it seems likely that the story - which originated at The Daily Caller - was off by about ten fold. [...]

Again, if you wonder why conservative scandal mongers can’t have nice things … look at the conservative media.

Also, try finding real scandals.

Can you help us out?

For nearly 20 years we have been exposing Washington lies and untangling media deceit, but now Facebook is drowning us in an ocean of right wing lies. Please give a one-time or recurring donation, or buy a year's subscription for an ad-free experience. Thank you.


We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service for information on our posting policy.