On Sunday, syndicated columnist George Will said that the IRS targeting of conservative groups under the Obama administration was one of the three biggest political scandals in the last 40 years. According to Will, a Fox News contributor, Watergate and Iran-Contra were the other two major scandals.
Will’s comments came in response to President Obama’s Super Bowl Sunday interview with Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly. Obama told O’Reilly that there was “not even a smidgen of corruption” by the IRS in their targeting of conservative groups. He did admit that there were some “boneheaded decisions” made during that time period.
Neither O’Reilly nor Obama mentioned that Lois Lerner, an IRS official who was at the center of the IRS scandal, terminated her public career and pleaded the 5th Amendment, refusing to testify in the investigation. Will pointed out that “something was bothering her and him.”
In his interview with Fox News Special Report, Will also said that Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) thinks the IRS should redeploy the IRS targeting operation and “go back at it.” Will asked what Schumer means by this: “Go back at what? Go back at making boneheaded decisions?”
Will said that scandals in D.C. are a “dime a dozen, sexual, financial and all the rest.” He argued that there have been three big ones that involve “distortion and abuse of institutions: Watergate, Iran Contra and the IRS.” Will pointed out that Watergate and Iran Contra were “ravenously covered by the media”; the Pulitzer Prize winning journalist reminded viewers that both of those scandals took place during Republican administrations. He added that the IRS scandal is not being covered: “This is not being pursued and the President knows that,” Will said. “Hence his sense of weariness and boredom as he discussed this with Bill O’Reilly.”