New York Times: Rush Limbaugh Among Reasons Media Ignored IRS Scandal

New York Times: Rush Limbaugh Among Reasons Media Ignored IRS Scandal

In a May 21 piece, the New York Times’ Michael D. Shear blamed the lag time between the IRS targeting of conservative groups and the reporting thereof on Rush Limbaugh.

When the IRS finally admitted that it had indeed unfairly targeted conservative groups–especially during the 2012 election cycle–many pointed out that this targeting had been complained about for some time. But why did the scandal just break now, in May of 2013, when stories about it go back several years?

The Times points out that in March of 2012, Representative Charles Boustany, Jr. (R-LA) held a hearing on the IRS targeting, but the story got little traction. Shear quotes several parties to the effect that it was a “dog-bites-man story” in that the media wasn’t interested in talking about Tea Party groups complaining about the IRS.

So, what stories did hold the media’s attention during Boustany’s 2012 hearing? Rush Limbaugh’s media manufactured “slutgate.”

It was during the first week of March that Limbaugh ridiculed abortion supporter Sandra Fluke for being a “slut” because she wanted the U.S. government to pay for her contraception.

The media, of course, went into a feeding frenzy, and Rush eventually apologized. It was all the media could talk about at the time.

This and a few other news stories, the Shear said, overshadowed Boustany’s investigation into the IRS. 

It took the IRS admitting its guilt before the media decided to pay attention to this story–conveniently after the election was over.