In response to Issa Calls On Lois Lerner To Testify Before Congress Under Oath:
Having followed the IRS scandal closely since Day One, I had a number of less-than-flattering thoughts about her big interview with Politico, which I could summarize by asking: What’s the journalistic justification for doing a puff piece on a disgraced official, while the investigation into the scandal is still ongoing? In what way does any of this enhance the public’s understanding of what transpired at the Tax Exempt Organizations division?
That Politico article is huge. It rambles on for three whole pages, and while it includes a few parenthetical mentions of low points from the IRS targeting saga, no hard questions are ever put to Lerner. She and her legal team basically dictated the interview. The context provided by the writer projects the false notion that the IRS scandal comes down to a binary question – “Is Lois Lerner an inhuman monster or not?” – and since the answer is no, because she likes animals and has some friends, that’s the end of it. The part where she slithers around her reasons for taking the Fifth Amendment, instead of speaking up under oath on the immense stage that was eagerly provided for her, reads like satire.
Also unintentionally funny: holding the interview in Lerner’s $2.5 million mansion, its driveway packed with expensive late-model luxury cars, and relating the IRS hatchet woman’s piteous whining about how she’s too unpopular to find high-end employment, and the $100,000 in annual benefits she was allowed to retire with isn’t enough to maintain her lifestyle. The Onion could not have done better.
So now we’re into Stage Two of this little media kerfuffle, as Politico writer Rachael Bade takes to Twitter and complains about Fox News “refusing” to have her on the air to discuss her story, without mentioning the itty bitty little detail that they invited her and she didn’t answer them. This was followed by a clown car full of liberal writers rolling up to defend Bade… except they ended up agreeing with her critics, and conceding their wagon-circling around Bade was a knee-jerk reflex they didn’t put much thought into. No one has yet come up with a good answer for why Journalism 101 standards were not followed, and Lerner was allowed to dictate the interview without Bade making a very big deal about her subject allegedly refusing to answer the tough questions Bade allegedly asked.
Is this really all it takes for a disgraced Democrat official to start rebuilding her reputation, after laboring for years to cover up an immense scandal – a scandal she lied about repeatedly during the early spin-control efforts? All she has to do is ring up a friendly reporter, offer an exclusive interview, mention that she’s into puppies and kittens, and BOOM – she’s suddenly the nice lady in the million-dollar mansion next door?