Fox News Celebrates George W. Bush Keeping The IRS Out Of The Policy Loop
Blog ››› ››› ANDREW LAWRENCE
Fox News is celebrating the fact that President Bush had no working relationship with his Internal Revenue Service commissioner in order to stoke fears that President Obama has colluded with the agency to attack conservatives, based solely on a discredited accounting of the number of times Obama's commissioner visited the White House.
Former IRS commissioner Douglas Shulman appears in White House logs 118 times between 2010 and 2011, when the IRS was engaging in improper scrutiny of the tax statuses of conservative groups, and 157 total since 2009 -- although, as The Atlantic reported, this number is difficult to confirm, and most of those scheduled visits were actually meetings with administration staff at executive office buildings other than the White House. Fox News has suggested that this number of meetings indicates that top White House officials may have been aware and even involved in those controversial actions.
By contrast, during his tenure as IRS commissioner from 2003 to 2007, Mark Everson says he visited the White House only once, leading him to complain that it felt like he had been "moved to Siberia" because the IRS had been kept so out of the loop.
Despite Everson's complaint about the lack of attention and access the Bush administration gave to the IRS, Fox News has continuously used this one visit by Everson to suggest that Shulman made an excessive number of trips that points to nefarious activities between the IRS and White House.
- Fox News Channel