Fox News selectively covered new reports on the IRS' targeting of political groups, raising questions about how the network will handle the new revelations in future reports.
According to an internal IRS document obtained by The Associated Press, the IRS targeted groups seeking tax exempt status by screening for terms that are not unique to tea party and conservative groups. Terms such as “Israel,” “progressive” and “occupy” were also used by the agency to further scrutinize certain organizations.
On the June 24 edition of Fox News' Special Report with Bret Baier, host Bret Baier failed to mention the memo obtained by the Associated Press and instead suggested that the new information extended targeting to only religious groups, saying, “You can add Jewish and other religious groups to the agency's hit list.” Fox's chief political correspondent Carl Cameron pointed out that “other religious groups” were targeted, and acknowledged that “as for those conservative groups that were targeted, they weren't just tea partiers and they included other type of policy groups.” However, both Baier and Cameron neglected to mention that the words associated with left-leaning groups like “occupy” or “progressive” were also used in targeting.
On Fox Business' Lou Dobbs Tonight, Dobbs also reported on new revelations in the IRS story but did not comment on the the Associated Press memo or the fact that left-leaning groups were also subject to improper scrutiny.
The Fox affiliated FoxNation.com also included an Associated Press story about the IRS' overreach, but focused on a conference call IRS commissioner Danny Werfel held with reporters in which he did not specify which terms were on the list of targeted words.
UPDATE: The June 25 edition of Fox & Friends reported that the IRS inappropriately targeted groups using the terms “progressive” and “occupy,” but dismissed the reports, using an argument made by Republican staffers that conservative groups may have received greater scrutiny in the process.