May 20, 2013

WaPo's Fact Checker "is just scratching the surface of Lerner’s misstatements and weasely wording..."

"... when the revelations about the IRS’s activities first came to light on May 10. But, taken together, it’s certainly enough to earn her four Pinocchios."

Glenn Kessler reviews 3 key statements by Lois G. Lerner, the IRS’s director of the exempt organizations division.

34 comments:

Matthew Sablan said...

Maybe Kessler was audited sometime in his life and is out for revenge?

Matthew Sablan said...

Hah. I just saw that someone made the same joke on the WaPo page.

dreams said...

Fact checker is just another fraud. They are passing off their opinions or spin as fact. Unfortunately even conservatives play along with this fraud when the spin is favorable or less damaging to Republicans.

Matthew Sablan said...

Dreams: Sometimes, yes, they are using opinion for fact. But, in this case, Kessler went and got real numbers. I actually spent some time in 2012 looking at why conservatives were right to be wary of Kessler, but I think the recent scandal-palooza has gotten him to be more objective. Even looking at the writing of these, it is a lot more "just the facts ma'am" in style.

edutcher said...

We don't need no stinkin' fact
checker.

Just listen to these idiots hang themselves.

And each other.

And Der Fuhrer.

Matthew Sablan said...

Well, not Kessler, in particular, but fact checkers like that.

Marshal said...

but I think the recent scandal-palooza has gotten him to be more objective.

A better explanation is that this issue is high profile and understandable enough by the public that obfuscating for the left would result in too great a credibility hit.

dreams said...

There might be times when I agree with the alleged fact checkers but what I'd like to know is who died and made these liberal reporters the judge and jury.

The Drill SGT said...

The Post Fact Checker got too far Left in his attacks on Romney to help Teh Won. Kessler is attempting to tack back to the middle.

Lois Lerner should look over her shoulder. That's not a bus behind her, it's a train. She has "designated fall gal" tatoo'd on her back. Based on the fact that Dem Legislators feel lied to by her directly, she should be very very careful with the FBI. I see a criminal indictment in her future.

PS: She's a Lawyer and ought to known more about the 1st amendment

AprilApple said...

Instead of actual consequences, democrats get "Pinocchios".

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Dreams-

I would certainly agree that nobody should trust someone claiming to be a fact-checker.

However, it can be worthwhile to look at what they say, check the things they present as facts to see if they are facts vs. opinions, and (if facts) are those facts correct. You should also check their reasoning to see if the facts they present add up to the conclusions they reach.

In this case the facts seem reasonable ( or in the case of the number of claims in a given calendar year, reasonable estimates ), and the conclusions valid.

If you believe otherwise, please point out the faults.

The Drill SGT said...

Local VA article on same:

Bob Stuart, (Waynesboro) News Virginian




The Internal Revenue Service official who sparked a firestorm last week with her admission that the agency targeted conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status signed two letters sent last year to the Richmond Tea Party requesting additional information from the group.

Lois Lerner, the director of exempt organizations for the IRS , apologized Friday for the improper scrutiny of tea party groups, describing it as the work of low-level staffers in the agency's Cincinnati office.





But the letters signed by Lerner and provided by the Richmond Tea Party place her in the position of pursuing additional information in the same vein criticized by the Treasury inspector general's office in a scathing audit released Tuesday. Lerner was appointed in 2005 to her job by the IRS commissioner, the agency's top official, appointed by the president.

In a 2012 letter, Lerner informed the Richmond Tea Party that its application for tax-exempt status had been placed "in suspense."

That letter cited a Jan. 9, 2012, request for additional information sent by another IRS official to the Richmond group seeking among other things, the names of donors, how much money they gave and details on how it was used along with the same information for income the group expected to receive in 2012, 2013 and 2014.

The same list of questions in that document is featured in the inspector general's audit as an example of excessive requests for information from past and future donors. "Many organizations received requests from the IRS that included unnecessary, burdensome questions (e.g., lists of past and future donors)," the report said.

Matthew Sablan said...

Now, now: We've learned that simply having your signature on something doesn't make you responsible for it.

Jay said...

She is simply guilty of being a Democrat who got caught:

Reps. Joe Crowley (D-Queens) and Sander Levin (D-Mich), top Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee, on Friday demanded the resignation of Lois Lerner, head of the IRS division overseeing tax-exempt organizations.

Lerner, who heads the IRS division that includes the Cincinnati office responsible for singling out conservative groups seeking tax exempt status for scrutiny, worked to put a stop to the practice.


What a pity.

dreams said...

"However, it can be worthwhile to look at what they say, check the things they present as facts to see if they are facts vs. opinions, and (if facts) are those facts correct. You should also check their reasoning to see if the facts they present add up to the conclusions they reach."

The low information voter is not going to do that and the message they ultimately get from the liberal media is that the fact checkers have shown the Republicans to be bad and the Dems to be good. Mission accomplished.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Drill SGT-

I wouldn't read too much into her signature on that letter. Given the context, it sounds like the group was asked for unreasonable information from a low level worker. When they didn't reply by the deadline, the application process is suspended, triggering a letter from the higher-up, in this case Lerner. Her letter referenced the previous information request and lack of response as the reason for the suspension, but she herself likely never looked at the contents of the original request.

I think there is plenty on which to condemn her and others in the IRS. Bringing up a claim like this is more likely to dilute the serious issues, rather than add to them.

Mogget said...

i think there is plenty on which to condemn her and others in the IRS. Bringing up a claim like this is more likely to dilute the serious issues, rather than add to them.

If Lerner is not responsible for what goes out over her signature, who is? What, exactly, does a signature mean if not responsibility?

BarrySanders20 said...

The kids had a piano recital yesterday and one of the teachers has lefty stickers all over the back of her car. One is a cracked and faded "If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention" slogan.

I wonder if she is still outraged, or if that is just selective. She didn't seem outraged.

Is it possible to outraged and smug at the same time?

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

Here's a classic example of a politicized fact checker from Australia. A conservative politician was complaining about the government paying $15,000 for "gold plated coffee makers"

The fact checker rated that as pants on fire because they should have explained the coffee makers did not actually have gold plating! The fact checker verified this by checking with the manufacturer :))


http://blogs.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/timblair/index.php/dailytelegraph/comments/plating_rated/

Nonapod said...

It would be pretty amazing to have a purely objective fact checker with no political agenda other than an adherence to the truth. Of course I know that could never happen as long as human beings are determining things.

AllenS said...

The problem that I have with the WP fact checker, Glenn Kessler, is that he's never appeared to be that smart.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

If Lerner is not responsible for what goes out over her signature, who is? What, exactly, does a signature mean if not responsibility?

She is absolutely responsible for what goes out under her signature. What is wrong with with the content of the letter that went out with her signature?

Unless someone shows that this letter contained details of the unreasonable information being requested, this letter itself could be quite reasonable.

Matthew Sablan said...

I'd assume that the person sending the letter out should make themselves aware of the case enough to know whether or not the letter was warranted. Or at least, in a properly run organization, that's how it should work, even if it means more work.

Big Mike said...

I think Kessler is telling us which way the wind is blowing.

Bruce Hayden said...

interesting that the argument seems to be that she didn't fully vet the letter going out under her signature. Maybe even plausible. However, that is no excuse. If it legitimately had her signature on it, then it had her approval.

Still, it sounds a bit like the emails and memos that top appointees get that they claim to have never seen. Really started noticing this excuse with AG Holder and the Fast and Furious scandal. He continues to claim ignorance of a bunch of emails and memos that include him on their distribution list. And, we are seeing this with the Benghazi coverup. The response to finding incrirminating evidence in an email or memo is that they get so many of them, that they don't read very many, and why should anyone expect that they would have read this one? What they should keep in mind is that Scooter Libby was convicted based on a jury believing that he should have remembered something that he said that he had not. Yes, pretending incompetence is better than admitting actual guilt, but only in the short run, since too much of this sort of thing, both the signing stuff that you haven't read, and not reading stuff that you should have, only detracts from the Dems' claims that big government is good, and that they are the best people to run it.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Bruce Hayden said...
interesting that the argument seems to be that she didn't fully vet the letter going out under her signature.


Who is making that argument?

onycophoran said...

Who is making that argument?

Ignorance is Bliss, above.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Care to quote anything I said that in any way implies that? I am assuming that she vetted the letter that went out with her signature. I also assume that she did not vet every other letter that went out previously without her signature. Why would she be expected to?

Sam L. said...

WaPo? Off the reservation?

Anthony said...

I appreciate Kessler's efforts, but his current stab at actually practicing journalism doesn't make up for his (and nearly everyone else in the MSM) ignoring this scandal and many others pre-election. They did their jobs and got The One reelected so now they're trying to do a little face-saving by pretending to be skeptical again. Of Obama at least, not whatever D is in the wings for 2016.

What difference, at this point, does it make?

Chip S. said...

I think the WaPo's gonna need more fact-checkers to keep up.

Then we'd finally have clear evidence that Obama had created some new jobs.

cokaygne said...

Lerner is an interesting figure. She told so many lies that Kessler could not ignore her. Could it be that targeting tea party groups was her idea and she was basically unsupervised? It looks that way.

Letting this cat out of the bag on a Friday via a planted question at an ABA conference is seriously weird. We need an explanation.

Still, why did her boss lie to Congress on numerous occasions when members asked him about tea party constituents who were getting hosed by IRS?

At the very least the administration allowed the IRS to enforce the law in a very political manner during an election year in a way that was beneficial to the Democrats. Is it a crime to look the other way when underlings do dirty work for you?

That is the pattern established by Holder in Fast & Furious and the AP wiretaps. Did he learn it from 0 or did he teach it to 0? Unfortunately the media will give a liberal politician a pass in these cases.

AJ Lynch said...

It seems like the real sore spot to the Obama admin was Fox News because Fox News would not stop pulling the scab off of the Fast & Furious debacle. To me, that means there was a real scandal there and Obama was scared it would be found out.

Curious George said...

From the comments:

"RomeoHotel
3:48 PM CDT
I heard Disney is threatening a copyright suit over Fact-Checkers use of Pinocchio.

Since Pinocchio is a lying puppet, could Fact-Checker just substitute photos of Jay Carney?"

Hehe!