Robert Knight

After the full House of Representatives cited former Internal Revenue Service (IRS) official Lois G. Lerner for contempt of Congress on Wednesday, the Washington Times fittingly made it the lead story.

Over at the Washington Post, however, print readers had to go 19 pages deep to “The Fed Page,” a union-style newsletter for federal employees. If the Post had buried the story any deeper, it would have been wedged into the classifieds or crumpled up in a backyard mulch barrel.

Here’s how the New York Times handled the story:

“The House of Representatives voted on Wednesday to hold Lois Lerner, a former Internal Revenue Service official accused by Republicans of abusing power, in contempt, laying bare the bitter divide over which much of the midterm elections will be fought.”

When Republicans do something, it’s political. When Democrats do something, it’s to save the planet.

The paper noted that the House was to vote Thursday to create a select committee to investigate the Sept. 11, 2012 Benghazi attack and allegations of a cover-up. Again, the spin:

“Republicans have raised a delicate set of questions and opened themselves up to accusations that they are politicizing a tragedy that cost four Americans their lives and misusing congressional oversight authority for gain in an election year.”

Hear that? It wasn’t the people who got four Americans killed or who covered their own butts with brazen lies for the last two years who are on the hot seat. It’s the ones trying to get to the truth.

The New York Times authors buttressed the IRS portion of their scenario with a quote from Ms. Lerner’s attorney, William W. Taylor III, who you can easily picture making an eloquent case that cigarettes are good for you:

“Today’s vote has nothing to do with the facts or the law. Its only purpose is to keep the baseless I.R.S. ‘conspiracy’ alive through the midterm elections.”

Baseless? Well, lawyers are paid to say such things, but journalists are paid to report as objectively as possible – in theory. Which is why we need to ask media outlets why they ignored the other big story on the front page of the Washington Times: “GOP finds 10% of tea party donors audited.”

“Twenty-four conservative groups were asked for their donor lists,” explains reporter Stephen Dinan. “The IRS initially told Congress that those lists were destroyed, but when they went through their files, they discovered three lists that weren’t destroyed.”

Robert Knight

Robert Knight is an author, senior fellow for the American Civil Rights Union and a frequent contributor to Townhall.