Before the 2012 presidential election, a St. Louis anchor of KMOV-TV was granted an interview with President Obama. Many were surprised when Larry Conners got straight to the issues, confronting the president about his lavish vacations while others are cutting back. (Keep in mind, this was around the time when the president was actually asked whether he preferred "red or green" in a radio interview.)
Now, after the Internal Revenue Service has admitted to targeting conservative groups, Conners is wondering whether his recent and unexpected struggles with the IRS have anything to do with the interview.
Here are some excerpts of the Facebook message he posted Monday:
I don't accept "conspiracy theories", but I do know that almost immediately after the interview, the IRS started hammering me.
At the time, I dismissed the "co-incidence", but now, I have concerns ...
In that April 2012 interview, I questioned President Obama on several topics: the Buffet Rule, his public remarks about the Supreme Court before the ruling on the Affordable Care Act....The Obama interview caught fire and got wide-spread attention because I questioned his spending.
I said some viewers expressed concern, saying they think he's "out of touch" because of his personal and family trips in the midst of our economic crisis.
The President's face clearly showed his anger [during the interview]; afterwards, his staff which had been so polite ... suddenly went cold.
What I don't like to even consider ... is that because of the Obama interview … the IRS put a target on me.
Can I prove it? At this time, no.
But it is a fact that since that April 2012 interview ... the IRS has been pressuring me. [Emphasis added]
Here is a clip of the contentious interview:
The anchor's IRS concerns are hitting national news as yet another scandal unfolds, that the United States Department of Justice secretly seized two months of phone records from Associated Press writers and editors. Some are saying it points to a pattern of intimidation of not only of the president's political opponents, but of the press, as well.
POLITICO has reached out to Conners for clarification as to what his struggle with the IRS entails -- conservative groups were made to turn over thousands of printed pages of personal information that the IRS had no right to ask for, in many cases -- but Conners reportedly responded: "I’m sorry, but I just was told … Corporate does not want me to do any interviews. Sorry."
Conners addressed the issue on KMOV-TV Tuesday evening, somewhat backtracking:
Those were my personal views, not those of KMOV-TV. Second, to be fair, I should disclose that my issues with the IRS preceded that interview by several years. As a journalist I understand the importance of keeping personal matters separate from my professional work; sometimes you have to do that to retain your independence as a news man. Those lines might have been unintentionally crossed yesterday by my post.
But conservative columnist Dana Loesch is claiming a " well-placed" source told her Conners was "forced" to give the statement this afternoon.
Watch Conners' remarks on tonight's news, below:
- Obama Confronted by Local Reporter About Non-Stop (And Expensive) First Family Vacations
- TheBlaze Commentary: Obama Administration Under Siege From 3 Huge Scandals: Here’s Why It Could All Come Crashing Down
- Revealed: Read the Letter the IRS Sent to One Local Tea Party and the Detailed Demands It Made