Monday night on MSNBC, at least one primetime program lead with the unfolding and growing scandal of the IRS intimidation of patriot groups applying for non-profit status. However, there was something curious about the coverage: It focused on blaming President Bush and the Supreme Court for everything that was happening to the targeted groups. In fact, it even took a shot at Glenn Beck -- a shot that ended up being inaccurate.
During the opening segment of Chris Hayes' "All In," any discussion of involvement by the Obama administration in the scandal was avoided. In fact, blame for the IRS action was shifted to the Bush administration. In his opening salvo, Hayes stated:
Are we going to spend the next few months beating up on the IRS or the Bush-appointed former head of the IRS who was in charge when all of this happened?
Of course, Hayes is referring to former IRS chief Douglas Shulman, a Bush appointee who was approved by the Democrat-controlled Senate and served until November of 2012. A month before he left the agency, the New York Times wrote about Shulman's term as IRS chief stating; "he modernized some of the agency’s infrastructure while cracking down on tax dodging by corporations and offshore tax evasion by individuals."
In addition to the blaming of George Bush, Hayes also placed a chunk of the responsibility on the Supreme Court's "Citizens United" decision from January 2010. If you are not familiar with the case, it is the one that ruled:
Political spending is a form of protected speech under the First Amendment, and the government may not keep corporations or unions from spending money to support or denounce individual candidates in elections.
After finding the Bush administration and the Supreme Court to be the cause of the IRS scandal, Hayes welcomed Pulitzer Prize winning tax author, David Cay Johnson.
"The IRS has an absolute duty under the law passed by Congress and court rulings since 1913 to investigate anyone who wants this tax exempt status to make sure they aren't partisan," Mr. Johnson told Hayes.
Shortly after making that statement, the tax author incorrectly stated;
"One of the organizations that got approved and raised the biggest scream about it (the IRS intimidation), is Glenn Beck's 9/12 Project. There's a requirement that you cannot have a group that benefits an individual. Now Chris, if you start tomorrow, the Chris Hayes 11-12 project, do you think it might benefit you?"
Hayes responded; "Yes, I'm hoping. That's the hustle I'm trying to run. I've got to keep my options open."
The MSNBC "tax expert" is wrong on a few counts.
- The 9/12 Project is not "Glenn Beck's."
- The 9/12 Project is not a non-profit organization. They never even filed to get that status. TheBlaze spoke with the 9/12's National Chair, Yvonne Donnelly, about the situation and she wasquite clear on the subject: "We are not and have never been a non-profit organization. We never filed for it."
The 9/12 Project was inspired by a caller to Beck's radio show over four years ago. Mr. Beck did assist in developing the "9 Principles" and "12 Values." Those principles and values are a cornerstone of this non-political movement whose mission is to bring all Americans back to how we felt on September 12, 2001 -- the day after the terror attacks on September 11, 2001. Beck also has done stories about the multitude of community service projects done by various 9/12 Project groups around the country.
In conjunction with the endless list of community service projects which are ongoing in 9/12 groups around the country, the national organization also teaches the Constitution via it's Constitutional Champions Foundation. This group is an IRS-approved 501 (c) (3) organization that provides education for youth on the constitution and founding fathers, and will be the leading example on living the principles and values necessary to bring back the founding principles upon which this nation was founded.
You can watch the clip here.
It seems MSNBC, Mr. Hayes, and Mr. Johnson might want to get this all straight before the next program.
Full disclosure: Before joining TheBlaze in January of 2011, the author of this story was a founding member of the 9/12 Project and still serves in an advisory role to the national organization.
Follow Mike Opelka on Twitter @stuntbrain