Indeed it would, and Mark Halperin isn’t the only Morning Joe panelist that believes so. Jeff Dunetz at Truth Revolt picked up on Halperin’s observation, along with that of his Time Magazine colleague Bobby Ghosh, both of whom joined Joe Scarborough in calling out the bias and hypocrisy of the national media:
Al Hunt (who skewered Hillary Clinton in another segment earlier today) disagreed:
Hunt: Yeah. I actually think there’s been reasonably aggressive coverage, Mark. I’ll send you a bunch of The New York Times pieces. I don’t think it’s covered up by the press. I think it’s confusing, however. There is no evidence yet that there was any political interference. There is clear evidence that there was absolutely outrageous behavior by bureaucrats. There was clearly some targeting that went on. Some of it grows out of the Citizens United case. There are people who ought to be punished, perhaps even prosecuted. The critical question remains whether there was political interference from the top, either the treasury or the White House, and everything we have seen so far suggests not. But more is to be investigated.
It must have escaped Hunt’s notice that the evidence sought by investigators was apparently destroyed by the IRS, and about which they’ve been less than forthcoming in any event. That’s been the catalyst that propelled the targeting probe from “phony scandal” to the real thing over the last ten days, at least for some media outlets. Scarborough’s rebuttal demolishes Hunt’s claim of “reasonably aggressive coverage,” and underscores Halperin’s argument:
Scarborough: …But you have a situation, again, where somebody was, again, where the chairman of Ways and Means– I find it hard to believe that if the Democratic chairman of the Ways and Means sent a Republican administration a letter saying we are going to begin an inquiry about you targeting individual Americans and political groups that don’t like Republicans — and then a week or so later, e-mails from the top leaders at the IRS disappear…? [Holding up the “NY Times” he added] I find that hard to believe that would not be on the front page of this newspaper every day. Who knows?
A better question would be: who’s asking? So far, not the New York Times, and not too many other national outlets either.
Golly, if only someone had written a book about this … but more on that later.