As seemingly every sentient being now knows, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has apparently been selective when it comes to the entities its agents scrutinize for tax-payment irregularities. Tea Party groups in particular (organizations known to be less sympathetic toward the IRS) seem to have generated abnormal amounts of attention from it.
Let it be said up front that the IRS’s presumed misdeeds are indeed offensive, but let’s not be so facile as to call what happened a scandal. If so, then it’s certainly the case that human nature is scandalous.
That is so because bias is a human condition. Conservatives sometimes complain about ‘liberal media bias,’ and while the latter is a reality, the complaining has never made sense. Those who swing left tend to gravitate toward the media, so it’s only natural that media coverage of just about anything will reveal itself in slanted ways.
Unless we’re truly bland, and probably on all sorts of anti-depressants such that we’re totally devoid of emotion, our views and emotions are going to color how we do things, how we present stories to others, and applied to the IRS, whom we investigate. Thinking about the IRS non-scandal, it would only be a real story if the IRS weren’t investigating its presumed enemies.
As James Bovard put it in a Wall Street Journal op-ed earlier this week, a politicized IRS has been the norm since at least the 1930s. To presume otherwise is naïve, so while it’s perhaps good politics for President Obama’s opponents to be political about the IRS’s revolting doings, any righteous indignation seems overdone. Any government entity is going to be political, and because the latter is true, it’s hard to assign scandal…