Politifact is not exactly known for being a propaganda organ for the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy, but even it is forced to call shenanigans on Congressman Jim McDermott:
At a House Ways and Means committee hearing Tuesday, Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Wash., listened closely to the stories from members of groups that were snagged when the IRS cast a wide net for politically active organizations seeking tax-exempt status. All of the groups advocate for conservative causes, from opposing gay marriage to promoting a broad tea party agenda.
While McDermott said he was sorry they had been singled out, and that "the IRS has unequivocally made a mistake here," he was more focused on the lack of clear legal rules that should guide the IRS.
"Let’s not get lost," McDermott said. "During the Bush administration liberal groups were targeted without any concern by Mr. Issa or anyone else in this committee." (Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., is chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.)
This caught our eye. Were liberal groups targeted when a Republican held the White House? And if so, were the circumstances back then similar to what has come to light today?
[. . .]
McDermott said liberal groups were targeted during the Bush administration. While some liberal groups were audited, the numbers we could find were small, largely confined to 501(c)(3) nonprofits where the rules are more strict, and stemmed from complaints levied by outsiders.
In contrast, the current case was fueled by internal bureaucratic rules applied to a significantly larger number of organizations. A group’s name or its policy agenda triggered the IRS action, rather than a complaint or the group’s specific activities. While there is an element of truth in McDermott’s statement, the systematic nature of the IRS actions between 2010 and 2012 represents a distinctly different set of circumstances.
We rate the statement Mostly False.
Dare we hope that the rest of the media will pick up this pushback and force McDermott to retract? I mean, holding politicians accountable for their misstatements and fibs is a big part of the media's job. Isn't it?