JournoList's IRS Angle Begins to Gel
Late Tuesday we reported that several lefty bloggers known to be very close to the Obama White House were in fact meeting in the White House. The meeting came a day ahead of hearings in which IRS official Lois Lerner invoked her Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination and refused to testify to the House Government Oversight and Reform Committee. Lerner even refused to testify about her own previous statements on the IRS abuse scandal.
Today, we may be seeing the results of that Tuesday afternoon confab at the White House.
Josh Marshall (10:15a.m.): Lerner Must Go talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/2013/… Ezra Klein (9:45a.m.): Heads should roll at IRS washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog…
— John McCormack (@McCormackJohn) May 22, 2013
The synchronicity is striking.
It's also an indication of just how worried the White House is, and how it intends to contain the scandal. First, get reliably friendly bloggers and columnists on board with a story that focuses attention away from the White House. Then, isolate and target someone who has already become a central figure in the scandal and, more importantly, who does not work directly for the White House. Finally, make it appear as if these reliably friendly bloggers actually take the IRS scandal seriously, so they become voices in the larger media advocating for a strong response -- just strong enough to look decisive, while keeping the White House outside the main storyline.