Wait…what? Some of this slipped through the cracks as the fault lines continued to erupt over the past many weeks of rolling scandals out of the Obama administration. Even the willing media could only cover so much, and there has been so much. But startling and disturbing as it all is, this is an administration that targets ideological opponents. How did the Constitution get in there

While this news was available in reports back in May, it hasn’t received much attention.

This should concern everyone. Let’s draw this out:

The IRS started targeting Tea Party members, “Patriots” and similar conservatives starting in 2010.

But the IRS’ harassment of conservatives expanded way beyond those groups.

As United Press International reports:

“U.S. Internal Revenue Service inquiry of conservative groups included those lobbying to “make America a better place to live,” new details emerging about the IRS investigation indicated. That lever goes beyond what the IRS admitted Friday, which was that it targeted groups with “Tea Party” or “patriot” in their names, several media outlets reported Monday, based on draft findings from disclosures to congressional investigators by the Treasury Department’s inspector general for tax administration…

“At various points over the past two years, the Cincinnati IRS office, which is in charge of evaluating applications for tax-exempt status, focused on groups making statements that “criticize how the country is being run” and those involved in educating Americans “on the Constitution and Bill of Rights,” the draft report cited by The Washington Post indicated.

By June 2011 some IRS specialists were probing applications of groups focusing on “government spending, government debt or taxes [and] education of the public by advocacy/lobbying to ‘make America a better place to live,‘” the report cited by the Journal indicated.

What?!?! Yes, they targeted groups that simply criticized the government, a time-honored American right and tradition.

At various points over the past two years, Internal Revenue Service officials targeted nonprofit groups that criticized the government and sought to educate Americans about the U.S. Constitution, according to documents in an audit conducted by the agency’s inspector general.

What does this administration have against Americans or groups of citizens who want to educate and learn more about the U.S. Constitution? That’s a key question I haven’t heard anyone ask.

Some top notch journalists at least pointed it out. But it hasn’t been explored or exposed as fully as it should have been, or should be now. What is the thinking that targets “nonprofit groups that…sought to educate Americans about the U.S. Constitution”? By implication, that not only suggests but means that administration officials, who traditionally reflect the president’s ideology, see the U.S. Constitution as somehow in conflict with their goals, standards and/or practices.

That demands attention. That, and so much else.

For now, I’ll let Elizabeth Scalia’s vent speak for me. Especially where she gets to this point:

It’s worth noting that the press has already abandoned the IRS story, and it never even bothered with the Sebelius shakedown story which was, I grant you, nowhere near as scandalously corrosive to our trust in government as the IRS story. But dead is dead, you know; the PRISM story is currently being adjusted. The press still controls the national conversation, and these stories that would have them screaming bloody murder and rolling up their sleeves to investigate (and inviting layfolk in to crowdsource for them) if only this administration had an R after it? Poof! Gone the way a good magician makes anything disappear while misdirecting the audience’s attention.

I thought of one more question: Journalists got really, really mad at the administration when it was discovered that it was scouring phone records of the Associated Press, and that it was criminalizing reporters like James Rosen, for doing their jobs. They were so incredibly furious that they gave the story perhaps ten days of outraged-and-then-increasingly-perfunctory coverage…before dropping the whole matter altogether on the strength of the White House saying, “why of course we respect you! Of course we would never, never want to see you prosecuted! We don’t want you too intimidated to do your jobs! We love you! You’re vital to the nation, yessiree!.

My question is, will the mainstream media remain in their Stockholm Syndrome or will they actually get upset enough by the (Sharyl) Attkisson story…and begin to chase the administration?

Or — and this has to be considered, you know — will they pipe down, not to protect the president, not anymore, but to protect themselves?

It’s still, as they say, a breaking story. Stay tuned.

Sheila Liaugminas

Sheila Liaugminas is an Emmy award-winning Chicago-based journalist in print and broadcast media. Her writing and broadcasting covers matters of faith, culture, politics and the media....