Lois Lerner, a key figure in the IRS scandal, obviously didn’t appreciate being targeted for an ambush interview by conservative gadfly Jason Mattera when she was out walking her dogs.
Lerner is the bureaucrat at the center of the scandal in which the Internal Revenue Service gave intrusive and unprecedented scrutiny to Tea Party and other right-of-center groups when they applied for non-profit status which resulted these applications being “slow-walked” or even denied.
IRS targeting-related misconduct in this matter appeared to be a form of voter suppression as well as unconstitutional infringement on freedom of speech in the runup to the 2012 presidential election.
After the scandal exploded, Lerner retired from the IRS with a six-figure pension.
Some donors to the Romney campaign, among others, also claim they were hit with audits for the first time, and pro-Israel groups also found themselves subject to an unusual amount of invasive IRS scrutiny.
Each individual’s privacy rights should be worthy of respect and protection from paparazzi-style intrusions but Mattera’s point in the video (see embed below) seems to be that turnabout is fair play when it comes to targeting of the person who targeted conservatives. In the footage, Lerner has no response when Mattera asks her if she wants to apologize for using the IRS as a weapon to crush political dissent. Added Mattera: “How does it feel like to be targeted? You don’t like it, do you?”
The video further shows Lerner trying to intrude into an elderly neighbor’s residence to get away from Mattera. The neighbor’s husband then shows up and tells everyone, in essence, to get off his lawn.
Explained Mattera about the incident: “It’s almost a perfect proxy for her actions in the targeting scandal. She keeps badgering an innocent woman with zero regard for her wishes. It’s an incredible crystallization of Lerner’s character or lack thereof. If she’s willing to barge into a person’s home, how much more so is she willing to barge into a conservative’s IRS records to inflict her personal will?”
The ambush interview used to be a staple of public affairs shows like 60 Minutes and many other news programs, but the Big Media has generally abandoned investigative journalism during and since the 2008 presidential election.
Last month, Lerner gave what reads like a planted interview with Politico, breaking her silence in the matter to insist again that “I didn’t do anything wrong. I’m proud of my career and the job I did for this country.’
Although the U.S. Department of Justice is conducting or supposedly conducting a criminal investigation into IRS misconduct, the DOJ under Eric Holder has shown no inclination to meaningfully probe into any controversies that might prove uncomfortable for the Obama administration. Even though the investigation is still open, however, President Obama told Bill O’Reilly on Super Bowl Sunday that there wasn’t a “smidgeon” of corruption in how the IRS conducted itself.
Two House of Representatives committees have also been investigating the IRS scandal, but apart from possible ineptitude, these inquiries have been hampered by IRS stonewalling, including dubious claims that Lois Lerner’s emails have been lost.
Even though declaring her innocence, Lerner refused to testify on Capitol Hill and invoked her Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination in that regard. She was subsequently held in contempt of Congress.
Mattera has something of a history for political street theater. For example, In June, Mattera — currently the publisher of the Daily Surge— trolled Hillary Clinton on a Washington, D.C., street corner by asking her to inscribe her book Hard Choices for “Christopher Stevens — I think you knew him.” Stevens was the U.S. ambassador murdered by terrorists in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11, 2012. Last year, he confronted actor Robert Redford about whether his failed movie The Company You Keep glamorized 1960s domestic terrorists. He also confronted then New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg on a public sidewalk and asked Bloomberg if he would disarm his armed security detail in the spirit of gun control.
Do you think Jason Mattera was out of line in trying to conduct an ambush interview with Lois Lerner?
In an unguarded moment, Lerner reveals just how much she gives a damn about another person’s privacy or wishes http://t.co/kyqcmNrL4r
— Jason Mattera (@JasonMattera) October 7, 2014
Added: The producer of an anti-Obamacare movie claims he is in the IRS cross hairs. Logan Clements, producer of Sick and Sicker: ObamaCare Canadian Style, revealed yesterday that he is being audited for the first time ever. “I had never been audited before I made this movie. “There seems to be a pattern here,” he said.