Appearance Alert
MRC's Bozell to appear on FNC's 'Kelly File' at 9:40pm ET

Charlie Rose Wonders If Reported IRS Scrutiny of Liberal Groups Makes Scandal Look 'Less Partisan'

Charlie Rose forwarded the latest liberal spin about the IRS scandal on Tuesday's CBS This Morning. The anchor hyped how the agency apparently placed liberal groups on "be-on-the-lookout" lists, and asked Rep. Paul Ryan, "Does it look less partisan with this new information?"

Moments earlier in the morning newscast, correspondent Nancy Cordes reported that "groups were flagged for a whole variety of reasons when they applied for tax-exempt status, and Democrats say that's proof that there was no partisan agenda at the IRS." [audio clips available here; video below]

As he introduced his guest, Rose highlighted that "on Thursday, IRS chief Danny Werfel will testify before the House Ways and Means Committee. Congressman Paul Ryan...sits on that committee." The anchor then asked, "So, with this new information – I mean, what is it you want to know from Werfel when you quiz him today?"

The Wisconsin Republican pointed out that "what we still don't know is, who ordered this kind of targeting? Why did it take so long for them to clean it up? We don't know about the harassment that occurred after these groups were singled out – the harassment that occurred on the donors; the harassment and intimidation that occurred with the kinds of questions that they asked of people."

Rose interrupted Ryan mid-answer and asked his "less partisan" question. The former vice presidential nominee replied, "Well, I don't know the answer to that," and soon added that "all that we know, so far, is that the harassment and the intimidation occurred on religious groups; on conservative groups. We don't know just how deep the harassment and the intimidation occurred of these groups after they were originally singled out. This is what the investigation's for."

Before co-anchor Norah O'Donnell moved onto the next subject of the interview, Ryan played up how "the IRS did target people based upon their political beliefs. Who cares whether they're right or left? The fact that they're targeting people for harassment, based upon their political beliefs, should be cause enough alone for outrage."

Back in May 2013, Rose wondered if congressional Republicans "may overplay their hand and somehow squander what they think is opportunity" on the scandals currently surrounding the Obama White House.

The transcript of the relevant portion of the Rep. Paul Ryan interview from Tuesday's CBS This Morning:

CHARLIE ROSE: On Thursday, IRS chief Danny Werfel will testify before the House Ways and Means Committee. Congressman Paul Ryan, who sits on that committee, joins us now. Congressman, welcome

REP. PAUL RYAN, HOUSE WAYS & MEANS CMTE. MEMBER: Good morning – good to be with you.

[CBS News Graphic: "IRS Scandal: Rep. Ryan On The Internal Report And Watch List"]

ROSE: So, with this new information – I mean, what is it you want to know from Werfel when you quiz him today?

RYAN: Well, what we still don't know is, who ordered this kind of targeting? Why did it take so long for them to clean it up? We don't know about the harassment that occurred after these groups were singled out – the harassment that occurred on the donors; the harassment and intimidation that occurred with the kinds of questions that they asked of people – $70 million in bonuses to – this kind of performance. Now, they're asking for a billion [dollars] more to clean the mess up. So, there are lots of inefficiency questions; there's lots of-

ROSE: But does it look less partisan with this new information?

RYAN: Well, I don't know the answer to that. So, we're going to the let the facts take us where they take us. You know that there's – on the lookout list, right? So what they're saying is there were various different groups from left and right and everything in between that were – that were put aside. Then, the question is, is what kind of harassment occurred? All that we know, so far, is that the harassment and the intimidation occurred on religious groups; on conservative groups. We don't know just how deep the harassment and the intimidation occurred of these groups after they were originally singled out. This is what the investigation's for. We're not going to draw any conclusions beforehand-

ROSE: Regardless of whether they're conservative or liberal?

RYAN: That's right, but we know that the IRS did target people based upon their political beliefs. Who cares whether they're right or left? The fact that they're targeting people for harassment, based upon their political beliefs, should be cause enough alone for outrage.

— Matthew Balan is a news analyst at the Media Research Center. You can follow him on Twitter here.