Rupert Murdoch weighed in on the Internal Revenue Services' admission that during the 2012 election the government agency targeted conservative groups that included the words "tea party" or "patriot" in their tax documents. He said the agency is out of control.
On Sunday, the billionaire media mogul, who owns News Corp, the parent company of Fox News and the Wall Street Journal, aired his disgust on Twitter.
The reaction triggered a quick response from Murdoch dissenters, as compiled by Twitchy.com.
Murdoch followed his initial tweet with another one six hours later assuring his Twitter followers that the IRS story would not fade quickly from the headlines.
In early 2012, conservative organizations such as the American Center for Law and Justice accused the IRS of attempting to "intimidate and silence" multiple tea party groups
that filed for tax-exempt status.
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The accusation was flatly denied by the IRS at the time, with IRS Commissioner Douglas H. Shulman telling Congress last March: "There's absolutely no targeting . . . As you know, we pride ourselves on being a non-political, non-partisan organization.
Last Friday's admission by the IRS that it did in fact target conservative organizations with the words "tea party" or "patriot" in their tax documents was accompanied by an apology from the agency.
"That was wrong. That was absolutely incorrect, it was insensitive and it was inappropriate. That's not how we go about selecting cases for further review," said Lois Lerner, who heads the IRS division that oversees tax-exempt groups.
"The IRS would like to apologize for that," she added. The agency blamed the controversy on low-level agents in its Cincinnati office. The White House also offered an apology.
The apologies were rejected by Tea Party groups.
"What we've long suspected to be the case is now confirmed to be true," said Niger Innis, chief strategist for TheTeaParty.net. "The Obama administration has used the IRS as a political weapon."
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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., demanded that Obama order a complete review
of his administration in the light of the IRS revelation on Friday.
"I call on the White House to conduct a transparent, government-wide review aimed at assuring the American people that these thuggish practices are not underway at the IRS or elsewhere in the administration against anyone, regardless of their political views," McConnell said.
"Make no mistake; an apology won’t put this issue to rest," McConnell added. "Now more than ever we need to send a clear message to the Obama Administration that the First Amendment is non-negotiable, and that apologies after an election year are not a sufficient response to what we now know took place at the IRS."
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