In a fit of psychotic bluster, the folks at Fox Nation have posted an article with a headline that was manufactured from whole cloth. There is nothing in their reporting, or the column to which they linked, that remotely implied the message in this headline:
“IRS Hiring Thousands of Armed Tax Agents to Enforce Obamacare.”
The source for the Fox Nationalists is a column in Tucker Carlson’s right-wing Daily Caller. You might expect that Fox could rely on Carlson to support their hallucinatory journalism. After all, Carlson is a Fox News employee. But the article in the Caller, while misleading on it’s own, doesn’t go anywhere near the Fox misinterpretation.
The Caller’s headline was somewhat less dishonest: “IRS looking to hire thousands of tax agents to enforce health care laws.” It does not make a declaration of fact that agents are actually being hired, only that the IRS is looking into it. But more importantly, there is no mention of these agents being armed. In all likelihood, any new hires are going to be accountants with calculators, not mercenaries with machine guns. That, however, didn’t stop the Caller from posting an accompanying photo of heavily armed soldiers in combat gear who have nothing whatsoever to do with the story. And, of course, Fox Nation re-posted the same photo.
The Caller’s article is filled with falsehoods. Anyone who actually bothers to read the article will notice that there is no substantiation of its claim that Democrats are working with the IRS to hire new agents. The only confirmation comes from Republicans supplying their own speculation as to staffing requirements.
It is fair to assume that expanding efforts to collect revenue would require additional personnel. However, the article notes that the new hiring is aimed at collecting taxes unrelated to the health care bill. So are Republicans and the Fox Nationalists taking the position that tax cheats should not be pursued or held accountable? Should law abiding Americans have to shoulder the burden for these deadbeats? Yes, that’s exactly their position. Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee even issued a report that criticized the administration for proposing $8 billion to fund tax compliance measures. It seems to me that an $8 billion allocation to recover an estimated $300 billion in delinquent taxes is a pretty good return on investment and an effective way to reduce budget deficits.
The content of the article in the Caller is misleading in many respects, but the Fox Nation version is delusional. It states flatly that the IRS is hiring “armed” tax agents. It states flatly that these new agents will be dispatched to “enforce Obamacare.” Neither of those statements are substantiated and they aren’t even in the linked article. Yet the Fox Nationalists post the photo of soldiers in combat attire, weapons at the ready, deployed in a search and destroy posture.
The obvious intent of Fox is to frighten their congregation of Psycho-chicken Littles into believing that the “revenuers” are advancing on them to take their money and send them to FEMA camps where they will be forced to have abortions and marry gay socialists.
After struggling for fourteen months to derail the President’s agenda, and failing, Fox is upping the ante. They want people to be so afraid that they will fortify their bunkers, stockpile weapons, hoard rations, buy gold (brought to you by Glenn Beck), and prepare for Armageddon. And the way they advance that goal is by disseminating lies like this story from the scare-meisters at Fox Nation.
Update: Fox News continues to pour on the fear mongering. They are now reprising a story originally posted at Fox Nation almost two months: Boob Bombs! Terrorists Could Use Explosives in Breast Implants to Crash Planes.
Back in February the story was sourced to the ultra-wingnut WorldNetDaily web site. This time Fox is sourcing it to The Sun, Rupert Murdoch’s UK tabloid, but, hilariously, the article quotes “terrorist expert Joseph Farah.” In fact, Farah is no terrorist expert, he is the publisher of WorldNetDaily. The propaganda comes full circle.
It seems that they are just going to repeat this story every few months until either people are sufficiently terrified of titties, or until Al Qaeda decides to give it a try. I maintain my position that this could have a devastating impact on air travel. As I said in February:
We would need to start including Scarlett Johansson in our profiling criteria. And because the same explosive devices could be inserted in the buttocks, Jennifer Lopez would have to be added to the no-fly list.
Update II: All of this is reminiscent of the hysteria Glenn Beck tried to trump up over what he said was a civilian national security force that Obama was supposedly amassing to assault him and his congregation. As it turns out it was just an initiative to expand the peace corps and similar organizations.
[Also...] FactChect.org debunked the claim of IRS hiring thousands of agents.
Stay scared America.