Conservative leaders allege the media are trying to ignore the once high-profile scandals overshadowing the Obama administration, as President Obama and his aides aggressively push the claim that these controversies are “phony.”
The “phony scandal” line was the unofficial talking point of the week in Washington. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney made it his fallback retort from the podium — when asked about the president’s new wave of speeches on the economy, Carney explained Obama was trying to refocus Washington away from “fake” controversies.
For three speeches in a row, Obama hammered this refrain: “With this endless parade of distractions and political posturing and phony scandals, Washington has taken its eye off the ball.”
But, at least on the IRS targeting scandal, both the Obama administration and the mainstream media took that controversy quite seriously when it broke in May. MSNBC’s Chris Hayes called the selective screening of conservative groups a “genuine abuse of power” at the time.