On Fox News Channel’s “Special Report” Wednesday, Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer criticized President Barack Obama, other Democrats and the media for creating what he called a “climate” that encouraged the Internal Revenue Service to treat conservative groups improperly.
He likened this “climate” to the response those on the left had toward the Bush administration after the wrongdoing at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq was revealed in 2004.
“Here we come to the climate issue,” Krauthammer said. “Whenever you have a scandal on the Republican side, it’s said, ‘Well the president wasn’t involved in Abu Ghraib, but he gave — there was a climate where you could do this kind of stuff and abuse prisoners or whatever.’”
“Well, there certainly was a climate here,” Krauthammer continued. “The climate was, as you say, a lot of Democratic senators and others urging really heightened scrutiny of the tea party. The climate where the president of the United States says that these groups are a threat to democracy. The president of the United States in the State of the Union address denounces the whole idea of these groups and intimates that some of them could be taking foreign money and undermining our electoral process, says it in the presence of the Supreme Court and insults them.”
He also noted how the IRS was encouraged to scrutinize these groups by Democratic senators and said the media had a role as well.
“So what you are getting, and you can imagine the pressure — if you’re working in the government and you get a sense the Democratic senators are anxious about heavy scrutiny particularly of the tea party, the president is imperious and says it’s a threat to democracy,” Krauthammer said. “And think of the mainstream media and how they treated the tea party — when we had the shooting in Aurora, the guy who goes into the movie theater and shoots it up — there was a story, was it NBC or ABC who reported that they had matched the name of the shooter with a tea party list — I mean, why would you even look at a tea party list? It was ABC. I mean, the mindset of sort of the media elite that this is a proletariat, it’s neo-fascist, ready to burst and explode — that was the atmosphere under which all of this has happened and that’s a climate. It starts at the top.”