The Doug MacEachern ‘echo chamber’


Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

Based upon his frequent right-wing ravings that pass for opinion columns at the Arizona Republic, I imagine that Doug MacEachern must have a television set tuned to FAUX News with the sound turned down low so he can listen to the ministers of ignorance and hate on the radio, while he surfs the Internet trolling right-wing web sites for "news." MacEachern is simply an echo chamber for whatever the right-wing talking point of the day is.

Case in point, today's "column." MacEachern:
IRS chief’s trips creepy

In 2010 and 2011, then-commissioner
of President Barack Obama’s Internal Revenue Service, Douglas
Shulman, visited the White House 118 times. In and of itself, that
is no “smoking gun” of a conspiracy to punish the president’s
enemies prior to the election. They had the IRS’s obnoxious new
powers invested through “Obamacare” to discuss. But the very
fact of a supposedly independent agency like the IRS coordinating
that tightly on anything with the political side is creepy.

And where did MacEachern get this factually incorrect conspiracy theory?

Steve Benen explains today in The 'smoking gun' fires blanks:

What's all the fuss about? The Daily Caller — which really didn't need another bogus story dragging down its reputation even further — ran a report
this morning, echoing a report from Fox News' Bill O'Reilly last night,
that said former IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman visited the White
House 157 times between 2009 and 2012.

This, O'Reilly said, may very well be the "smoking gun" Republicans have been hoping for.

part of its commitment to transparency, the administration makes public
a list of everyone who visits the White House. But as The Atlantic's Garance Franke-Ruta explained this morning, the right's attempt to use these records to advance the IRS story has failed miserably.

Shulman was cleared primarily to meet with administration staffers
involved in implementation of the health-care reform bill. He was
cleared 40 times to meet with Obama's director of the Office of Health
Reform, and a further 80 times for the biweekly health reform deputies meetings
and others set up by aides involved with the health-care law
implementation efforts. That's 76 percent of his planned White House
visits just there, before you even add in all the meetings with Office
of Management and Budget personnel also involved in health reform.

Complicating the picture is the fact that just because a meeting was
scheduled and Shulman was cleared to attend it does not mean that he
actually went. Routine events like the biweekly health-care deputies
meeting would have had a standing list of people cleared to attend,
people whose White House appointments would have been logged and
forwarded to the check-in gate. But there is no time of arrival
information in the records to confirm that Shulman actually signed in
and went to these standing meetings.

So, Shulman, the Bush-appointed head of the IRS, was
cleared to attend 157 gatherings at the White House. How many did he
actually attend? Eleven. The former IRS commissioner attended 11 events
at the White House over the course of three years. Why is that
interesting? It's not

To borrow a phrase, this isn't a smoking gun; it isn't even a lukewarm slingshot.

really hoped Republican media would know better by now. Not only is it
silly to think the White House would conspire with the Bush-appointed
head of the IRS
to add scrutiny to Tea Partiers seeking tax-exempt
status, but as long-time readers may recall, conservative media outlets
have been tripped up by the White House visitor logs before, too.

no smoking gun; there's no burgeoning presidential scandal; there's no
point to the usual suspects waiting for a new Watergate to emerge. The
right is just embarrassing itself at this point.

The Arizona Republic embarrasses itself and does a disservice to its readers by retaining Doug MacEachern in its employ. Readers can get this right-wing "echo chamber" crap from any number of right-wing sources. This diminishes the credibility of the Arizona Republic as a legitimate news organization.

UPDATE: Proving my point, MacEachern follows up with yet another "Benghazi! Benghazi!! Benghazi!!!" talking points column. MacEachern: Benghazi falls on deaf ears. Maybe he should read E.J. Montini's column, who explains to him his lack of perspective and right-wing partisanship in politicizing this tragedy. Benghazi and Sheriff Arpaio? Really?

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AZ BlueMeanie
The Blue Meanie is an Arizona citizen who wishes, for professional reasons, to remain anonymous when blogging about politics. Armed with a deep knowledge of the law, politics and public policy, as well as pen filled with all the colors stolen from Pepperland, the Blue Meanie’s mission is to pursue and prosecute the hypocrites, liars, and fools of politics and the media – which, in practical terms, is nearly all of them. Don’t even try to unmask him or he’ll seal you in a music-proof bubble and rendition you to Pepperland for a good face-stomping. Read blog posts by the infamous and prolific AZ Blue Meanie here.