Things got heated on Wednesday when a Democratic congressman agreed to an interview with Fox News, the conservative network that has apparent obsession with devoting hours of airtime every day to covering the news that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) targeted certain political groups.
Following a day where Fox News spent four hours covering IRS hearings and only 14 minutes covering hearings on sexual assaults in the military, host Megyn Kelly accused Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA) of “blaming the victim” because he told witnesses in tea party groups that they would never have been scrutinized if they had not asked for a tax break in the first place.
“Ms. Kelly, they can still operate, they can still collect money, they can still put out advertisements, they can use their First Amendment rights,” McDermott explained. “Nobody at the IRS stopped them from doing that.”
Kelly pointed out that one tea party group had claimed it lost a $30,000 donation because it had not received an official 501(c)4 tax-exempt status from the IRS.
“That was not under testimony, under oath,” McDermott replied. “He didn’t offer any proof.”
“He was lying?” Kelly asked. “Is this your answer to that? That anybody who lost donations, they’re misleading?”
“You are putting words in my mouth! Stop it!” the Washington Democrat exclaimed.
McDermott went on to explain that Republicans should start focusing on trying to fix the problem instead of using the scandal to attack President Barack Obama and other Democrats.
Kelly, however, insisted on continuing to allege that the congressman had blamed the “victims.”
“The Republicans weren’t making tax-exempt requests,” she said. “It was the people before you. So it certainly sounded like a direct question to the good men and women who took time out of their day after being harassed by our IRS.”
“That’s how you heard it,” McDermott shot back.
“That is, and you’re right,” Kelly agreed. “And we’ll leave it to the viewers to decide.”
Watch this video from Fox News’ America Live, broadcast June 5, 2013.