Disclaimer: I am a former Washington Post journalist
First of all, TFA is at The Washington Times. That alone makes its credibility dubious. The Washington Times was founded by Sun Myung Moon
(crazy "Unification Church" cult leader) who stated that the purpose of the "newspaper" was to be "the instrument in spreading the truth about God to the world." Moon was convicted that same year of filing false federal income tax returns and conspiracy and served 13 months in prison. The Times has long been known as a conservative shill (although it has a decent sports section) that had to be financially supported by Moon's "church" to survive. Moon spent nearly $2 billion of his followers' money over 20 years to keep the paper afloat.
Second, The Washington Times article doesn't even claim to have done any reporting on its own... it cites some article from UPI that isn't readily available on UPI's home page or even by searching UPI for "IRS." Ultimately found the "article" here
. It's a 9-paragraph blog posting. UPI was once a respectable news agency like AP or Reuters, but its relevance diminished to the point where it was bought out in 2000
by... you guessed it: Sun Myung Moon. UPI's White House correspondent retired the next day after 57 years with the organization. These days UPI doesn't even have a White House correspondent, and its finances have gotten so bad that it relies on free articles contributed by college students.
The UPI blog posting cites a Courthouse News Service article
: John Doe Company sued 15 John Doe IRS agents in Superior Court. The plaintiff's attorney alleges that the records affected may include those of "politically controversial members of the Screen Actors Guild and the Directors Guild, and prominent citizens in the world of entertainment, business and government, from all walks of life." He goes on to complain that the unnamed IRS agents "decided to use John Doe Company's media system to watch basketball, ordering pizza and Coca-Cola, to take in part of the NCAA tournament," but "Plaintiff's attorney Robert E. Barnes declined to elaborate on the complaint's allegations, saying he will have more information 'in a few months.'"
Why publish a story no one can verify, since all you can say for now is that that unnamed people at the IRS are illegally snooping on unnamed politically controversial people through an unnamed medical firm? Because it helps fuel the fire driving the current Republican party line of "the IRS is evil and Obama is responsible." Because some ignorant blogger might pick it up and run with it, thinking that The Washington Times and UPI are real news organizations, and not even bother to look for the source of this story. Great job Timothy.