Michael Gaynor
Fox News Reporting's "Enemies of the State": bold, but bungled
By Michael Gaynor
April 8, 2014

It's time to find out everything that Bauer did to deal with what he considered to be a grave threat from True the Vote, what his client, President Obama, knew about it, and when he knew it.

Last weekend Fox News Reporting's "Enemies of the State" was broadcast.

To be sure, none of the alphabet networks would have broadcast such a program, so kudos to Fox News Reporting for boldness.

That said, Fox News Reporting bungled the story.

Bungle – "to spoil something by doing it very badly" (www.macmillandictionary.com/us/dictionary/american/bungle).

First, Fox News Reporting BURIED THE LEAD.

Bury the lead – "To begin a story with details of secondary importance...while postponing more essential points or facts" (http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/bury_the_lead).

About 45 minutes into the program Fox News Reporting tied former White House counsel Robert Bauer to the federal government's harassment of Catherine Engelbrecht for founding a tea party group (King Street Patriots) and an election integrity organization (True the Vote) and seeking tax exempt status for them.

As Engelbrecht told interviewer Jon Scott, her harassment was traceable to "the West Wing."

THAT is the lead!

As I wrote in September 2013 in "The 'War' the Liberal Media Establishment Ignores: Obama Administration v. 'Nice Woman' Catherine Engelbrecht" (www.webcommentary.com/php/ShowArticle.php?id=gaynorm&date=130624):

"In July 2010 [Catherine Engelbrecht] sent applications to the IRS for tax-exempt status. What followed was not the harassment, intrusiveness and delay we're now used to hearing of. The U.S. government came down on her with full force.

"It is very important to ascertain how high up in the IRS the scandal reached, but it is even more important to learn who is responsible for the IRS, FBI, BATF and OSHA all investigating Engelbrecht after she sought tax exempt status for True the Vote and King Street Patriots.

"Curiously, the liberal media establishment incessantly promoted the Democrats' Republican War on Woman pitch during the 2012 election season, but when it comes to the Obama administration 'war' on a 'nice woman' – Catherine Engelbrecht – silence is the general rule."

Until "Enemies of the State," even Fox News at least seemed to be giving former White House counsel Bob Bauer a pass instead of scrutinizing him.

As I wrote last September:

"Notably, Bob Bauer, former White House counsel and counsel to Obama Biden and the Democratic National Committee, fears True the Vote and defamed it as a voter suppression group during the 2012 election campaign. Bauer was appointed as President Obama's general counsel on January 3, 2010. He stayed until June 30, 2011, and then returned to private practice to again represent President Obama's election team and the Democratic National Committee. President Obama publicly described Bauer as 'a critical member of the White House team' who would 'continue to be one of [his] close advisers.'

"In an October 2012 Obama Biden memorandum to Interested Parties available online athttp://secure.assets.bostatic.com/pdfs/BauerMemo/BauerMemo.pdf, Bauer charged that there was a 'Republican assault on voting rights....with deep roots in the party's history and politics' led by the Republican National Committee 'aided by organizations closely associated with the party and its goals, such as True the Vote.'

"True the Vote is demonized in the six-page, single-spaced memorandum. According to Bauer, it was 'assisting the effort [to disrupt] the voter registration process' by purporting to train and deploy to polling places around the country "poll watchers" on the watch for "fraud"....' Section IV of the memorandum, devoted to True the Vote, begins, 'Since the 2010-midterm elections, Texas-based True the Vote (TTV) has been an outspoken member of the voter fraud community and is the social group focused on ending "vote fraud." It is the first group since the Karl Rove inspired American Center for Voting Rights was discovered to be a Republican front in 2007.'

"Does it shock you that the Engelbrechts, whose previous contact with the IRS consisted of paying taxes and filing tax returns for about 20 years without being audited, suddenly were audited by the IRS after those tax exemption applications were submitted?

"Does it shock you that the FBI Domestic Terrorism unit suddenly went looking for terrorists at the King Street Patriots office?

"Does it shock you that OSHA opted to audit the Engelbrecht family business when it never had done so before?

"Does it shock you that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms suddenly decided to investigate the small Engelbrecht manufacturing business. (It had a license to manufacture firearms, but did not manufacture any, as the BATF agent learned upon investigation.)

"If that doesn't shock you, does it shock you that BATF conducted a second investigation about a year later, soon AFTER True the Vote filed a federal lawsuit against the St. Lucie County, Florida Supervisor of Elections over the mishandling of the Allen West recount?"

It's time to find out everything that Bauer did to deal with what he considered to be a grave threat from True the Vote, what his client, President Obama, knew about it, and when he knew it.

Second, in its special Fox News Reporting mischaracterized the good people targeted by the federal government as "enemies of the state."

"A state is another word for government or nation. An enemy of the state would be somebody or something that has a goal to bring down or destroy the government by any means. That doesn't mean someone who opposes the government and wants to change policy, or like Democrats and Republicans disagreeing. An enemy of the state wants to literally destroy the government itself, from the outside or from within." (https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20100215135113AAv7Xxx)

The four stories covered in the special were about good people being wrongfully targeted by the federal government, not terrorists out "to bring down or destroy the government by any means."

Third, Fox News Reporting minimized the importance of the Catherine Engelbrecht story, which involves persecution of a person for exercising her constitutional rights and thereby threatening the Obama Administration politically, by packaging it with three other abuse of power stories that did not involve a political threat to the Obama Administration – an outrageous federal government campaign through six administrations against the Hadges, a Nevada family with a large ranch that the federal government wanted to buy, apparently for its water rights and perhaps for environmental reasons; an outrageous targeting of the Gibson guitar company by the Obama Administration purportedly for buying wood from Madagascar and India to make its guitars; and a mind-boggling and unsuccessful Obama Administration criminal prosecution of Harold Hamm's oil business purportedly because a migratory bird had been found dead on property of the business.

To be sure the stories of the Hadges, the Gibson guitar company and the prosecution of Hamm's oil business are newsworthy, but they apparently involved abuse of power, not persecution based on a desire to perpetuate political control that should greatly concern all Americans. If there is evidence that the West Wing was involved in the Hadge, Gibson and Hamm cases, Fox New Reporting did not present it and thus those cases are not as politically significant as the Engelbrecht case.

Fourth, Fox News Reporting reported that King Street Patriots and True the Vote finally received tax exempt status, but omitted to mention that was only after Engelbrecht took the Internal Revenue Service to court and it issued the exemptions in an effort to moot a case in which the notorious former IRS official Lois Lerner is a party and potential witness.

That's what happens when a story deserving its own one hour special is covered in a one-hour special as one of four stories.

Still, Fox News Reporting finally has put a spotlight on Robert Bauer, and that's the kind of progress the United States needs as the 2014 elections near!

© Michael Gaynor


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)

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Michael Gaynor

Michael J. Gaynor has been practicing law in New York since 1973. A former partner at Fulton, Duncombe & Rowe and Gaynor & Bass, he is a solo practitioner admitted to practice in New York state and federal courts and an Association of the Bar of the City of New York member... (more)


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