Featuring interviews with Mike Huckabee, Trey Gowdy, Ted Cruz, Steve King, Glenn Beck, and millionaire tea party nonprofit community organizer Jenny Beth Martin, UnFair seems to be an alien-autopsy style ‘documentary’ about the 2013 IRS controversy in which people talking about an imaginary thing are presented as proof it is real. The only person missing from the cast is a breathless Dinesh D’Souza, or maybe a wild-haired Giorgio Tsoukalos.
“If people say there was no IRS scandal, they must be completely blind or willfully ignorant,” says Judd Saul, director of UnFair. He speaks with the same confidence exhibited by cable TV alien hunters when they swear to the veracity of victims discussing their kidnapping and anal probing by flying saucer crews. “I’ve met and looked people in the eye … who’ve been violated by them, the IRS.”
Violated. More contrived than the Benghazi ‘cover-up,’ and only slightly less ridiculous than Orly Taitz’s birth certificate lawsuits, the so-called ‘IRS scandal’ is just one more example of tea party persecution fantasies at work in a movement that was built on invisible bridges.
Nurtured in the right wing echo chamber for years, the talking points for this fake controversy were honed and focus-grouped for Republican regurgitation by a collaborative effort of right wing websites, tea party activists, and pseudo-journalists long before the general public ever even heard about it. All of these talking points are loaded with the Other-ing and dehumanization of the president that is characteristic of the movement: he is framed as the strange, socialist, foreign, un-American, alien president who personally ordered Lois Lerner to victimize them all in the dead of night with audits of their applications for nonprofit status.
Saul spoke about his movie to Christina Crippes of the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier, who apparently did no research of her own. “While it later came out that tea party groups were not the only ones to be singled out by the agency,” she says,” it’s unclear whether they received the same level of scrutiny as the conservative groups.” In fact, conservative groups very clearly did not suffer special scrutiny over and above liberal ones — if anything, the opposite is true. Furthermore, not one of these groups was prevented from any electoral activity as a result of that scrutiny.
The notion that an unbalanced, politicized IRS investigation of nonprofit applications took place came from Inspector General J. Russel George, who later had to correct himself when it turned out that progressive groups were in fact ‘targeted’ even more extensively than conservative groups — and that the only group actually denied tax-exempt nonprofit status was a liberal one.
These revelations have led Darrell Issa to shift the goalposts and whine that not enough Occupy groups were ‘targeted,’ or that said ‘targeting’ of non-conservative groups was “not as systematic.” It is all verbal smoke and mirrors. These linguistic quibbles point to just how hollow and paranoid the entire persecution narrative really is. In fact, the word ‘targeting’ is the single most revealing Orwellianism at the heart of the entire fake scandal: while the IRS was a bit sloppy about which terms they used to choose groups for review, they were definitely doing their job when they hit the ‘Enter’ key.
Righteous indignation that federal employees entered search terms to examine their records — rather than, say, using a blindfold and darts as is required in the Constitution — is the character-assassinating linchpin to the entire ‘IRS scandal.’
To cash in on the bubble, Judd has enlisted John Sullivan, co-director of conservative fraud Dinesh D’Souza’s fraudulent documentary, 2016: Obama’s America, and the voice talents of radio talk show host Craig Berman. You may remember Mr. Berman from his brief moment in the spotlight as Newt Gingrich’s Iowa campaign director — the one who resigned because he’d told two newspapers that a “national pastor” should ‘target’ Mitt Romney’s campaign by convincing evangelicals not to vote for “the cult of Mormon.” According to Crippes, Judd “specifically makes the moral case to churches that they should get more active” in politics. She did not ask him whether or how often he visits with the Latter Day Saints.
Berman has also been the Iowa director of the so-called ‘Fair Tax’ for nineteen years. A longtime associate of Berman, Judd too is a ‘Fair Tax’ activist. So here’s the twist ending: UnFair is a fringe anti-tax propaganda multimedia event, being held by Ronpaulite anti-tax activists, to further an extreme anti-government agenda.