The Slatest

Today in Conservative Media: Lock Lois Lerner Up!

Lois Lerner, former director of the Tax Exempt and Government Entities Division at the Internal Revenue Service, at a hearing of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on March 5, 2014.

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A daily roundup of the biggest stories in right-wing media.

On Friday, multiple conservative outlets ran posts on the Justice Department’s decision not to prosecute former IRS official Lois Lerner for allegedly penalizing conserative groups applying for non-profit status. “Yes, some progressive groups were victims of the same treatment, though even National Public Radio noted that the list, which is 426 groups deep, is top heavy with conservative groups,” Townhall’s Matt Vespa wrote. “A federal judge ruled that the IRS has until October 16 to name those who were involved in the targeting, but for now—Lerner is in the clear once again. In 2015, DOJ also declined to press charges against Lerner after concluding their investigation into the matter.”

RedState’s Jim Jimitis compared the failure to prosecute Lerner to the failure to “lock up” Hillary Clinton. “Just like the Trump campaign’s anti-Hillary chant ‘Lock Her Up!’ turned out to be all talk and no action, so has Trump’s bluster about the IRS targeting scandal,” he wrote. “You’re not likely to see any tweets from Trump about why Lerner was able to retire with a cushy pension after refusing to answer questions about her role in turning the IRS into a political weapon for the Left. Candidate Trump would probably have been as outraged as the Congressional Republicans who asked for Lerner’s prosecution.”

The Resurgent’s Steve Berman wrote that he agreed with the decision not to prosecute Lerner and admonished outraged Republicans:

It’s a terrible precedent for one administration to reach back into a previous civil service scandal just to get revenge or make political points. Rep. Kevin Brady, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee faked outrage for the quote “terrible decision” unquote, which he knew full well was coming. …

Politicians who do things purely for political advantage are what makes the public hate Congress. Brady’s fake outrage over something that happened three years ago, when nothing has changed is about what we expect from a Republican willing to go along to get along. Lerner is never going to be prosecuted. Let’s quit with the fake outrage from fake Republicans.

Some conservatives took to Twitter to criticize the Justice Department’s decision:

In other news:

Multiple outlets ran posts about a campuswide email sent by University of Berkeley administrators, in advance of Daily Wire Editor in Chief Ben Shapiro’s event at the college, detailing event logistics and noting that counseling is available for students upset by campus guests. From the Daily Wire’s James Barrett:

“Our commitment to free speech, as well as to the law, mandates that the students who invited Shapiro be able to host their event for those who wish to hear him speak,” the provost explains. “Our commitment to the principles of community mandates that all students, faculty, and staff be able to be present on campus, engaging in their regular academic activities without fear. Achieving this poses unusual challenges for us; this memo lays out the arrangements that we are putting in place.”

Those “arrangements” to meet the “unusual challenges” include 1) shutting down multiple buildings and parking lots to create a “closed perimeter” around Zellerbach Hall, where Shapiro is speaking; 2) providing “alternative options” for faculty, staff and students so they can try to engage “in their regular academic activities without fear” of violence erupting; 3) imposing special restrictions on tickets and IDs; and 4) offering “support and counseling services for faculty, staff and students.”

“Well, you know how crazy a Ben Shapiro crowd can get,” the Daily Caller’s Jim Treacher joked. “I heard a lot of them have been known to stay up past their bedtime several nights a week, and a few of those psychopaths even drink 2% milk instead of skim. Those lunatics are out of their minds.” RedState’s Brandon Morse wrote about an antifa flyer posted about the Shapiro event. According to flyers posted around campus by Berkeley’s ‘Refuse Fascism’ group, they are holding a rally at the same time as Shapiro’s speech for ‘a people’s speak out against white supremacy, misogyny, xenophobia, and fascism,’ ” he wrote. “According to the flyer, the problem isn’t with ‘campus thuggery’ where people are literally beaten bloody for their opposing viewpoints, it’s ‘intellectual thuggery,’ or as the rest of us call it, ‘facts.’ ”