The news director at St. Louis’s KMOV says “we just all thought it made sense” for anchor Larry Conners to take a few days off while the station looks into allegations that the newsman was was targeted by the IRS after he interviewed President Obama.
Conners wrote on Facebook earlier this week:
The Obama interview caught fire and got wide-spread attention because I questioned his spending.
I said some viewers expressed concern, saying they think he’s “out of touch” because of his personal and family trips in the midst of our economic crisis.
The President’s face clearly showed his anger; afterwards, his staff which had been so polite … suddenly went cold.
That’s to be expected, and I can deal with that just as I did with President George H. Bush’s staff when he didn’t like my questions.
Journalistic integrity is of the utmost importance to me. My job is to ask the hard questions, because I believe viewers have a right to be well-informed. I cannot and will not promote anyone’s agenda – political or otherwise – at the expense of the reporting the truth.
What I don’t like to even consider … is that because of the Obama interview … the IRS put a target on me.
Can I prove it? At this time, no.
But it is a fact that since that April 2012 interview … the IRS has been pressuring me.
The Post-Dispatch reports that a federal tax lien has been placed on the anchor’s property, and that the lien claims Conners and his wife owe more than $85,000 in “small business/self employed” taxes.
Later from Conners: “To be fair, I should disclose that my issues with the IRS preceded that interview [with Obama] by several years.”