- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The audience at a taping of NBC’s “The Tonight Show” erupted in cheers and applause earlier this week when host Jay Leno joked about the need to close the Internal Revenue Service.

Forget about Gitmo, he said, as Newsbusters reported. Close the IRS.

His exact words: “President Obama says he’s renewing his efforts to close Guantanamo Bay. Guantanamo Bay? How about closing the IRS? Why don’t we do that?”

Loud applause broke out, and then Mr. Leno continued: “How about shipping the IRS to Guantanamo Bay? That’s what we — yes. That’s how you do it.”

More applause and cheers followed. Mr. Leno’s joke came against a backdrop of recent IRS-related scandals, including the targeting of conservative groups seeking nonprofit status. The latest hit to the agency involves a new report that finds it spent $50 million on conferences and retreats for workers — in a two-year time period.

“They would have investigated sooner, but it turns out, you know, they don’t belong to any conservative groups,” Mr. Leno said during his Monday-evening show. “So nobody really notices. They didn’t really see it.”