Networks Ignore Discovery of 'Lost' Lois Lerner E-Mails

Despite a combined eight hours of air time on Wednesday, all three network morning shows ignored the revelation that 6,400 "lost" e-mails from ex-IRS official Lois Lerner have been found. On cable, Fox News anchor Bill Hemmer alerted viewers, reminding, "The IRS claimed the emails were lost when learner's computer crashed three years ago. They will now be examined by the Senate Finance Committee." 

ABC's Good Morning America, NBC's Today and CBS This Morning all avoided this development. Instead, the networks made time for frivolous, unimportant topics. Rather than focus on an attempt to cover-up government targeting of conservative groups, GMA devoted four minutes to this: "Stranded on a deserted Island: Four keys to staying alive." (See picture below.) 

CBS This Morning offered two segments, totaling eight minutes and 19 seconds to comedian John Oliver. NBC's Today allowed six minutes and 17 seconds for Tina Fey and her new Netflix sitcom. 

CNN.com reported the latest details of the IRS case: 

The IRS watchdog investigating the disappearance of Lois Lerner's emails told a Senate committee it has found roughly 6,400 messages that have never before been turned over to Congress.

Lerner was the IRS official at the center of allegations that the agency targeted tea party groups applying for nonprofit status. Congress requested Lerner's emails from the IRS and agency officials told lawmakers an unknown number of emails had been lost when Lerner's computer crashed.

The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration is in the process of turning the emails over to the Senate Finance Committee, which is investigating whether the IRS wrongly targeted conservative and other groups seeking tax-exempt status, committee spokesman Aaron Fobes said.

"These emails will be carefully examined as part of the committee's bipartisan IRS investigation," he said.

A March study by the Media Research Center found that the networks have been ignoring the latest developments on the IRS scandal. As of March 4, ABC hadn't touched the story in ten months. 

A transcript of the April 29 Fox News brief is below:

BILL HEMMER: There is other news today, including this: The developments in the IRS targeting scandal. A watchdog has found thousands of missing Lois Lerner emails. Treasury's Inspector General for Tax Administration says it found about 6400 e-mails from 2004 through 2013, a nine year period. Learner used to run the Tax Exempt Organization Zone, that's the department accused of targeting conservative groups. The IRS claimed the emails were lost when learner's computer crashed three years ago. They will now be examined by the Senate Finance Committee.

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the associate editor for the Media Research Center's NewsBusters.org site.