On Friday afternoon, it became known that as many as 30,000 emails belonging to former IRS official Lois Lerner that were thought to be lost had been recovered. When it came to reporting this story, however, English-language networks ABC and NBC plus Spanish-language networks Telemundo and Univision have punted on this story and offered no coverage through their Monday evening newscasts.
The only network to cover the story thus far was CBS, which devoted only a meager 26 seconds to it during its Saturday morning newscast, CBS This Morning: Saturday. [MP3 audio here; Video below]
During the show’s 8:00 a.m. half hour, co-host Anthony Mason read the following news brief as part of a look at headlines from news outlets around the country:
The Washington Examiner says thousands of emails from former IRS official Lois Lerner have been found. The Treasury Department's Inspector General made the discovery after sifting through disaster recovery tapes. It comes five months after Lerner and other IRS officials testified before Congress that emails possibly showing efforts to deny tax exemption status to tea party and other conservative grumps were lost forever.
Specially, the U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) was the party responsible for finding the emails and had, according to the Examiner article, “informed congressional staffers from several committees on Friday.”
The article also noted that this stands in contradiction to what IRS Commissioner John Koskinen had told Congress in June when he testified that the emails were likely lost for ever as the recovery tapes only held data for six months. Congressional aides did state it could take weeks, however, for the TIGTA to have them removed from the tapes and deciphered in order to be fully sent to lawmakers.
The lack of coverage on this issue involving the IRS is nothing new for the nation’s two top Spanish-language networks. In fact, Telemundo and Univision have made no mention of the Obama administration’s IRS scandal in 2014.
Since this story broke, the networks have found plenty of stories to cover instead of the latest break in this ongoing scandal involving the targeting of tea party groups by the IRS.
Over on Telemundo’s evening newscast Noticiero Telemundo, it spent two minutes and 21 seconds hyping the upcoming holiday shopping season instead of giving a brief mention to this development.
On ABC’s World News Tonight with David Muir, the Monday broadcast featured a one-minute-and-12-seconds report on a car chase that transpired earlier in the day in California that included one of the perpetrators climbing onto a building’s rooftop after ditching the vehicle used in the pursuit.
The complete transcript of the news brief that aired during CBS This Morning: Saturday on November 22 can be found below.
CBS This Morning: Saturday
November 22, 2014
8:20 a.m. Eastern
[ON-SCREEN NEWSPAPER HEADLINE: Washington Examiner; Article Photos: 30,000 Missing Emails from IRS’s Lerner Recovered]
ANTHONY MASON: The Washington Examiner says thousands of emails from former IRS official Lois Lerner have been found. The Treasury Department's Inspector General made the discovery after sifting through disaster recovery tapes. It comes five months after Lerner and other IRS officials testified before Congress that emails possibly showing efforts to deny tax exemption status to tea party and other conservative grumps were lost forever.