ABC and NBC Continue to Dodge Bad News on the Economy; Nets Again Skip Recovered IRS E-Mails

In the Wednesday edition of bias by omission, five of the English and Spanish network evening newscasts again refused to report on a troubling sign for the U.S. economy while all six omitted any mention of a new development in the IRS scandal.

After completely ignoring the story all together Wednesday morning, the CBS Evening News stepped up to mention that the U.S. economy has screeched to a grinding halt with a measly 0.2 percent growth in gross domestic product (GDP) for the first quarter of 2015.

However, only 20 seconds was devoted to the news with the following brief from anchor Scott Pelley:

The U.S. economy came to a near halt in the first three months of this year. The Commerce Department told us today that growth in the first quarter was 0.2 percent. In the previous quarter, it was a moderate 2.2. Bad weather is blamed, but in light of this, an increase in interest rates will likely be delayed.

The Wall Street Journal further elaborated on the Federal Reserve’s reaction to this troubling statistic in an article published late Wednesday: 

The economy’s sharp first-quarter slowdown is giving Federal Reserve officials pause.

The nation’s central bank pointed to cooling economic activity and reduced job-market gains in its policy statement Wednesday, underscoring uncertainty among officials about when the economy will rebound and clouding the timing of when they will begin to raise interest rates.

(....)

Still, they want firm evidence the economy is stronger before they start lifting their benchmark short-term interest rate, which has been near zero since December 2008.

Bad weather, cheaper oil, disruptions at West Coast ports and the stronger dollar appear to be at least partly behind the downturn. In the first three months of the year, consumers showed signs of caution about spending, businesses slashed investment—especially in the energy sector—and exports tumbled, marking a return to uneven growth that has been a hallmark of the nearly six-year economic expansion.

Meanwhile, all six networks continued to censor for a second straight news cycle the latest in the scandal involving the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups as it was revealed that roughly 6,500 e-mails belonging to Lois Lerner were recovered after having previously thought to have been lost. 

While the networks showed no interest in this story, the Fox News Channel’s Special Report with Bret Baier offered a full segment on the topic during its Wednesday broadcast.

Correspondent Doug McKelway explained, in part, the new details during the one-minute-and-59-second report:

The new Lois Lerner e-mails, 6,500 e-mails in all, are being turned over to House and Senate investigating committees this week. They are a subset, minus duplicates, of an unexpected trove of 32,000 Lerner e-mails found by inspector general investigators, or TIGTA, in back-up disks at the IRS’s data facility in Martinsburg, West Virginia. Back-up disks that the IRS Commissioner, John Koskinen, said did not exist when he testified last June. 

As the Treasury Department’s Inspector General deciphers what was written in Lerner’s e-mails, one will have to see if the English and Spanish networks even mention it.

The transcript of the brief from the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley on April 29 is transcribed below.

CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley
April 29, 2015
6:38 p.m. Eastern

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE CAPTION: The Economy]

SCOTT PELLEY: The U.S. economy came to a near halt in the first three months of this year. The Commerce Department told us today that growth in the first quarter was 0.2 percent. In the previous quarter, it was a moderate 2.2. Bad weather is blamed, but in light of this, an increase in interest rates will likely be delayed.

The relevant portions of the transcript from FNC’s Special Report with Bret Baier on April 29 can be found below.

FNC’s Special Report with Bret Baier
April 29, 2015
6:08 p.m. Eastern

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE CAPTION: Long Lost Emails]

BRET BAIER: Investigators looking into the IRS targeting scandal have some new material to work with. Thousands of e-mails involving retired bureaucrat Lois Lerner have been discovered. Correspondent Doug McKelway on what once was lost, now being found.

DOUG MCKELWAY : The new Lois Lerner e-mails, 6500 e-mails in all, are being turned over to House and Senate investigating committees this week. They are a subset, minus duplicates, of an unexpected trove of 32,000 Lerner e-mails found by inspector general investigators, or TIGTA, in back-up disks at the IRS’s data facility in Martinsburg, West Virginia. Back-up disks that the IRS Commissioner, John Koskinen, said did not exist when he testified last June. 

(....)

MCKELWAY: The IRS today said it welcomed the new discovery as, quote, “an encouraging development that will help resolve remaining questions.” A House Ways and Means Committee statement said today, “[t]his underscores that our investigation into IRS abuse is far from over.” Meanwhile, the government watchdog group, Judicial Watch, has been making its own steady progress in its lawsuits seeking the release of Lerner e-mails. On April 9th, under court order, the IRS gave Judicial Watch several Lerner e-mails. In one from 2013, Lerner appeals to signal colleagues that they coordinating their messaging. Quote, “seems like we may very well be in disagreement big time. That means we will need to start drafting our arguments.” The Treasury Inspector General is expected to release a report later this year on what has been the new e-mails. In congressional testimony last February, a deputy IG testified they’re also investigating, quote, “potential criminal activity.”

CyberAlerts Economy Media Bias Debate Bias by Omission Conservatives & Republicans Political Scandals IRS Targets Tea Party IRS Federal Reserve ABC World News Tonight CBS CBS Evening News NBC NBC Nightly News Fox News Channel Special Report Wall Street Journal Video Scott Pelley Bret Baier Lois Lerner
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