In Monday evening’s edition of network bias by omission, CBS and NBC neglected to stories concerning a data breach of American taxpayers at the scandal-ridden IRS and the Obama administration finally giving approval for a major oil company to begin oil drilling in the Arctic off Alaska’s coast.
Surprisingly, ABC’s World News Tonight picked up the pieces and provided their viewers with coverage of a full segment on the IRS breach and a brief on the future of drilling in the Arctic.
On the subject of the IRS, anchor David Muir described the information as “a troubling new development in the case of computer hacking at the IRS” as “far more taxpayers’ documents could have been compromised than we first knew.”
Speaking with Muir, senior Justice correspondent Pierre Thomas reported that “three times as many taxpayers [were] affected” as “[t]he number jump[ed] from 114,000 identified in May to roughly 334,000 possibly targeted.”
Thomas further explained in the time remaining how the information that the IRS has on Americans includes their salary, address, and date of birth to name a few that all could easily enable thieves to “assume your identity” and make hundreds of thousands of people victims of identity theft.
While Telemundo kept their viewers in the dark on this story, Univision’s Noticiero Univision had an 18-second news brief from co-anchor Jorge Ramos on the data breach and the growing number of Americans potentially affected.
Concerning the oil drilling, Muir dedicated a 14-second brief to the long-awaited decision by the Obama administration:
Tonight, oil drilling set to begin again in the Arctic Ocean. The U.S. government giving Royal Dutch Shell the final permit to drill off Alaska’s northwest coast. The first drilling there in more two decades. Shell bringing in special equipment to comply with environmental regulations.
On the Spanish-language network front, Telemundo and Univision ignored it while the PBS NewsHour and FNC’s Special Report joined ABC in covering this development regarding the future of drilling in the Arctic.
Instead of mentioning either one of these stories, CBS Evening News fill-in anchor Charlie Rose promoted viral video of a dump truck driver in Saudi Arabia driving with the container up when it crashed into a highway sign.
The transcript of the brief and segment from ABC’s World News Tonight with David Muir on August 17 can be found below.
ABC’s World News Tonight with David Muir
August 17, 2015
6:41 p.m. Eastern
[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE CAPTION: Arctic Drilling]
DAVID MUIR: Tonight, oil drilling set to begin again in the Arctic Ocean. The U.S. government giving Royal Dutch Shell the final permit to drill off Alaska’s northwest coast. The first drilling there in more two decades. Shell bringing in special equipment to comply with environmental regulations.
6:43 p.m. Eastern
[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE CAPTION: Hacking the IRS]
DAVID MUIR: We’re going to move now to a troubling new development in the case of computer hacking at the IRS. It turns out, far more taxpayers' documents could have been compromised than we first knew. ABC’s senior Justice correspondent Pierre Thomas with us live from Washington. Pierre, how big is this? What is the scope of it?
[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: IRS Hacked; New Details on Size of Breach]
PIERRE THOMAS: David, you’re right. It's really bad, far worse than we knew with three times as many taxpayers affected. The number jumping from 114,000 identified in May to roughly 334,000 possibly targeted.
MUIR: And this is taxpayer information, so it's particularly concerning, Pierre. What can they do with it?
THOMAS: It's so bad. Your tax information contains information about your salary, your place of employment, where you live, whether you are married. Combine with this critical information with your name, date of birth and your social security number and you can see how someone can assume your identity, David.
MUIR: Alright, Pierre Thomas. We’ll stay on this. Pierre, thank you.