The network media’s blackout of the IRS scandal continued on Wednesday night with zero mentions of the Senate hearing held hours before as well as a threat issued by a federal judge to hold IRS commissioner John Koskinen and Department of Justice (DOJ) attorneys in contempt of court concerning Lois Lerner’s e-mails. As usual, FNC's Special Report provided coverage that the “big three” of ABC, CBS, and NBC and Spanish-language networks Telemundo and Univision did not and led its Wednesday show with a full story from chief congressional correspondent Mike Emanuel.
On Thursday night, the major broadcast networks ignored a new development in the IRS scandal that the agency erased 422 backup tapes and in turn destroyed 24,000 e-mails of embattled former official Lois Lerner. With ABC, CBS, and NBC on the sidelines, the Fox News Channel’s Special Report offered a full report on Thursday’s House Oversight Committee hearing concerning the multi-year scandal. Bret Baier informed viewers that there was “new information about thousands more e-mails in the IRS targeting scandal destroyed during the investigation.”
In Thursday’s edition of stories ignored by the top English and Spanish networks, the six of them declined to report that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has admitted that illegal immigrants could apply for back taxes under President Obama’s amnesty plan as well as a report by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that fracking does not harm drinking water.
Leave it to taxpayer-subsidized NPR to subtly shade its reporting on a federal government data breach in a way that softens the blow for the Internal Revenue Service.
The Big Three's morning newscasts on Wednesday and Thursday all covered the breach of an online IRS system by hackers that compromised the personal information of 100,000 taxpayers. However, none of the programs mentioned President Obama by name during their reporting, nor did they revisit any of the other problems or scandals involving the agency in recent years. CBS Evening News and NBC Nightly News have yet to cover the IRS hacking, as of Wednesday evening.
On Thursday, CBS This Morning offered a scant 26 seconds on a Wall Street Journal story about nearly 1,600 IRS employees having evaded taxes over a ten-year period, with co-host Norah O'Donnell noting: "Workers improperly claimed dependents, repeatedly failed to file timely tax returns, and claimed a tax credit for first-time home buyers when the IRS worker didn't buy a house. Most of the IRS employees were not fired. Some received promotions, raises, and even bonuses." Neither NBC's Today nor ABC's Good Morning America made any mention of the latest scandal to plague the agency.
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.
On Friday evening, the Big Three networks continued their blackouts on the Thursday revelation that the Treasury Department's deputy inspector general, Timothy Camus, is conducting an "active investigation" into the "potential criminal activity" at the IRS over Lois Lerner's supposedly missing e-mails. Instead, ABC's World News Tonight, CBS Evening News, and NBC Nightly News all devoted full segments to the viral photograph of a dress that appears to be either black and blue or gold and white.
Appearing on the Fox News Channel’s (FNC) Your World with Neil Cavuto on Wednesday, Media Reserach Center President Brent Bozell reacted to dual news stories surrounding ObamaCare and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as “business as usual” for an “out of control” administration ruling “government by fiat.”
The first story came on February 20 that 800,000 ObamaCare enrollees had received incorrect tax information and then followed by news on Tuesday that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has allowed enrollees to keep extra money on their refunds due to the taxing error.
The major broadcast networks continued their month-long plus streak of not covering the IRS scandal on Friday night and Saturday morning as ABC, CBS, and NBC all omitted from their evening and morning newscasts two major developments. The new details on the scandal involving the agency that targeted conservative groups include the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) informing congressional staffers that a possible 760 IRS computer servers exist that could contain lost e-mails from Lois Lerner.
On Monday, IRS deputy associate chief council Thomas Kane told the House Oversight Committee that he is unsure whether or not backup tapes of the lost Lois Lerner emails exist.
Despite the potential bombshell surrounding the investigation into the IRS’ targeting of conservative groups, all three network evening news shows, ABC’s World News with Diane Sawyer, CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley and the NBC Nightly News, ignored the revelations on Monday, July 21.