Partisans tend to read, watch and listen only, or mostly, to information and opinions that reinforce their beliefs. If information surfaces that counters those beliefs, it is usually disparaged, excused or ignored. That's human nature. Such is the case with the "memo" released last Friday by the Republican majority on the House Intelligence Committee. The four-page document alleges, in the words of a Wall Street Journal editorial: "the FBI and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court appear to have been used to influence the 2016 election and its aftermath."
Finally! Tea Party groups that were targeted by Barack Obama’s IRS have vindication. But you wouldn’t know it, if you got your news from the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) networks. While the liberal Washington Post (page A3) and New York Times (page A18) covered the momentous decision in their Friday print editions, the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) networks have yet to mention the settlement. Sadly, it’s not surprising as the networks haven’t covered the IRS-Tea Party scandal in almost three years.
Lois Lerner’s confession at that conference did contain one small truth. The IRS targeting scandal did indeed start in “Cincy”—as D.C. headquarters refers to that outpost. On a cold late February day in 2010, a Cincinnati screener named Jack Koester found himself focused on an application from a local Tea Party group.
The latest stunning development in the IRS targeting scandal, that a federal appeals court on Tuesday scolded the IRS for failing to turn over its full list of groups it targeted, has yet to be reported on any of the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) network evening or morning shows. However, as NewsBusters’ Scott Whitlock reported, all three networks on Thursday found time to gush over Barack Obama’s “fancy footwork” and “dancing diplomacy” in Argentina.
ABC, CBS, and NBC's evening newscasts on Friday all failed to cover the Justice Department announcing that it would be ending its investigation into the IRS's targeting of conservative groups. The Big Three networks' news program did find time to air reporting on the top Google searches for Halloween costumes, the fewer number of turkeys available for upcoming Thanksgiving dinners, and the controversy over the first bear hunt in Florida in 20 years.
First it was a destroyed hard drive, then it was a busted BlackBerry and now we find out Lois Lerner used another personal e-mail account to conduct government business that utilized the alias “Toby Miles.” This IRS targeting scandal has more twists than an old episode of Law and Order, but it’s still not enticing the Big Three networks (ABC, CBS, NBC) to go back to covering it.
The cover-up behind the IRS targeting scandal continues to unravel, despite President Barack Obama’s absurd protest to the Daily Show’s Jon Stewart last week that “the truth of the matter is there was not some big conspiracy.” This week’s revelations provided the perfect opportunity to catch Obama in a “gotcha” moment but so far ABC, CBS and NBC have reacted with total silence.
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 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.
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." 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."
On Wednesday, the Department of Justice announced it would not be seeking contempt charges against Lois Lerner for refusing to testify to Congress on the IRS targeting scandal. The Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) networks, so far, have refused to report on this big development in the Obama IRS scandal that they apparently just don’t want to talk about any more.
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.