On Saturday, CBS and NBC Give Attention to IRS Scandal As ABC's GMA Ignores
After all three broadcast network evening newscasts on Friday highlighted IRS commissioner John Koskinen's testimony before Congress regarding the numerous missing emails of former official Lois Lerner, Saturday morning's Good Morning America on ABC ignored the story completely while CBS This Morning ran a full report and NBC's Today gave viewers a 42-second news brief.
GMA, however, did find time to devote a two-minute full report to the hype surrounding the attractive mugshot of convict Jeremy Meeks.
NBC's Jenna Wolfe informed viewers that the IRS commissioner would make another congressional appearance on Monday as she introduced the brief:
The commissioner of the IRS is scheduled to appear before a House oversight committee on Monday following an hours long and extremely heated congressional hearing on Friday. Republican lawmakers on the House committee panel demanded to know how the IRS could lose thousands off emails from an ex-official accused of targeting conservative groups seeking tax exemptions.
Then came a soundbite of Wisconsin Republican Rep. Paul Ryan:
You ask taxpayers to hang on to seven years of their personal tax information in case they're ever audited, and you can't keep six months worth of employee emails?
Now, the IRS claims the emails in question are lost forever following a computer hard drive crash. Many members accused the agency's commissioner of being dishonest.
On CBS, co-anchor Anthony Mason gave the introduction:
Now, the tale of the IRS, the Tea Party, and the lost emails. House Republicans grilled the nation's chief tax collector yesterday about missing emails, and he refused to apologize. A former IRS executive, Lois Lerner, is at the center of an investigation into whether Tea Party and other conservative groups were singled out for scrutiny when they applied for tax exempt status.
Then came the same pre-recorded report which ran on Friday's CBS Evening News, filed by correspondent Nancy Cordes, followed by Cordes appearing live to briefly recite a conclusion. Unlike her conclusion from Friday evening, on Saturday morning Cordes did not mention the Republican complaint that "Koskinen should have given them a heads-up when he first learned of the gap earlier in the spring."
Below is a complete transcript of the report, totaling just over two minutes, that ran on the Saturday, June 21, CBS This Morning:
ANTHONY MASON: Now, the tale of the IRS, the Tea Party, and the lost emails. House Republicans grilled the nation's chief tax collector yesterday about missing emails, and he refused to apologize. A former IRS executive, Lois Lerner, is at the center of an investigation into whether Tea Party and other conservative groups were singled out for scrutiny when they applied for tax exempt status.
REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI): I don't believe you. This is incredible.
NANCY CORDES: House Republicans like Wisconsin's Paul Ryan were not in the mood for explanations today.
JOHN KOSKINEN, IRS COMMISSIONER: I have a long career. That's the first time anybody has said they do not believe me.
RYAN: I don't believe you.
KOSKINEN: That's fine. We can have a disagreement.
CORDES: John Koskinen took over the IRS last December, and has worked for presidents from both parties. He said Lois Lerner's hard drive crashed in mid-2011, well before the investigation began, and read emails from IT staffers at the time to prove it.
KOSKINEN: "Unfortunately, the news is not good. The sectors on the hard drive were bad which made your data unrecoverable. I am very sorry. Everyone involved tried their best."
CORDES: But committee chair Dave Camp was not convinced.
REP. DAVE CAMP (R-MI): What I didn't hear in that is an apology to this committee.
KOSKINEN: I don't think an apology is owed.
CORDES: Republicans have long suggested that Lerner was urged by the White House to hold up applications for tax exempt status from conservative groups before the 2012 elections. Democrats like Lloyd Doggett of Texas mocked that as just another conspiracy theory.
REP. LLOYD DOGGETT (D-TX): How about Area 51 out in Roswell, New Mexico, where all those space allegedly came. Have you any responsibility for that?
CORDES, APPEARING LIVE: Koskinen noted the IRS has been able to comb through other employees' accounts and retrieve about 24,000 emails to and from Lois Lerner over that questionable time period, and 67,000 Lois Lerner emails overall. For CBS This Morning Saturday, I'm Nancy Cordes, Capitol Hill.