Erin Burnett Ignores IRS Targeting Scandal for Three Months, Reports Obama Doesn't Own Cat

CNN's Erin Burnett has not covered the IRS targeting scandal since May 22, yet she had time on Wednedsay's OutFront to report the mock-controversy that President Obama does not own a cat.

"Now, there is a major story of controversy at the White House," Burnett began her "Outtake" on Wednesday about the Obamas' new dog. "Cat owners are up in arms that President Obama did not choose a cat. The cat lobby thinks with 39 percent of American households owning at least one cat, the President is cutting out a huge group of American voters."

Meanwhile, big developments in the real scandal of the IRS targeting Tea Party groups have been rolling out all summer and Burnett's CNN colleagues have at least taken the trouble to cover some of them, even if some of that coverage has been IRS-friendly. Yet Burnett has been AWOL on this major government scandal for three months.

In just the past few weeks multiple stories on the IRS have surfaced that Burnett could have reported. For instance:

The IRS employee who approved the illegal release of "pending, confidential" tax-exempt applications of conservative groups received a promotion.

An IRS agent told the House Ways and Means Committee that Tea Party groups are still getting extra IRS scrutiny, months after the scandal first broke.

Multiple pro-life groups were "harassed" by the IRS during their applications for tax-exempt status, according to the Thomas More Society.

And in the last few months, Burnett ignored larger developments in the ongoing scandal, like e-mails that suggested possible collusion between the Federal Election Commission and the IRS to target a conservative group.

Burnett did issue multiple reports on excess and lavish spending by the agency, including its plan to grant $70 million in bonuses to employees despite an Obama administration directive to freeze the bonuses because of the sequester.

Ironically, the IRS targeting scandal was mentioned twice on Burnett's prime-time show OutFront since May 22, but neither time by Burnett herself. Fill-in host Jake Tapper provided an update on the Congressional investigation on May 30.

On June 18, CNN's John King appeared on OutFront to promote a story on the IRS targeting controversy that would air the next hour on Anderson Cooper 360, which he was hosting.

Yet Burnett discussed Wednesday how British and Canadian leaders own cats and President Obama could "follow the lead." She didn't ask about the President's knowledge of his IRS harassing Tea Party groups.

"British Prime Minister David Cameron has Larry the Cat, and you'd be hard pressed to find a photo of the Canadian Prime Minister Steven Harper that does not have a cat in it because he fosters cats. Yes. And since Britain and Canada are our greatest allies, maybe it is time for President Obama to follow the lead of our allies for once. What do you think?" Burnett asked her audience.

Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro was a News Analyst for the Media Research Center's News Analysis Division from 2010 through early 2014