In the June 24 edition of The Daily Show With Jon Stewart, the Comedy Central host spent the first 10 minutes of his show mocking the blatant incompetence of the IRS. Even though Jon Stewart did say Republicans were “d***s” to the IRS commissioner during the hearing, he spent most of the segment making fun of the IRS’s “unacceptable” behavior which “borders on criminal idiocy.”
While Stewart accepted that “computers do crash,” he yelled that it should takes less time than the “gestat(ion) period of a manatee” to find that information out. But according to the liberal comedian, what takes the scandal beyond the realm of “annoying” was that the IRS, “The government agency whose entire business model release on forcing Americans to live as borderline hoarders” only keeps backup tapes for six months. [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]
Chuck Todd, NBC’s Political Director, Chief White House Correspondent, and host of The Daily Rundown on MSNBC did his best to deflect from the IRS scandal by wondering if “there are any actual real victims’ of the IRS targeting of conservative groups.”
Appearing on MSNBC's The Daily Rundown on Wednesday morning, Todd insisted that “the question at hand is whether explicitly political organizations should be filing as tax exempt social welfare groups under the tax code” and suggested that such groups weren’t deserving of such tax exempt status at all. [See video below.]
Yesterday, David Ferriero, the head archivist for the U.S. government, testified before Congress and insisted that the IRS had not followed the law requiring the agency to notify his office three years ago that Lois Lerner’s hard drive had crashed containing official records and emails.
Despite these new details, only CBS has bothered to report on the latest in the IRS scandal with both ABC and NBC’s morning and evening news programs ignoring the story on June 24 and 25. [See video below.]
On June 23 and 24, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee held multiple hearings surrounding the revelations that the hard drive of former IRS executive Lois Lerner had been destroyed containing thousands of emails pertinent to the investigation of their targeting of conservative groups.
Despite the new details and the subsequent congressional hearings, the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley has been the only network evening news program to cover the revelations, with ABC and NBC ignoring the story altogether. [See video below.]
Yes, a handful of reporters, like Mark Halperin, have spoken out, which is commendable, but "[t]he reality is that this story is still by and large being ignored," Bozell argued. "This is serious, serious stuff going on," but the liberal media "are headed for the tall grass" because they "just don't want to know" the extent of the Obama administration's corruption. [Watch the full segment below the page break]
After ten days of ignoring the June13 revelation that the IRS mysteriously lost two years worth of Lois Lerner's emails related to the scandal plaguing the agency, Tuesday's network morning shows finally took notice of the development only to tout Democrats dismissing the latest congressional hearing on the government abuse as a "farce." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
NBC's Today and CBS This Morning both provided full reports on the "contentious" hearing in which "Republicans unleashed their full fury" on IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. On Today, correspondent Peter Alexander proclaimed: "The hearings showcased another round of bitter partisanship, with little resolution in sight." A soundbite followed of Massachusetts Democratic Congressman John Tierney declaring: "I don't think I've seen a display of this kind of disrespect in all the time I've been here in Congress."
On Tuesday's Morning Joe, host Joe Scarborough went unhinged on the mainstream media's lack of coverage of the IRS scandal. Scarborough held up The New York Times and berated news organizations on pulling a “scam” on the American people by not covering “the most shady behavior” of the IRS.
“This is why conservatives don’t trust the national newspapers,” Scarborough exclaimed. “It’s not the news they do run, it’s the stories they don’t run.” NewsBusters has documented the MSNBC hosts frustration over the IRS scandal in general.
During the regular "Inside Politics" segment of Tuesday's New Day on CNN, Ron Fournier of the National Journal declared that he was "naive" last year in giving the Obama administration the "benefit of the doubt" over the IRS scandal, and called for an independent prosecutor to investigate as he reacted to the recent congressional testimony of IRS commissioner John Koskinen.
A bit later, he asserted that the administration was either "incredibly incompetent" or "crooked" regarding both the IRS and V.A. scandals. Fournier:
Mark Halperin, a frequent panelist on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, made an intriguing observation on Monday’s show about the IRS scandal. After saying that the recent news regarding the destroyed hard drive belonging to former IRS official Lois Lerner would be “a test for the news media,” Halperin took a stance on the scandal that few on the cable channel would dare take.
“I think with a different administration, one that was a Republican administration, this story would be a national obsession and, instead, it's getting coverage here and a few other places, but it really deserves a lot more questions,” opined Halperin. [MP3 audio here; Video below]
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 emails of Lois Lerner and other IRS officials are gone forever. Therefore any more complaints about it are nothing but Republican nitpicking. Case closed.
That pretty much sums up the attitude of Politico writer Rachael Bade whose Wednesday article title pretty much sums up what she portrays as the futility of any more investigation into retrieving those missing emails, "Sources: Lois Lerner’s emails likely gone forever." Got that? Or so she seems to hope. However, her writing off the possibility of ever finding those emails elicited a tidal wave of response from Politico readers with over 21,000 comments, many of which begged to differ with her hasty conclusion. First let us read Ms Bade hopefully bid goodbye forever on the chances of IRS email recovery:
The Big Three networks' Friday evening newscasts finally noticed the latest development in the IRS scandal (they omitted it on Thursday), after Rep. Paul Ryan grilled Commissioner John Koskinen earlier in the day. ABC's David Muir spotlighted "the outrage...involving the IRS claiming to have lost thousands of crucial documents – lawmakers asking, how can the tax man be let off the hook for losing documents, while ordinary taxpayers would never get away with that?"
NBC's Brian Williams noted how Koskinen claimed that the IRS "lost evidence in the investigation into how they handled conservative political groups...and given how long the IRS holds on to things like our tax returns, some members of Congress just aren't buying it." CBS's Nancy Cordes zeroed in on congressional Democrats' attack on their Republican colleagues over the scandal – something that ABC and NBC didn't do: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
On Friday’s edition of CNN Newsroom with Don Lemon, host Don Lemon and CNN chief congressional correspondent Dana Bash made some unusual remarks about a Republican, but later retreated to downplaying one of the many scandals facing the Obama administration this midterm election year.
Discussing a hearing being held by the House Ways and Means Committee that featured testimony from IRS commissioner John Koskinen regarding the destroyed -- or as the IRS terms it "recycled" -- hard drive of former IRS official Lois Lerner, Lemon began by referring to Congressman Paul Ryan as “not a happy man today.” [MP3 audio here; Video below]
Soon-to-be White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest took to the podium of the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room for his last outing as deputy press secretary. He will move into the White House Press Secretary role next week as Jay Carney officially vacates the job.
If we learned anything from his “test run” today, it’s that Earnest has learned the art of White House spin from his boss. When questioned about the IRS e-mail scandal, Earnest repeatedly touted “Republican conspiracy theories” as the ruling force behind any and all questions involving the scandal.
Thursday evening on the Fox Business Network, host Lou Dobbs of Lou Dobbs Tonight was joined by Emmy award winning reporter Sharyl Attkisson, who recently signed on with the Heritage Foundation's Daily Signal website as a senior independent contributor. The two discussed the recent news surrounding the ongoing IRS scandal and the liberal media’s apparent uninterest in the story.
Dobbs asked Attkisson why the liberal media refuses to report the story and rather insists on "behaving much more like lap dogs" instead of doing their job and serving as a “watch dog.” Attkisson argued that the media is being run by a “propaganda interest” that insists any coverage of any scandals involving the Obama administration are “phony” and perpetrated by “right-wing nuts.”
MRC president Brent Bozell appeared on The Kelly File on Fox News Thursday night, expressing amazement at the suppression of new details in the IRS scandal. “We have been reporting on the lack of reporting. And the lack of reporting is in full throttle,” he said.
Megyn Kelly suggested “the first big piece of news was in this report on Friday. The IRS tried to bury it in this 27-page report. But they revealed that they were missing two years of Lois Lerner's e-mails and other documents. What kind of coverage did that get?” (Video below)
"Ex-IRS official Lois Lerner’s crashed hard drive has been recycled, making it likely the lost emails of the lightning rod in the tea party targeting controversy will never be found, according to multiple sources," Politico's Rachael Bade reported Wednesday evening.
Although the revelation has congressional Republicans understandably furious and at least one prominent IT expert trashing the IRS's digital documents-retention policy as "mind-boggling", the Big Three broadcast networks all ignored the latest developments in the IRS saga on their Thursday evening newscasts, even as they had time for Harrison Ford's broken leg (NBC), a new technology for police car chases (ABC), and comedian Tracy Morgan's car accident (CBS).
Wednesday night, word came out via Politico that the hard drive to the computer of former IRS official Lois Lerner was destroyed and recycled. This follows the news that emails from Lerner and six other officials that were being investigated for the IRS' pointed targeting of conservative non-profits were lost. Without a doubt, this revelation is big news. But not in the minds of ABC, CBS, and NBC as all gave no mention to the matter.
Only ABC’s Good Morning America included a brief mention on the scrolling news feed at the bottom of the screen. The small headline read, ‘Computer Hard Drive Belong to Former IRS Official at Center of Targeting Scandal Was Destroyed, According to Politico.’
As of June 19, 2014, it's been 400 days since Nightline, the once-serious news program, has covered the growing scandal involving the Internal Revenue Service's targeting of Tea Party organizations. This includes the new revelation that the IRS has "lost" former director Lois Lerner's e-mails and the hard drives have been destroyed. In fact, Lerner's name has never been uttered on Nightline.
What have these ABC journalists been covering instead? On June 18, Dan Abrams promoted a story on "real male strippers." He enthused, "They're revealing more than just their muscles...We go behind close doors as they expose their dirty secrets." Continuing the tabloid theme, on June 12, Juju Chang suggestively profiled, "Almost naked. They're spornosexuals, a combustible mix of sporty, sexy, metrosexuals. Meet the stars taking the World Cup by storm." [To see a montage of the superficial stories reported on Nightline, see below. MP3 audio here.]
The networks have mostly ignored new stories on the Internal Revenue Service claiming on Friday they lost two years of lost e-mails from IRS official Lois Lerner (and then six others) in the investigation of IRS attempts to inhibit conservative groups in the Obama years. But what about America's leading newspapers? Not Saturday. Not Sunday. Not Monday.
The Watergate hounds at The Washington Post didn’t report on Lerner’s “lost” e-mails in the paper until Tuesday, on page A-17. Today’s paper floods the zone on a Patent Office decision on “Redskins”– including a front-page spread and a gooey top editorial – but this is chopped liver. The New York Times also arrived on Tuesday, on page A-15.
On Thursday's Morning Joe, co-host Joe Scarborough had a little bit of fun with the IRS claiming to have thrown away Lois Lerner’s computer containing the e-mails at the center of the scandal surrounding the IRS targeting of conservative organizations.“Who are these idiots," Scarborough exclaimed at one point.
He mocked, “This is one of the most important people at the Internal Revenue Service so maybe these e-mails are of some worth." The segment came at the top of the 6 a.m. hour of the broadcast. Mika Brzezinski was attempting to read through the headlines for the show when Scarborough, unable to contain himself, went off on the latest excuses from the IRS and Lois Lerner.
CBS This Morning was the only broadcast network news show that covered the latest discovery in the IRS scandal on the morning of June 18. Meanwhile, all three networks devoted at least two minutes to report on Dr. Oz’s appearance before the Senate’s Consumer Protection Committee to discuss the unconsented use of his image to endorse diet products online.
While CBS devoted only 30 seconds to the revelation that the emails of six more IRS employees have been reported lost, the network spent 2 minutes and 32 seconds describing how the celebrity doctor was berated by Democratic Senators for peddling diet products on his show that may not actually work. (See video below. Click here for MP3 audio)
But none of the Big Three network evening newscasts even mentioned the development tonight, even as they had time for stories on the 20th anniversary of the OJ Simpson freeway chase (NBC), a rare postage stamp up for auction (CBS), and how dogs have and enforce a sort of social etiquette when they play with each other (ABC). [MP3 audio here; video montage follows page break]
Despite the damning new revelations in the IRS scandal, ABC and NBC have failed to cover the story as of Monday June 16, and only CBS This Morning reported on the emails on Monday but their evening news program ignoring the IRS alongside ABC's World News with Diane Sawyer and NBC Nightly News.
Brad Wilmouth reported this morning that CNN's John King made this comment about the Lois Lerner emails that the IRS now claims are supposedly lost: ""Do you believe in the Easter Bunny? Do you believe in Santa Claus? Do you believe that Lois Lerner's emails just suddenly went poof?" Well, CBS News seems to be in Easter Bunny belief mode based on their narrow online report Friday, IRS lost Lois Lerner's emails in tea party probe, which carefully avoids any curiosity as how such emails are now supposedly irretrievable. In fact their own former reporter Sharyl Attkisson is now asking on her website the questions that CBS should but so far hasn't been asking:
On Monday, only CBS This Morning reported Friday's stunning revelation that the IRS somehow lost two years worth of emails from Lois Lerner, the official at the center of the agency scandal in which conservative groups were unfairly targeted. At the top of the morning show, co-host Norah O'Donnell wondered: "How did the IRS lose emails in the scandal targeting conservatives after the government spent millions to back up data?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Introducing the later report, fellow co-host Charlie Rose noted: "The Washington Times says congressional Republicans are blasting the IRS for losing some of Lois Lerner's emails.... the controversy that started last year is erupting again." Correspondent Nancy Cordes reported: "Republican lawmakers, as you can imagine, are furious. They say the IRS has been promising to get them these emails for a year, and now suddenly says that Lois Lerner's computer crashed way back in 2011."
During New Day's regular "Inside Politics" segment on Monday, CNN's John King declared that it "makes me suspicious" as he informed viewers of revelations that some of former IRS official Lois Lerner's emails not only went missing, but that it took over a year for the White House to inform Congress.
After beginning the segment by rhetorically asking, "Do you believe in the Easter Bunny? Do you believe in Santa Claus? Do you believe that Lois Lerner's emails just suddenly went poof?" King recalled the details, including a quote from House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp complaining about it taking so long for the White House to inform him of the emails. King then commented:
Apparently two years of Lois Lerner’s emails have been lost, according to the IRS. The disappearance of the emails caused House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp to blast: “The fact that I am just learning about this, over a year into the investigation, is completely unacceptable and now calls into question the credibility of the IRS’s response to Congressional inquiries. There needs to be an immediate investigation and forensic audit by Department of Justice as well as the Inspector General.”
The question has to be asked: will the suspicious nature of this latest revelation be enough to get the Big Three networks to get back to covering the IRS-Tea Party scandal?
On Monday, the House Oversight Committee investigating the IRS targeting scandal released new e-mails that showed Lois Lerner sent a database of tax exempt organizations to the FBI right before the 2010 midterm elections.
So what was the reaction of anchors and reporters at the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC ) networks to the release of federally protected confidential taxpayer information? A big fat yawn. So far no one at the Big Three evening or morning shows have reported on this most recent development in the IRS-Tea Party targeting scandal.