NBC, CBS Skip Obama-Supporting IRS Agent, ABC Allows 22 Seconds

ABC on Monday allowed a scant 22 seconds to the latest revelation in the scandal engulfing the Internal Revenue Service. NBC and CBS have, thus far, ignored the newest detail. The Associated Press on Sunday night reported that an IRS "supervisor in Washington says she was personally involved in scrutinizing some of the earliest applications from tea party groups seeking tax-exempt status."

Josh Elliott on Monday's Good Morning America explained, "That testimony contradicts IRS claims that agents in the Cincinnati field office were solely responsible for targeting those groups." Yet, a brief mention was all the morning show host could allow. In contrast, GMA devoted two minutes and 15 seconds to the relationship stars between Kanye West and Kim Kardashian. ABC also didn't note that the IRS employee in question, Holly Paz, donated $4000 to Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign.

The Washington Examiner reported that IRS employees donated to Obama by a four-to-one ratio.

NBC's Today and CBS This Morning both skipped the new revelation. However, CBS allowed a minute to the awkward answer a beauty contestant gave in the Miss USA competition. NBC featured the unimportant story for over two minutes.

The networks initially followed the IRS story closely, but slacked off in coverage, especially once the NSA controversy broke.

Fox News explained:

Congressional sources confirmed to Fox News that Holly Paz, who until recently was a top deputy in the division that handles applications for tax-exempt status, told congressional investigators she reviewed 20 to 30 applications. Some requests languished for more than a year without action.

The account undercuts the narrative that senior officials only learned of the practice after it had already started in the Cincinnati office.

...

Paz said dozens of tea party applications sat untouched for more than a year while field agents waited for guidance from Washington on how to handle them. At the time, she said, Washington officials thought the agents in Cincinnati were processing the cases.

A transcript of the June 17 GMA brief is below:


7:08 ET

22 seconds

JOSH ELLIOTT: And new details this morning in the IRS scandal. A supervisor in Washington has testified that she was personally involved in reviewing some of the earliest applications from conservative groups seeking tax exempt status. That testimony contradicts IRS claims that agents in the Cincinnati field office were solely responsible for targeting those groups.

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center and a contributing editor for NewsBusters.org