CNN has all but ignored a new report that according to IRS documents, the agency gave extra scrutiny to 162 political groups – 80 percent of them conservative – that were seeking tax-exempt status.
A USA Today report stated that the IRS "flagged" groups based on "'anti-Obama rhetoric', inflammatory language and 'emotional' statements." CNN briefly mentioned the bombshell report once, on Wednesday's Early Start at 5:08 a.m. ET. The network has ignored the report since, moving to join the networks in their blackout.
"More than 80% of the organizations on the 2011 'political advocacy case' list were conservative," USA Today reported, noting that "at least 11 liberal groups" were on the list "as of November 2011."
This is just the latest development in the ongoing IRS scandal. The House Ways and Means Committee held a hearing on Wednesday on the matter, but CNN didn't cover that at all.
The Hill reported that "Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee stressed that new information showed that the IRS flagged mostly conservative groups for extra surveillance, even after those groups received their tax-exempt status."
That same report added that "Separately on Wednesday, House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) released a memo suggesting that the IRS fell prey to President Obama’s concerns about the Citizens United case, feeding the agency’s harsher treatment of Tea Party groups." CNN made no mention of this either.
Below is a transcript of CNN's report, which aired on Early Start on September 18 at 5:08 a.m. EDT:
JOHN BERMAN: Newly uncovered IRS documents show the agency flagged political organizations seeking tax-exempt status for anti-Obama rhetoric, inflammatory language and emotional statements. USA Today got its hands on internal 2011 documents that describe the extra scrutiny. USA Today reports that 162 groups were listed by name. The work of 21 of them was characterized as propaganda. More than 80 percent of the organizations on that list are deemed conservative.