The Deluge Begins: Morning Shows Devote 73 Minutes to Royal Baby, Ignore IRS
The deluge of royal baby coverage went into overdrive on Monday with all three morning shows devoting a staggering 73 minutes total to the impending birth and the child's gender. At the same time, Good Morning America, Today and CBS This Morning ignored any developments in the growing Internal Revenue Service scandal.
The Today show obsessed over the royal baby the most, pushing the story for 43 minutes and five seconds over 18 segments. (This amounts to a quarter of the four hour program's running time, minus commercials.) Good Morning America speculated on all subjects royal for 21 minutes and 22 seconds (or eight segments). Looking positively restrained, CBS This Morning allowed a mere eight minutes and 41 seconds over four segments.
As the Media Research Center reported on Friday, the networks, weeks ago, dropped the IRS as a subject of interest. Last week's news that IRS employees were ordered by Obama political appointee William Wilkins (then-IRS chief counsel) to send him data on the Tea Party has not prompted new coverage.
On Monday, the Washington Times revealed that 2010 Tea Party candidate Christine O'Donnell's tax data– and the improper scrutiny of it– had been added to the ongoing investigation.
Times writers David Sherfinski and Dave Boyer explained:
Sen. Chuck Grassley, Iowa Republican, also is demanding information from the Department of Justice as to why it did not prosecute several cases in which confidential taxpayer information of political donors and candidates, including Ms. O'Donnell, was accessed.
"No fair observer of that hearing would believe that this investigation is close to being over," said Frederick Hill, a spokesman for Rep. Darrell E. Issa, California Republican and chairman of the oversight committee.
The only exception to the non-coverage came during Sunday's Face the Nation after House Speaker John Boehner brought the subject up.
With the actual birth of a baby boy occurring on Monday, viewers can expect a seemingly endless amount of coverage over the next few days. But important news, a serious scandal involving the IRS and the Obama administration? Don't expect much.