Media Research Center President Brent Bozell appeared on Fox News’ “The Kelly File” last night and chastised the networks for skipping the substance of the latest congressional hearing on the IRS’ targeting of conservative groups. Bozell’s comments came after Lois Lerner, the IRS official at the center of the scandal, once again refused to answer questions during a congressional hearing, instead choosing to use her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.
Rather than discussing the merits of the latest hearing, all three networks chose instead to play up the verbal confrontation between Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Congressman Elijah Cummings (D-MD), making it 99 days since ABC, CBS and NBC have even mentioned the actual IRS scandal. “I do believe that this IRS scandal is bigger than Watergate. And I think if you look at it objectively I think you conclude that” proclaimed Bozell. [See video below.]
Bozell began his analysis by pointing out that “I knew instinctively that if there was going to be any coverage, it was not going to be the bombshell of Lois Lerner taking the fifth again. It was going to be that little stunt that the Democrats pulled. This was designed solely for media attention. This was grandstanding. This was just an old game in Washington, but they knew that they can get headlines from it.”
The MRC president continued his dissection of the media’s coverage by pointing out that “we knew what they would do, which is not cover Lois Lerner, because they haven't covered her and they have ignored this scandal almost from day one… And by God, they succeeded. CBS did a story this morning, no mention, no discussion -- no serious discussion about her but they talked about Elijah Cummings. ABC did nothing at all.”
Bozell noted how “Remember I told you last week that they had done 22 seconds since June of 2013. Well, that 22 second record continues.” MRC documented how the day after the latest IRS hearing, NBC News framed the story by observing that “In Washington today, a public and startling example of the kind of behavior Congress has become known for and Congress has become gridlocked over.”
Bozell went on to argue that “In other words, Megyn, the story last night was not Lois Lerner. It was Congress.” The MRC president pointed out how with the IRS scandal it’s “becoming more and more apparent that there were serious crimes committed. The only question is how far up the ladder does this reach?”
The MRC president concluded the segment by bringing in some much needed historical context: I thought back in 1987, 1988 with Iran Contra. If you recall that, which is piddly stuff compared to this. But day in and day out, live coverage from the networks. Not a news story at night, all-day coverage to find out what Iran Contra was all about, what Ollie North had done. So, now, you have this woman who comes in to testify. She doesn't even make the news.”