ABC, NBC Continue To Ignore U.S. Archivist Claim That IRS Didn’t Follow The Law

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 Wednesday, June 25, only CBS This Morning covered the IRS revelations whereas ABC’s Good Morning America and NBC’s Today ignored the report. CBS’ Nancy Cordes provided a full report: 

The head of the federal archives testified that the IRS was supposed to notify his office three years ago when Lois Lerner's hard drive crashed because some of the emails that were lost may have constituted official records. But both he and a former IRS lawyer also testified about just how antiquated the IRS’ computer system was.

CBS anchor Charlie Rose introduced the report by highlighting how “The IRS is accused of not following the law. That claims comes from the nation’s  top government archivist. He testified before a congressional committee looking into agencies’ targeting of conservative groups.”

Cordes continued by noting “David Ferriero, the head archivist for the U.S. government, testified that technologies at some agencies is so outdated they can’t store important emails electronically so they have to print them out.” 

Rather than cover the new developments that the IRS potentially failed to follow the law following the crash of Lois Lerner’s hard drive, ABC’s Good Morning America ran a story on women going to extreme measures to fit into shoes. NBC’s Today sent Matt Lauer to London to interview Pippa Middleton for an interview that won’t air until next week.  

See relevant transcript below.  


CBS

CBS This Morning

June 25, 2014

7:07 a.m. Eastern 

CHARLIE ROSE: This morning the IRS is accused of not following the law. That claims comes from the nation’s  top government archivist. He testified before a congressional committee looking into agencies’ targeting of conservative groups. Nancy Cordes is on Capitol Hill where Republicans are investigating the failure of a computer used by IRS executive Lois Lerner. Nancy good morning. 

NANCY CORDES: Good morning. The head of the federal archives testified that the IRS was supposed to notify his office three years ago when Lois Lerner's hard drive crashed because some of the emails that were lost may have constituted official records. But both he and a former IRS lawyer also testified about just how antiquated the IRS’ computer system was. 

DARRELL ISSA: Yes or no, please. You're a hostile witness. Yes or no? 

CORDES: Jennifer O'Connor was brought into the IRS for six months last year to help oversee the collection of documents for congressional investigators. She said the team only discovered after she left that a swath of Lerner's past e-mails were missing. 

JIM JORDAN: You're telling us you didn't have any inclination that a bunch of Lois Lerner’s e-mails were lost?

JENNIFER O’CONNOR: I didn't know her e-mails were missing and unrecoverable and that there had been a laptop crash--

CORDES: David Ferriero, the head archivist for the U.S. government, testified that technologies at some agencies is so outdated they can’t store important emails electronically so they have to print them out. 

WILLIAM CLAY: The federal government has had significant long-standing challenges with records retention especially that of emails.  

DAVID FERRIERO: From the very beginning of the government, this is not just an e-mail problem. This is a records management problem. 

PATRICK LEAHY: You can’t erase emails, not today. They’ve gone through too many servers. They can't say they've been lost. That’s like saying the dog ate my homework. 

CORDES: When George W. Bush was president it was the Democrats who were furious when the administration lost millions of e-mails related to several investigations. 

DANA PERINO: I will admit it. We screwed up and we're trying to fix it. 

CORDES: But Republicans still insist the IRS is hiding something and after three fiery hearings in five days, House Speaker John Boehner pointed directly to The White House. 

JOHN BOEHNER: He said that he would fully cooperate, he and his administration. They've not only not cooperated they haven't done a damn thing to help us get to the truth of what really happened. 

CORDES: The IRS says it has spent nearly $10 million trying to get Congress the information it wants and its computer system has now been upgraded so that important e-mails are stored indefinitely. 

Jeffrey Meyer
Jeffrey Meyer
Jeffrey Meyer is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center.