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By Matthew Balan | June 20, 2014 | 11:28 PM EDT

The Big Three networks' Friday evening newscasts finally noticed the latest development in the IRS scandal (they omitted it on Thursday), after Rep. Paul Ryan grilled Commissioner John Koskinen earlier in the day. ABC's David Muir spotlighted "the outrage...involving the IRS claiming to have lost thousands of crucial documents – lawmakers asking, how can the tax man be let off the hook for losing documents, while ordinary taxpayers would never get away with that?"

NBC's Brian Williams noted how Koskinen claimed that the IRS "lost evidence in the investigation into how they handled conservative political groups...and given how long the IRS holds on to things like our tax returns, some members of Congress just aren't buying it." CBS's Nancy Cordes zeroed in on congressional Democrats' attack on their Republican colleagues over the scandal – something that ABC and NBC didn't do: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]

By Ken Shepherd | June 18, 2014 | 10:40 PM EDT

MSNBC's Chris Matthews put his pro-Hillary puffery on the back-burner this evening to lead off Hardball with a screed against his favorite archnemesis Dick "it's pronounced CHEE-knee, by the way" Cheney.

Chris failed to disappoint with his loopy, nonsensical rant against the former vice president, at one point comparing him to a pitch man for the website Diedinhouse.com. Matthews even inspired a little nuttiness in the Huffington Post Media Group editorial director Howard Fineman, who insisted Cheney's hat-wearing was devised by the former vice president as a subtle sartorial dig at Obama's manliness or lack thereof. You cannot make this stuff up (LISTEN to the MP3 audio here; WATCH the video clip below the page break):

By Ken Shepherd | June 18, 2014 | 8:26 PM EDT

Fifty-four percent of respondents in a brand new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll believe that President Obama "can't lead, get the job done," contrasted with 42 percent who say he can. What's more, a healthy plurality, 41 percent, also answered that "the performance of the Obama administration" has "gotten worse" in the past 12 months. Yet the NBC Nightly News ignored those stunning numbers in its June 18 broadcast. [Anchor Brian Williams additionally failed to tease the poll in his opening preview of the night's stories.]

While chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd did touch on how "57 percent disapprove of the job he's doing on foreign policy," that factoid was buried in a story centered on blaming former Vice President Dick Cheney's with stoking yet another inside-the-Beltway partisan "blame game" over Iraq. You can read the full transcript below the page break (listen to the full segment via mp3 audio here; watch video excerpt below page break):

By Ken Shepherd | June 17, 2014 | 10:25 PM EDT

Hillary Clinton hit a "home run" with her performance in a live CNN "townhall"-style interview hosted by CNN's Christiane Amanpour,  Chris Matthews enthused at the opening of his June 17 Hardball program.

The MSNBC host also seemed thrilled that Clinton may have taken his on-air coaching to heart regarding Benghazi questions one week ago. First his remarks at the top of the program (emphasis mine; MP3 audio clip here; video follows page break):

By Ken Shepherd | June 17, 2014 | 9:00 PM EDT

Six more IRS employees have curiously had their emails go missing, two Republican congressmen investigating the tax-collecting agency for its improper targeting of conservative non-profits informed the press today. This follows on the heel's of the revelation Friday afternoon regarding Lois Lerner's emails to the White House, the Treasury Department, and other persons outside the IRS.

But none of the Big Three network evening newscasts even mentioned the development tonight, even as they had time for stories on the 20th anniversary of the OJ Simpson freeway chase (NBC), a rare postage stamp up for auction (CBS), and how dogs have and enforce a sort of social etiquette when they play with each other (ABC). [MP3 audio here; video montage follows page break]

By Matthew Balan | June 16, 2014 | 2:14 PM EDT

On Thursday's The Lead on CNN, James Allen Fox used actual crime data to splash cold water on a liberal talking point claiming that mass shootings on the rise: "It's a horrific event when four, five, twelve people are gunned down...But let's not think that this is an epidemic." Fox, a criminology professor at Northeastern University, also pointed out that the now-expired "assault weapons" ban had little impact on the number of mass shootings.

Anchor Jake Tapper wondered "what does society need to do" to prevent such events from happening. His guest actually contended that it would be overkill to implement draconian measures in response to such massacres: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]

By Brent Baker | June 16, 2014 | 8:10 AM EDT

Jane Pauley, who campaigned for Barack Obama in 2008 as she declared “I want to see the cool, steady hand of Barack Obama on that Bible on Inauguration Day,” on CBS’s Sunday Morning pleaded for Hillary Clinton to try to succeed him: “If not you, who? Who is the viable woman of either party who could win a primary nomination in 2016 if not you?”

By Matthew Balan | June 13, 2014 | 10:22 PM EDT

On Friday's NBC Nightly News, Brian Williams strongly hinted that the recent Islamist blitzkrieg in Iraq was completely former President Bush's fault: "Make no mistake: what's happening in Iraq right now is a direct outgrowth of the U.S. decision to invade the country over a decade ago." However, he glossed over the Obama administration's failure to negotiate a continued U.S. presence and pulling out all American forces in late 2011 as a factor in the crisis.

Williams repeated his point to David Gregory: "How does the President sell any action at all to the component of the American people who feel...it's not our dance...even though...we broke it?" Gregory seconded his contention: "Right, that Pottery Barn rule: you broke it; you own it; you got to somehow fix it." Later, Stephanie Gosk did reference the troop pullout, but didn't mention President Obama by name: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]

By Ken Shepherd | June 12, 2014 | 8:52 PM EDT

One week after being offended for the president about those leaked photos of Mr. Obama's dumbbell workout routine, NBC anchor Brian Williams assured viewers of June 12 Nightly News that the commander-in-chief is in top fighting condition. 

The story came right on the heels of Williams relaying how former President George H.W. Bush today made a parachute jump to celebrate his 90th birthday [MP3 audio clip here; video embed follows page break]:

By Matthew Balan | June 11, 2014 | 10:40 PM EDT

Miguel Almaguer hyped on Wednesday's NBC Nightly News that "since the mass shooting in Newtown a year and a half ago, there's been at least 74 school shootings across the country – roughly one every week." However, the correspondent failed to mention that this figure came from the pro-gun control group Everytown for Gun Safety, which was founded earlier in 2014 by liberal billionaire Michael Bloomberg. [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]

On Tuesday, Kyle Becker of the Independent Journal Review spotlighted a series of Twitter posts from author and journalist Charles C. Johnson, which called out Bloomberg's organization for giving an "exaggerated impression of how many school shootings have taken place," as many they represent "all sorts" of different incidents involving guns in or near schools. Becker added:

By Ken Shepherd | June 11, 2014 | 10:10 PM EDT

Comparing Hillary Clinton's book tour to an "out of town play getting ready in New Haven," MSNBC's Chris Matthews tonight dismissed the former secretary of state's tone-deaf "dead broke" line from her interview with ABC's Diane Sawyer as a "small kind of gaffe, or even a half gaffe." [MP3 audio here; video embed follows page break]

"Once she said we were $12 million in the hole, I think people should have understood what she meant," Matthews asserted to his guest, NBC's Cynthia McFadden, whose fawning interview was aired on Tuesday's Nightly News. Indeed, the former first lady is quite capably "tuning up" her performance as her book tour rolls along. For her part, McFadden seemed to agree, replying:

By Matthew Balan | June 11, 2014 | 8:58 PM EDT

CBS Evening News was the only Big Three evening newscast on Wednesday to report that the FBI has opened a criminal investigation into the V.A. scandal. Neither ABC's World News nor NBC Nightly News covered this latest development in the ongoing controversy. Instead, both programs devoted air time to the 20th anniversary of O.J. Simpson's slow-speed run from the police, after the murder of his wife and her friend.

Anchor Scott Pelley gave an 18-second news brief on the federal agency's new probe into the cover-up of long patient wait times at the Department of Veterans Affairs: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]