Evening Newscasts Ignore House GOP's Criminal Referral for Lois Lerner But Find Time for Hillary
In a major new development in the IRS scandal, House Republicans voted on Wednesday to send a criminal referral to the Department of Justice for former IRS chief Lois Lerner. FNC's Special Report with Bret Baier devoted a full story to the vote by the committee chaired by Congressman Dave Camp, but none of the three broadcast network evening newscasts covered the vote -- yet two found time to tout Hillary Clinton's presidential prospects.
The letter sent to Attorney General Eric Holder stated that "findings" from the Ways and Means Committee "suggest that Lerner may have violated multiple criminal statutes." The letter went on to add that "the Committee asks that you pursue this evidence." The networks ignored this letter, however, although CBS and ABC talked about Hillary Clinton's presidential aspirations.
Other developments in the letter were ignored by the networks as well. Republicans accused Lerner of talking about taking a job with President Obama's advocacy group Organizing for Action – while she was investigating non-profit applicants as the IRS head.
Townhall also reported on e-mails linking Lerner's office with the staff of Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Mary.), who last month decried how one of the hearings on the scandal was being run.
In ignoring the letter, the networks missed all this. The CBS Evening News, however, delighted in a question from a six year-old to Hillary Clinton posed at a forum in Oregon, asking her how she wanted to be addressed once she was President in 2016: "Madame President or Mrs. President?"
ABC World News anchor Diane Sawyer trumpeted: "Our 'Instant Index' begins with Hillary Clinton and a new clue about 2016. She says she is deeply flattered and she is thinking about running for President."
Meanwhile, both NBC and ABC took time to report that the John Hancock signature on a Constitution tattoo sported by actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus, on the cover of Rolling Stone, was misplaced since Hancock signed the Declaration of Independence, not the Constitution.
— Matt Hadro is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center. Follow Matt Hadro on Twitter.