Where would a Nightline viewer go for important political news? It wouldn't be the late night ABC show. This week, the program has focused on topics such as Angelina Jolie's mastectomy and the latest plastic surgery operations. Co-anchor Terry Moran saves most of the hard news for his Twitter page.
Except for a mere 28 seconds that aired at 1:05am in the early morning hours of Tuesday, the program's hosts have ignored the growing scandal involving the IRS targeting conservative groups for audits and harassment.
Yet, while Nightline focused on Prince Harry's visit to America, co-anchor Terry Moran tweeted: "It keeps getting worse: IRS office that targeted Tea Party also disclosed confidential docs from conservative groups."
This week, while Nightline profiled the TV show Duck Dynasty, Moran tweeted, "IRS says current acting commissioner learned in May 2012 that tea party groups were targeted."
While Nightline devoted a full segment to Barbara Walters retiring, Moran tweeted "More details on Benghazi talking points emerge."
On Monday night, Nightline managed 28 seconds for the IRS scandal. Moran's colleague Bill Weir briefly explained, "Today, President Obama vowed to get to reports that when it came to granting tax exempt status, the IRS gave unfair amount of scrutiny to groups with the words Tea Party or patriot in the title."
In an unintentionally funny moment, Weir suggested, "You can see Jon Karl's reporting on the topic on ABCNews.com and then weigh in on the Nightline Facebook page or tweet Nightline."
Moran also tweeted last Friday about the IRS controversy, calling it a "Nixonian abuse of power." Friday's show did not cover the scandal.
Is that the message? Go to Nightline's Twitter and Facebook page for news on the scandals plaguing the Obama White House. After all, you can't expect much from the actual program.
A transcript of the last segment from the May 13 Nightline, airing at 1:05am on May 14, follows:
BILL WEIR: Time now for tonight's closing argument. Today, President Obama vowed to get to reports that when it came to granting tax exempt status, the IRS gave unfair amount of scrutiny to Tea- groups-- with the words Tea Party or patriot in their title. With congressional hearings slated for the end of the week, what do you make of all this? You can see Jon Karl's reporting on the topic on ABCNews.com and then weigh in on the Nightline Facebook page or tweet @Nightline.
-- Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center. Click here to follow him on Twitter.