On Tuesday, July 22, CBS News’ Stephanie Condon got around to reporting that the IRS may in fact be able to recover Lois Lerner’s missing emails despite previous claims that they were permanently lost. In testimony to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Thomas Kane, deputy associate chief counsel to the IRS, maintained that “there is an issue as to whether or not there is a - that all of the backup recovery tapes were destroyed on the six-month retention schedule.”
Although CBS was a day late covering the latest in the IRS scandal, when the network finally reported on this development, it didn’t make it onto CBS News’ airwaves and instead appeared only on CBSNews.com .
From Stephanie Condon’s report:
The IRS said last month that it cannot produce emails from Lois Lerner -- the former IRS official at the heart of the controversy -- from 2009 through April 2011 because of a computer crash that Lerner suffered in 2011. However, Thomas Kane, deputy associate chief counsel at the agency, told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee last week that some of those emails could still be on backup tapes.
The IRS has already spent nearly $10 million producing documents for congressional investigators, including just about every email to and from Lerner that it still has -- 67,000 in all. Still, Republicans have been highly critical of the IRS for failing to produce all of Lerner's communications. House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., said it suggests that there may have been "nefarious conduct that went much higher than Lois Lerner."
Last week, the Justice Department said it is also investigating the missing Lerner emails. Meanwhile, a federal judge has ordered the IRS to explain under oath how the emails were lost.
Looking back, CBS has a history of not giving air time to stories that focus on Obama Administration scandals. Former CBS investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson resigned earlier this year and expressed similar sentiments surrounding scandals such as “Fast and Furious" not making it onto CBS's airwaves.
Attkisson claimed that CBS moved on from the scandal just as she’d “barely begun to scratch the surface.” Is Condon’s IRS reporting not making it on television evidence that Attkisson’s charges against CBS have returned? Only time will tell.
— Jeffrey Meyer is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center. Follow Jeffrey Meyer on Twitter.