The Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC ) networks have essentially censored the latest IRS scandal news. Not a single network reported on the bombshell coming out of Thursday’s congressional hearing that IRS employees were ordered to send Tea Party tax-exemption applications to the office of the IRS’s Chief Counsel, which was headed by William Wilkins, who at that time was the only Obama political appointee at the IRS.
The Big Three networks have also ignored this week’s news that tax records of political candidates (including one-time GOP Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell) and certain donors were improperly accessed by government officials, and that the Justice Department has, so far, refused to prosecute the offenders.
The lack of IRS scandal coverage this week continues a disturbing trend of the broadcast networks cooling to what is perhaps the most damaging of the Obama administration scandals.
In fact the last mention of any IRS scandal came almost three weeks ago, on the June 28 CBS This Morning.
When news first broke that the IRS was targeting conservative groups particularly the Tea Party, the Big Three news networks actually jumped to cover the story, filling their evening and morning shows with a total of 96 stories in the first two weeks (May 10 through May 23) of coverage. But after those two strong weeks, the broadcast networks lost interest in the scandal, and the coverage slowed to a crawl -- just 32 stories in the subsequent weeks (May 24 through June 17).
From June 18 through June 28 there was a total of 11 stories (CBS 9, NBC 2, ABC 0) on the Big Three evening and morning shows on IRS abuses. This despite disclosure of new IRS scandals to feed the news cycle, such as $70 million in bonuses to IRS agents, hundreds of millions of dollars of contracts granted to a business owner with a friend inside the agency, and agents abusing IRS credit cards to pay for such things as diet pills, romance novels and even online porn.
-- Geoffrey Dickens is the Deputy Research Director at the Media Research Center. Click here to follow Geoffrey Dickens on Twitter.