CBS, NBC Refuse to Cover News DOJ to Investigate Lost IRS E-Mails; ABC Gives News Measly 22 Seconds
Both CBS This Morning and NBC’s Today chose to ignore the latest news in the IRS scandal Thursday morning that the Department of Justice (DOJ) will be investigating the disappearance and destruction of emails pertaining to former IRS official Lois Lerner.
Meanwhile, ABC’s Good Morning America did cover the news, but only devoted 22 seconds to the story in the form of a news brief during the 7:00 a.m. hour. News reader Amy Robach reported “[a]nd in Washington, a major development in the IRS targeting scandal. The agency is accused of targeting conservative groups. Well now there is word the Justice Department will investigate the disappearance of e-mails the agency claims were lost when a computer crashed. The e-mails were to and from Lois Lerner, a key former IRS official who has refused to testify.” [MP3 audio here]
Despite ABC being the only network to cover this news, the network failed to go further than they easily could have. First, they did not ask Attorney General Eric Holder for an update on the investigation or even his thoughts on the matter when ABC News senior Justice correspondent Pierre Thomas interviewed Holder for ABC’s This Week this past Sunday.
Next, they neglected to mention that the lead attorney on the matter, Barbara Bosserman, is a Democratic donor who, according to The Washington Post , “gave heavily to President Obama and the Democratic party” during the 2010 and 2012 elections.
The newspaper also noted in an article Wednesday afternoon that the House passed a resolution in May calling on the DOJ to appoint an independent prosecutor to look into the matter, but Eric Holder turned down the request from the House and Senator Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) because he said the case would not be a conflict of interest for career DOJ employees.
An article from USA Today reported late Wednesday that a Justice Department official will testify to a House committee Thursday that its continuing investigation now includes examining “the circumstances of the lost emails from Ms. Lerner’s computer.”
The last day that the IRS scandal was covered by CBS This Morning was on July 10 when it was discovered Lerner warned fellow employees what they wrote in e-mails. As for Today, the last day that the IRS was mentioned was on June 24 when IRS Commissioner John Koskinen testified before the House Ways and Means Committee.
The complete transcript from the July 17 news brief on ABC’s Good Morning America is transcribed below.
Good Morning America
July 17, 2014
7:12 a.m. Eastern
[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: New Details; IRS Targeting Scandal; Justice Dept to Probe Missing E-Mails]
AMY ROBACH: And in Washington, a major development in the IRS targeting scandal. The agency is accused of targeting conservative groups. Well now there is word the Justice Department will investigate the disappearance of e-mails the agency claims were lost when a computer crashed. The e-mails were to and from Lois Lerner, a key former IRS official who has refused to testify.
— Curtis Houck is News Analyst at the Media Research Center. Follow Curtis Houck on Twitter.