When news broke that the IRS had targeted conservative groups, the “Big Three” broadcast networks were hot on the trail. NBC, CBS and ABC ran 96 stories about the matter for the first two weeks - May 10 through 23, according to an analysis released Thursday by the Media Research Center. Thirty one more stories followed during the next week.
But this week? There was only one story, which aired Tuesday on ABC.
“When the IRS scandal first broke, even reliably liberal network reporters saw it as a real threat to President Obama and his political agenda. The fact that they have so quickly dropped it from the news agenda is just more evidence that the broadcast networks filter their so-called ‘news’ through a partisan lens,” says Geoffrey Dickens, deputy research director at the watchdog group.
“After all, does anyone doubt that if an identical scandal had erupted during the Bush years, the networks would have essentially walked away after just a couple of weeks of heavy coverage?” he asks.
In total, CBS ran the most IRS scandal stories, with 45. NBC followed with 44 stories, and ABC was in last place with 34, Mr. Dickens says.