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Matt Hadro's blog

Networks Ignore IRS Seeking Criminal Investigation of Tax-Exempt Groups; CNN Barely Reports

On Thursday morning's New Day, CNN reported the newest development in the IRS scandal that the broadcast networks ignored: the former IRS chief contacting the Justice Department about criminal investigations of tax-exempt groups.

"The activist group Judicial Watch has released e-mails that show the agency in talks with the Justice Department to investigate some tax exempt organizations for possible fraud," reported CNN's John Berman. He added that according to the e-mails, "criminal investigations" were a possibility before the IRS targeting scandal broke last year.

Al Sharpton Scoffs at New ObamaCare Allegation: 'Who Else Is In This Latest Conspiracy, the Easter Bunny?'

On Wednesday, MSNBC's Al Sharpton scoffed at the latest allegations that the White House is trying to cook the books on ObamaCare numbers by changing the census questions.

"I mean, who else is in this latest conspiracy, the Easter Bunny?" he quipped, in an interview with former Democratic Ohio governor Ted Strickland. He said those disputing the current ObamaCare enrollment figures were like "birthers" and "truthers." [Video below the break. Audio here.]

NBC Touts Bloomberg's New Gun Control Group After Lamenting Big Money Politics Two Weeks Ago

Wednesday's NBC Nightly News featured an overwhelmingly positive profile of Michael Bloomberg's new gun control advocacy group. That built upon the network's cheerleading of Bloomberg on Wednesday morning.

Almost the entire story featured quotes from Bloomberg and supporters, with just one soundbite from the NRA. Anchor Brian Williams reported Bloomberg's $50 million pledge without a hint of irony after lamenting big money politics two weeks before.

On Tax Day, Chris Hayes Sticks Up for the IRS

MSNBC's Chris Hayes celebrated Tax Day by standing up for the IRS as the "cornerstone" of the federal government and lambasting Republicans for trying to gut the agency.

"Conservatives recognize that one of the only things standing between us and a genuine plutocracy are thousands of anonymous bureaucrats doing the basic work of enforcing our nation's laws," Hayes said, painting a homey picture of IRS workers holding up democracy instead of targeting Tea Party groups. [Video coming soon. Audio here.]

New Census Questions Will Change ObamaCare Findings; Networks Ignore

New Census questions will change the findings on the impact of ObamaCare, reported the New York Times on Tuesday. The broadcast networks ignored this new report on the Tuesday evening newscasts, however.

In fact, a census official told the Times they "are expecting much lower numbers" of the uninsured "just because of the questions and how they are asked." As the Times stated, the Census Bureau "is changing its annual survey so thoroughly that it will be difficult to measure the effects of President Obama’s health care law in the next report, due this fall, census officials said."

Democrat Says 'Not All' GOP Colleagues Are Racist; Networks Ignore

Democratic Congressman Steve Israel, Chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, charged on Sunday that some of his GOP colleagues, as well as a "significant extent" of the GOP base, are racist, yet none of the broadcast networks picked it up on Monday evening.

On Sunday's State of the Union, CNN host Candy Crowley played a clip of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi accusing GOP obstruction of the immigration bill as partly based on race. She asked Israel if he thought Republicans on Capitol Hill were racist. "Not all of them, no, of course not," he replied, before attacking the GOP base. [Video below the break.]

Networks Ignore Report Claiming Most ObamaCare Enrollees Were Not Previously Uninsured

New numbers from a report on ObamaCare estimate that only just over a third of enrollees were previously uninsured, and that 5.2 million have lost their health coverage since it began. Although Fox News has covered the report, the networks have ignored it so far.

"A report by the RAND corporation this week said 5.2 million people have lost health coverage since ObamaCare started," said Fox News host Bret Baier on Thursday's Special Report. Fox Business host Neil Cavuto reported the night before that "RAND estimates that most of those who did join newly established exchanges were not insured before." [Video coming soon. Audio here.]

WashPost's Henderson Says Sebelius Is Like 'Coach of the Year' for ObamaCare Rebound

On Friday's New Day, the Washington Post's Nia-Malika Henderson said outgoing HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius would be "coach of the year" if she were a basketball coach.

"I do think if she were a basketball coach, right, she would probably be coach of the year, right? Because she was able to turn this thing around, had good news yesterday that 7.5 million people, you know, signed up for this thing," Henderson stated on CNN. [Video below the break. Audio here.]

Megyn Kelly Rips CAIR Spokesman: 'I'm Not Going to Let You Hijack This Segment'

Fox News's Megyn Kelly clashed with CAIR again in a taped segment that aired Thursday night on The Kelly File. Arguing over the recent uproar at Brandeis University, Kelly ripped CAIR for suing its critics and trying to "silence" them.

For those who haven't heard, Brandeis intended to honor human rights activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali at its graduation, but pulled its invitation after backlash over her criticism of Islam as anti-women. CAIR called her a "notorious Islamophobe." The organization's spokesman then defended its stance on Thursday night, but Kelly wouldn't have it. [Video below. Audio here.]

Sharyl Attkisson Claims CBS Moved On From 'Fast and Furious' as She'd 'Barely Begun to Scratch the Surface'

Appearing on Thursday's O'Reilly Factor, former CBS investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson claimed that CBS "had barely begun to scratch the surface" of the "Fast and Furious" scandal before the network moved on from the story. She noted that the network showed similar reluctance for its coverage of Benghazi and the ObamaCare rollout.

Before her resignation last month, Attkisson covered Obama administration controversies like "Fast and Furious" and Benghazi and her reporting helped the CBS Evening News win the Edward R. Murrow award in 2012. Yet she told O'Reilly that higher-ups at the network moved on from the "Fast and Furious"scandal "due to lack of interest, well before we found answers to a lot of questions." [Video below the break. Audio here.]

CBS, ABC Tout Document Claiming Jesus Had a 'Wife' But Ignore the Skeptics

On Thursday evening, both ABC and CBS relayed news that a manuscript claiming Jesus had a wife was found to be an "ancient" document and "not a modern forgery." They ignored skeptics of the document, however.

"We have the results of scientific testing on a controversial scrap of papyrus that some call the 'gospel of Jesus' wife'," touted CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley. He added that "scholars say that doesn't prove that Jesus had a wife but that early Christians debated whether he did."

CBS, NBC Hail Colbert's Arrival at CBS; Ignore His Liberal Mockery of Conservatives

On Thursday evening, both CBS and NBC hailed the arrival of comedian Stephen Colbert at CBS but failed to acknowledge his routine of posing as a mock-conservative host at Comedy Central.

Colbert's persona was a conservative TV host who was, in his own words, a "well-intentioned, poorly-informed, high-status idiot." His show was a mockery of a conservative host. Yet CBS and NBC glossed over the "conservative" bit, remaining neutral on the details and referring to his character as simply his "know-it-all alter ego."

Evening Newscasts Ignore House GOP's Criminal Referral for Lois Lerner, Find Time for Hillary

In a major new development in the IRS scandal, House Republicans voted on Wednesday to send a criminal referral to the Department of Justice for former IRS chief Lois Lerner. FNC's Special Report with Bret Baier devoted a full story to the vote by the committee chaired by Congressman Dave Camp, but none of the three broadcast network evening newscasts covered the vote.

The letter sent to Attorney General Eric Holder stated that "findings" from the Ways and Means Committee, chaired by Republican Camp, "suggest that Lerner may have violated multiple criminal statutes." The letter went on to add that "the Committee asks that you pursue this evidence." The three networks ignored this letter, however, although CBS and ABC talked about Hillary Clinton's presidential aspirations.

NBC Touts Al Sharpton's Past as FBI Informant; Glosses Over His Being Forced Into It to Avoid Indictment

Tuesday's NBC Nightly News highlighted MSNBC host Al Sharpton's past as an FBI informant but glossed over serious controversies, ignoring his infamous role in the 1991 Crown Heights riot.

The overall tone of the report was positive. Correspondent Pete Williams lauded Sharpton: "as mainstream as a civil rights activist can be, a frequent visitor to the White House, a friend of Attorney General Eric Holder and nightly cable host on MSNBC." Anchor Brian Williams stated that "tonight, newly released documents are shedding new light on another role from Al Sharpton's past, that of FBI informant."

Jon Stewart Attacks MRC Latino for Claim of Univision's Pro-ObamaCare Bias

Tuesday's Daily Show went to bat for the Hispanic media, as liberal comedian Jon Stewart attacked Brent Bozell and the newly-launched MRC Latino for its accusation of a liberal bias on Univision and Telemundo.

Stewart called out "Brent Bozell of the conservative Media Research bull (bleep), I mean Center" and mocked his claim that the Spanish networks helped sign people up for ObamaCare. "Bastardos! How dare a cable network use its reach to help the audience comply with the law." [Video below the break. Audio here.]

CBS and NBC Ignore White House Hypocrisy on Equal Wages for Men and Women

On Tuesday evening, the networks all dutifully touted President Obama's call for equal pay for women in the workplace. NBC and CBS ignored Obama's hypocrisy – the pay gap that exists among his own White House staff.

ABC's Diane Sawyer put a dramatic spin on the news, saying Obama called for "action" on the "explosive issue of equal pay for equal work." The World News did note the GOP response that women in the White House earn 88 percent of the men's salaries, but relegated that important fact to the very end of the report. Neither NBC nor CBS reported it.

Networks Ignore New GOP Claim That IRS Didn't Target Liberal Groups

Monday's network evening news casts ignored a new GOP claim that Tea Party groups were indeed singled out for "systematic scrutiny" by the IRS.

House Republicans released a report that said the IRS began special investigations in 2010 by targeting only Tea Party groups. Of the first three groups investigated, two of them eventually dropped their applications for non-profit status. The networks were silent about the report on Monday evening, however.

Howard Kurtz Rips Media Double Standard On Mozilla CEO's Resignation

On Monday's Special Report, Fox News media analyst Howard Kurtz ripped the media double standard on the resignation of Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich.

After news surfaced that Eich supported California's Prop 8 six years ago, gay activists were furious and Eich resigned amidst a firestorm of controversy. Kurtz noted that the network evening news casts completely ignored the story last week, but probably would have "been in an uproar" had Eich been a gay rights supporter and his company conservative. [Video below the break. Audio here.]

LOL: Ed Schultz Claims the 'Mainstream Media' Isn't Being 'Fair' to ObamaCare

On his Monday show, MSNBC's Ed Schultz ripped the "mainstream media" for – wait for it – not being fair enough to ObamaCare. Of course, the only examples of "media bias" that Schultz displayed were from conservative guests and pundits.

Apparently, the press has discounted all the positives of ObamaCare. "If you had been in a time capsule for the last five years and just happened to wake up yesterday morning, you would have thought that health care in America had failed," Schultz insisted. [Video below the break. Audio here.]

Colbert and Stewart Launch Tirades Against SCOTUS Campaign Finance Decision

Comedy Central launched a crusade against the Supreme Court's campaign finance decision on Thursday night, as both the Daily Show and Colbert Report spent a combined three segments and 20 minutes on a liberal diatribe against the decision.

The Daily Show's Jon Stewart aired a lengthy 10-minute rant against the Court striking down the limit on the amount of overall political donations. That was followed by correspondent Aasif Mandvi poking fun at the outcome. Stephen Colbert opened the Colbert Report lampooning the decision for over seven minutes. [Video below the break. Audio here.]

Networks Ignore Insurer's Claim That 15-20 Percent of ObamaCare Enrollees Didn't Pay First Premium

On Thursday evening’s news casts, the networks ignored a claim by major insurer Blue Cross Blue Shield that as many as 20 percent of their new enrollees did not pay the first month’s premium for ObamaCare. If that was the case for all insurers, the White House’s brag of 7 million enrollees would be cut down to 6 million or lower.

National Journal had the story, calling Blue Cross Blue Shield “one of the biggest players in ObamaCare’s exchanges. They reported that according to a spokesperson for the company, “roughly 80 to 85 percent of people who selected a Blues plan through the exchanges went on to pay their first month’s premium.”

Chris Matthews and Joan Walsh Call Those Disputing ObamaCare Numbers 'Birthers'

On Thursday's Hardball, host Chris Matthews and guest Joan Walsh disparaged conservatives who disputed the administration's ObamaCare enrollment numbers "birthers" and "truthers."

"What can you say about these guys besides they are health care enrollment truthers right now," Matthews insisted. "It's a new firm of birtherism. It's a new way to say it's not legitimate, he [Obama] doesn't belong there," said Walsh. [Video below the break. Audio here.]

A Day Late, ABC Joins the Outrage Over SCOTUS Campaign Finance Decision

A day late to the game, ABC joined the outrage on Thursday over Wednesday's Supreme Court decision that struck down the limit on political donations.

Investigative correspondent Brian Ross decried the "fancy dinners and luxury yachts...where the super rich decide which politicians get their money, and therefore who has a chance to be elected." He interviewed Democrat consultant Bill Burton who admitted "It's absolutely about the money."

Sarah Palin Makes Tonight Show Cameo; Tells Vladimir Putin He's 'No Match for a Mama Grizzly'

Sarah Palin made a surprise visit to NBC's Tonight on Wednesday. She conducted a mock interview with Russian president Vladimir Putin, played by host Jimmy Fallon.

Palin mocked Putin as "no match for a mama grizzly" and told him to get out of the Ukraine. Both enjoyed a laugh at Obama's NSA spying program, as well. Below is a video of the highlights:

Bob Schieffer and Brian Williams Lament SCOTUS Campaign Finance Decision

Both CBS's Bob Schieffer and NBC's Brian Williams cried foul on Wednesday evening at the Supreme Court striking down the cap on overall political donations, showing sympathy for supporters of the law.

Schieffer lamented that "More and more, the very rich are taking control of our politics" and that "this ruling is just one more sign that we no longer have any campaign laws that really matter."  Brian Williams actually quoted liberal Justice Stephen Breyer and asked what opponents of the decision could do. [Video below the break. Audio here.]

Stephen Colbert Mocks Conservative Critics of ObamaCare

After President Obama announced that the administration's goal of 7 million ObamaCare enrollees had been met, comedian Stephen Colbert lampooned conservatives who criticized the law and said it would fall short of its goal, on Tuesday night's Colbert Report.

"Folks, tonight we're all happy and I wish I could come to you with some good news, but the worst imaginable thing has happened. Millions of Americans are going to get healthcare," Colbert sarcastically began, framing opponents of the law as opponents of the uninsured. [Video below the break. Audio here.]

CNN's Smerconish Brags He's a 'Card-Carrying Member of ObamaCare'

It helps to be in the White House when a CNN host professes himself to be "card-carrying member" of the administration's health care law, or when the enrollment numbers are cast as a "major victory."

New CNN host Michael Smerconish touted the benefits of ObamaCare on Tuesday night, confessing he was a "card-carrying member of ObamaCare" and calling the enrollment numbers "quite an achievement." OutFront host Erin Burnett went even further, saying the enrollment was a "major victory." [Video below the break. Audio here.]

White House PR? CBS Highlights Young ObamaCare Enrollee's 'Peace of Mind'

As the networks reported on President Obama's Tuesday "victory lap" over ObamaCare's new enrollment numbers, CBS played right into the administration's hands by highlighting the "peace of mind" of a young adult who signed up for health care.

In what could have passed for a White House commercial, CBS's Ben Tracy interviewed an uninsured 33 year-old who "felt like a ticking time bomb" before he signed up for ObamaCare at the deadline. He told CBS "now I have it, so it's – it's sort of a peace of mind thing for me." [Video below the break. Audio here.]

ABC's Matthew Dowd Lectures GOP to Give Up on Repealing ObamaCare

After President Obama's victory lap Tuesday over the rollout of his health care law, ABC's Matthew Dowd told Republicans to let Obama celebrate and stop trying to repeal ObamaCare.

"You have to give the President ground to have some celebration," Dowd insisted. "A little bit of dancing in the end zone. I think Republicans would be really smart, let him have the touchdown, don't ask for instant replay." [Video below the break. Audio here.]

Networks Fret Over UN Report on Climate Change; 'Urgent New Warning,' 'Extreme Consequences'

The networks all hyped the new United Nations report on climate change on Monday evening, touting it as a dire call for action and an "urgent new warning."

NBC's Brian Williams gave by far the most dramatic take on the report, even starting the Nightly News with the story. "Good evening, the world has never been spoken to quite this way," he soberly began. [See video below.]