Racing to jump on the 'scandal' bandwagon, top-tier network newsmen each get the stories wrong, fail to correct record...
By Brad Friedman on 5/20/2013, 12:38pm PT  

Despite completely misreporting on Administration emails related to the pretend Benghazi "scandal", after they were misquoted (and/or fabricated) to him by a reportedly Republican source, ABC News and their White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl still refuse to properly correct and apologize for having lied about "obtaining" those emails.

Had Karl's error --- compounded by his "cover-up" even more than his original "crime" --- contained news that falsely appeared good for Democrats instead of for Republicans, he would have been hammered and forever discredited by the Right until finally fired by ABC News. But, alas, his completely false report on Benghazi benefited Republicans rather than Democrats, so no biggie, it seems. He gets to keep his career!

ABC's Karl, however, wasn't the only top-tier network newsman who blew it big time, further tarnishing the profession over the past week, not by a long shot.

Here's how NBC's Brian Williams opened --- opened! --- NBC Nightly News last Tuesday, the same day that the Treasury Department's Inspector General report was released, offering zero evidence of White House involvement in the so-called IRS "scandal"...

BRIAN WILLIAMS: "As a lot of American adults not so fondly remember, the last time the government was found looking into the phone calls of reporters and using the IRS for political purposes, it was the Nixon era, and while times have changed and circumstances are different, that subject came up at the Obama White House today as the administration now scrambles on several fronts." (NBC Nightly News, May 14, 2013)

Odd. The "last time" we "not so fondly remember...the government...found looking into the phone calls of reporters and using the IRS for political purposes", was during the George W. Bush era, not the Nixon era. Did Williams sleep through that decade? Seemingly so. Or, its safer to allude to the discredited Nixon than the off-scot-free Dubya. Or, Williams simply felt like lying to his audience. Either way, why has Williams also failed to correct or apologize for his grotesquely absurd, remarkably misleading and demonstrably inaccurate opening? And why has he seemingly faced little or no pressure to do so (unlike Karl) from others in the media?

Finally, the network Sunday news shows this week, what we were able to catch of them, anyway, proved to be the usual misinformative lock-step knee-jerkery that keeps us from even bothering to check in on them much anymore. From ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulos (which, astonishingly failed to even mention Karl's extraordinary journalistic lapse, but managed to end its broadcast nonetheless with the straight-faced voice-over: "ABC News: Accurate. Credible. Unmatched.") to NBC's Meet the Press with David Gregory to Fox "News" Sunday, they all pretended that last week's week of "scandals" was on par with Watergate, Iran-Contra, Tea Pot Dome and other actual Presidential scandals. That must be what they train for.

But the award for irresponsible knee-jerkery under the guise of seasoned journalistic commentary, must certainly go to CBS' Bob Schieffer, who, as seen on his Twitter account, appears quite proud of his breathless "dumb and dumber" finger wagging on this week's Face The Nation, despite its lack of tether to reality or verifiable facts...

So, ya didn't even bother to read the IG's report before describing the IRS scandal as "dumb and dumber", did ya, Bob? We've sent that question to CBS and will update if we receive a response. But based on his commentary, it seems he clearly has not. Else, he could not have described the IRS as trying to "get away with" having "gone after the tea party" --- not based on the currently existing evidence, anyway. Nor could he have made his completely irresponsible comparison to Watergate in the bargain.

So that's a major fail, by the very highest echelons of each and every broadcast news outlet in a single week. And yet some dare to criticize us --- a mere "blog" after all --- for getting the story right, time and time again?! Seriously?!

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Recently related at The BRAD BLOG...
5/15/13: "Republicans Suddenly Decide to Care About Big Government Overreach"
5/16/13: "'Misconduct'?: What's NOT in the Inspector General's Report on IRS Identifying 'Tea Party' Groups for Additional Tax-Exempt Scrutiny"
5/17/13: "IRS 'Scandal' Appears Nearly as Phony as Shirley Sherrod, Van Jones, ACORN 'Scandals'"