When exculpatory evidence emerged in IRS “scandal,” certain influential media had already lost interest
The chart above is explained HERE:
The discredited IRS “scandal” is more than just an example of congressional Republicans over-promising and under-delivering. It’s even more than a political world, desperate for something new to play with, failing to look before it leaped.
The story also offers a terrific case study in how major news outlets pounce on a story, only to lose interest when facts challenge their assumptions. Political scientist Brendan Nyhan published a gem yesterday for Columbia Journalism Review on the “scandal attention cycle.”
The image [above] should probably be fairly self-explanatory — we can see how the New York Times, Washington Post, and Politico, “which are arguably the three most important sources of national political news and often set the agenda for coverage by other press outlets,” covered the IRS story from start to finish.
Nyhan explained what happened immediately after the story broke:
The New York Times published nine stories, including five on the front page; The Washington Post published 16, including eight on A1; and Politico ran an incredible 66, including 12 that appeared at the top of its home page. But as contradictory facts emerged in June and early July, they had already lost interest, publishing a fraction of the stories that ran during the initial weeks of the scandal.