Military

By Kyle Drennen | May 22, 2014 | 10:55 AM EDT

A day after President Obama finally reacted to the Veteran's Affair scandal after weeks of silence, NBC's Today could only manage a couple news briefs on the development, totaling forty-seven seconds. Meanwhile, the morning show devoted one minute and nineteen seconds to First Daughter Malia Obama learning to drive this summer.  

ABC's Good Morning America at least provided a full report on the VA scandal, but edited out any criticism of Obama. On Wednesday's World News, correspondent Jim Avila included a soundbite from a family member of a veteran who died waiting for care who accused the President of "lying" about the scandal. However, that clip vanished from Avila's GMA report Thursday morning.

By Jeffrey Meyer | May 22, 2014 | 10:33 AM EDT

MSNBC’s Chris Matthews seems determined to kill the idea that unlike the Veterans Administration scandal, past Obama scandals such as the IRS’ targeting of conservative groups are not in fact legitimate issues to investigate. 

Appearing on his nightly Hardball program on Wednesday, May 21, Matthews declared “For the first time, President Obama speaks out about the VA scandal and this is no phony IRS or Benghazi nonsense, this is the real deal.” [See video below.] 

By Tom Blumer | May 22, 2014 | 10:11 AM EDT

In discussing President Obama's Wednesday press conference on the Veterans Administration wait-list scandal, CNN's Drew Griffin, identified by the network's Jake Tapper as "the reporter who began this whole story with his investigation into the Phoenix VA," appeared to barely contain himself as he described the "disconnect between what's happening out here in the country and what the president is talking about."

Specifically, Griffin asserted that "this problem is real; it exists; it really doesn't have to be studied," and that "the vets I've been talking to wanted much more direct action." Griffin clearly expected a far more substantive and immediate response from Obama yesterday, and was disappointed that it didn't come. The video segment (via the Washington Free Beacon), a transcript, and Rush Limbaugh's insightful reaction follow the jump (bolds are mine throughout this post):

By Matthew Balan | May 21, 2014 | 11:35 PM EDT

Wednesday's World News on ABC minimized any sense of the Obama administration's responsibility in the ongoing V.A. scandal, and spent the least amount of air time on the issue among the Big Three networks' evening newscasts. The program actually aired segments on pickpocketing and custom mobile homes than lasted about a half a minute longer each than their report on the scandal.

Diane Sawyer spotlighted how the President "weighed in – talking tough and talking action" on the "growing outrage over veterans hospitals." Jim Avila noted how multiple V.A. medical facilities in several states are now being investigated, and let the relative of deceased veteran decry the President's handling of the scandal. However, he didn't mention that the wait lists have been around for years – something that CBS Evening News mentioned in its coverage of the controversy: [MP3 audio from the ABC report available here; video below the jump]

By Kyle Drennen | May 21, 2014 | 4:41 PM EDT

During a panel discussion on her 12 p.m. ET hour MSNBC show on Wednesday, host Andrea Mitchell wondered why President Obama chose to make a statement on the Veteran's Affairs scandal without having any significant reforms to announce: "Why send the President out to say something about the VA when he's not ready to take bolder action?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Chief White House correspondent and political director Chuck Todd acknowledged: "Well, this was an attempt, I think, to stop the political bleeding that was taking place....that this has become a political problem for the White House. The President himself hadn't spoken on it publicly since [his trip to] Asia...about three, four weeks ago. So there needed to be a sense of he had to come out and say something."

By Paul Bremmer | May 21, 2014 | 2:45 PM EDT

The Daily Beast may be a liberal outlet, but sometimes they report important news that doesn’t favor the Obama administration.

A case in point: a Wednesday article by Eli Lake which reported that many U.S. intelligence officials oppose President Obama’s push to scale back the war on terror.

By Mark Finkelstein | May 21, 2014 | 9:05 AM EDT

Red Alert at the White House! How bad is the VA scandal? Bad enough to make even such as Sam Stein question liberalism. The VA scandal is getting so grievous for the Obama admin and for the liberal project at large that it has led even liberals to reconsider their most cherished ideological beliefs.

On today's Morning Joe, Sam Stein of the Huffington Post wondered "is liberalism, is progressivism, in this instance the right thing" given that the additional money the Obama admin spent on the VA has not yielded results?  View the video after the jump.

By Jeffrey Meyer | May 20, 2014 | 7:15 PM EDT

ABC has failed to cover exclusive reporting from its own Jonathan Karl, ABC News’ Chief White House Correspondent, when he caught White House Press Secretary Jay Carney distorting the American Legion’s position on the VA controversy. 

For the second night in a row, ABC’s World News with Diane Sawyer ignored the latest in the scandal engulfing the Veterans Administration. On Monday, May 19, the Washington Times released documents that showed the Obama Administration was warned about the problems surrounding the VA as early as 2009, yet ABC has yet to cover these revelations.

By Scott Whitlock | May 20, 2014 | 12:20 PM EDT

The idea that Good Morning America is a superficial show is not in doubt. On Tuesday, the show's hosts devoted 12 minutes and 22 seconds to full reports on a college student stripper, a super model trying to lose weight and Dancing With the Stars. But the frivolous nature of the program often masks its liberal bias. GMA on May 20 completely ignored the revelation that Barack Obama was warned five years ago of the substandard conditions at Veterans Affairs medical facilities and that soldiers were struggling to obtain decent treatment.  

That development was also avoided on ABC's World News, Monday night. What did the hosts of GMA cover instead? Juju Chang played footage of an exotic dancer and breathlessly informed: "This is how she pays her tuition. Essentially, you're a student by day and stripper by night?" Robin Roberts highlighted the efforts by super model Molly Sims to lose weight. [See below for a video montage of the morning show's most insipid news stories. MP3 audio here.]

By Matthew Balan | May 16, 2014 | 11:15 PM EDT

Friday's World News on ABC mentioned the ongoing scandal surrounding the Veterans Administration only in passing, despite the fact their own chief White House correspondent, Jonathan Karl, hounded Press Secretary Jay Carney at the regular White House press briefing on the issue. Meanwhile, they set aside two full segments totaling seven minutes and 54 seconds of air time to Barbara Walters' departure from The View.

Diane Sawyer gave a 30-second news brief to a new development in the scandal – about one-sixteenth the amount of time that she and her newscast spent on Walters: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]

By Paul Bremmer | May 16, 2014 | 5:18 PM EDT

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee recently portrayed Republican U.S. House candidate Lee Zeldin as a "coward" on its website for refusing to oppose Paul Ryan’s budget. To illustrate this they posted a picture of Zeldin’s face on the body of the cowardly lion from The Wizard of Oz.

But it just so happens that Zeldin is an Iraq War veteran, hardly the profile of a coward. So on Friday morning, he appeared on Fox and Friends and hit back hard at his Democratic opponents. When asked his reaction to being called a coward, Zeldin responded:

By Scott Whitlock | May 16, 2014 | 3:35 PM EDT

Since a massive scandal involving the Veterans Affairs department became public, the three networks have devoted a combined 71 minutes and 55 seconds (or 38 stories) to investigating a secret list delaying treatment to military personnel. That total time included a scant five seconds of criticism for Barack Obama. Instead, ABC, CBS and NBC focused their stories on Secretary Eric Shinseki and to assuring Americans that the President was on top of the situation. 

NBC dedicated 32 minutes and 25 seconds to the revelation that up to 40 patients in Arizona died due to lack of care. CBS managed 28 minutes and two seconds and ABC allowed 11 minutes and 28 seconds. In addition to avoiding culpability for the White House, the networks got to the story late. The story broke on April 23, but NBC didn't get around to it until the May 6 Nightly News. CBS and ABC discovered the controversy for that day's morning programs.