Hat/Tip to NewsBusters.
So Rachel Maddow thought that military veterans not getting their proper medical care when George Bush was in office was a scandal; but now that the same thing is happening, only to a much larger degree under Obama, it’s only a “wake-up call,” or a “problem in progress?”
Are you kidding me?
The Rachel Maddow Show
May 21, 2014
RACHEL MADDOW, host: Paul, I know that the American Legion has called explicitly for General Shinseki to be fired, for him to resign over the failure to fix these problems. As far as I know, IAVA hasn’t said that organizationally yet. It sounds like you just got kind of close. What are your personal feelings on that and where does IAVA come down on that issue? How important is he individually?
PAUL RIECKHOFF, IAVA (Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans for America) founder and executive director: He’s very important. He sets the tone, sets the command climate. He has to be the advocate in chief on behalf of our veterans. There’s an old saying that sometimes the V.A. stands for veterans advocate, and sometimes it stands for veterans adversary. He’s got to be the biggest veterans advocate in America and he really hasn’t met that challenge. For us, we’re asking our members. We’re going to continue to poll, memorial day is coming up this weekend, we’ll be doing events around the country, we’re gonna listen to them. We want to hear from our all of our members and make sure we’re thoughtful about this decision and take it seriously. But I also want people to know, our members are furious. They’re outraged and absolutely disgusted by this entire controversy and they were very disappointed with the president today. He did not lay out any clear action steps and he was late to this issue. It’s sad that it takes them getting beat over the head by the media for weeks and weeks before they finally respond and then when they do it’s a weak response with no real plan. They’ve got to get ahead of this story and they also have to understand it’s deep, it’s vast, and not going away anytime soon, because it hasn’t gone away in the past six years.
MADDOW: Let me just ask you about that last point. That is, I feel like part of the reason that it this has been a weird story to cover over the last four weeks, we’ve covered it a number of times on this show, I feel like so much of the “This is a scandal” coverage is covering it as if this is a totally new problem.
RIECKHOFF: Right, right.
MADDOW: As if something like this has never happened before feel like, yes, we’ve uncovered a new way that we’re doing this, just like we were doing this with mental health numbers, just like we were doing this with the backlog, just like we were doing it before. It feels to me like it’s the media coming upon a problem in progress and calling it a scandal, rather than something brand-new being uncovered. I mean, how do you handle that? I know you know this isn’t new.
RIECKHOFF: It’s a wake-up call. I mean honestly, I thought this was going to happen years ago. People are complaining this has been politicized in the last couple of weeks. It’s a miracle it wasn’t politicized four years ago. This stuff has been out there, there have been multiple hearings and IG reports and GAO studies. America just wasn’t paying attention and the media wasn’t paying attention. You’ve been very aggressive and consistent in covering it, but the reality is that most of America and most of the media has not been. So welcome to the discussion, America. It’s really a big problem, we need everyone’s help, and it’s one of the most urgent, political issues facing our country. If we can’t get veterans right, we can’t get anything right in this country because it does offer a unique, bipartisan opportunity to finally tackle something that matters. And it’s just really, I think, disappointing and disheartening for everyone. We’re exhausted by it, but maybe the silver lining is that we can finally get the reform that we deserved a decade ago.
But let’s back up 7 years or so…
The Rachel Maddow Podthing
BRIT HUME, Fox News: This is unfortunate, it looks terrible, which is the problem. The problem is that it looks as if this administration which has sent troops into harms way is now neglecting them when they’re injured and need care and help.
MADDOW: That’s Brit Hume on Fox News Sunday, making clear what the real problem is with the Walter Reed Scandal. And that’s of course, that it’s a scandal. That’s of course that it looks really bad. That’s the problem.
HUME: It looks terrible, which is the problem.
MADDOW: Makes it look like the administration is neglecting the troops and the veterans and that appearance, that appearance, is clearly an emergency, a public relations emergency for the administration.
Read the full story here.