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.]
GMA journalists followed that up with two promotional segments on Dancing With the Stars, an ABC program.
On Monday, the Washington Times's Jim McElhatton reported:
The Obama administration received clear notice more than five years ago that VA medical facilities were reporting inaccurate waiting times and experiencing scheduling failures that threatened to deny veterans timely health care — problems that have turned into a growing scandal.
Veterans Affairs officials warned the Obama-Biden transition team in the weeks after the 2008 presidential election that the department shouldn’t trust the wait times that its facilities were reporting.
On Tuesday, the Times's Ben Wolfgang followed-up: "The White House acknowledged Monday that President Obama was warned of problems within the VA years ago and said that was why he asked Congress repeatedly for more money to try to improve care for veterans."
Only NBC's Today covered the veterans health care story on Tuesday. While co-host Savannah Guthrie did not highlight the newest revelations, she did ask Democratic congressional candidate Clay Aiken about the subject:
SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: As you well know, Fort. Bragg is in your district. Your brother served two tours of duty in Iraq. I'm sure you're following what's happening with the scandal at the Veterans administration, delays in treatments for vets. Do you think Eric Shinseki, the secretary of Veterans Affairs, should resign?
On Monday night, only the CBS Evening News devoted a story to the latest details. Anchor Scott Pelley explained, "The Bush White House was so concerned about this back in 2008 that it warned the incoming Obama Administration."
A report by the Media Research Center last Friday found that ABC investigated the VA scandal for 11 minutes, but only allowed five seconds of criticism for the Obama administration.
Clearly, ABC's reporters have more important topics, stories about strippers, models and Dancing With the Stars.