On Saturday, Nets Gloss Over 'Scathing' Report on V.A. Scandal, ABC Ignores Completely

June 29th, 2014 4:56 PM

After Friday's World News on ABC ignored the White House report on the infamous problems with the Department of Veterans Affairs, Saturday's Good Morning America on ABC also ignored the scandal, while CBS This Morning Saturday and NBC's Today show -- both of which are two-hour programs - only ran short briefs, the one on CBS totaling 25 seconds and the one on NBC 19 seconds.

By contrast, the CBS Evening News on Friday led with the V.A. story and gave it a full report of more than two minutes. The NBC Nightly News, after initially giving the story 24 seconds on Friday, followed up Saturday evening and presented viewers a full report of almost two and a half minutes, making it the second story both evenings.

Following the lead of World News, GMA - a one-hour show -- did find time for a full story on a pregnant woman competing in a track event, with the morning show giving the story over three and a half minutes. GMA also spent almost three minutes on a water park with the world's largest water slide.

CBS This Morning Saturday spent over seven minutes on the latest in virtual reality technology, and almost four minutes on the world champion of barbecue.

And NBC's Today spent almost five minutes on a farm that entertains tourists, and over three and a half minutes on architecture students designing small living spaces using a parking lot.

Below are transcripts of the news briefs that ran on the Saturday, June 28, CBS This Morning Saturday and NBC's Today show, followed by the full report that ran on Saturday's NBC Nightly News:

#From CBS This Morning Saturday:

ANTHONY MASON: The White House released its review of the scandal-plagued Veterans Administration, and it's not good. Yesterday's scathing report found, quote, "significant and chronic system failures" that verified problems raised by whistleblowers and others. It also says the 14-day scheduling for new patients to receive care is arbitrary and ill-defined The report said the Veterans Health Administration must be restructured.

#From NBC's Today:

JENNA WOLFE: A scathing report from the White House regarding the troubled Veterans Affairs health care system. The review concludes that the Veterans Health Administration must be restructured, and that a, quote, "corrosive culture" has hurt morale and affected the timeliness of health care.The report also includes recommendations including more doctors, nurses, and trained administration staff.

#From the NBC Nightly News:

LESTER HOLT: Late word tonight that President Obama will name a new V.A. Secretary as early as Monday to replace Eric Shinseki, who stepped down last month following widespread reports of chronic delays for medical treatment and of veterans dying while still on waiting lists. Tonight, a scathing new report on the V.A. cites significant and chronic system failures. NBC's Kristen Welker has more.

KRISTEN WELKER: The new White House report says the V.A. is plagued by a corrosive culture. Deputy Chief of Staff Rob Nabors and Acting V.A. Secretary Sloan Gibson told the President on Friday, the V.A. needs to be "restructured" and "reformed." Whistle blower Dr. Sam Foote, who worked at the Phoenix V.A., was the first to reveal widespread misconduct.

DOCTOR SAM FOOTE, PHOENIX V.A.: I was somewhat shocked in how dead on accurate it was. Clearly, Mr. Nabors and Acting Director Sloan Gibson did not pull any punches on this.

WELKER: The report's key findings, the V.A.'s goal of scheduling patients for treatment within 14 days is "arbitrary, ill-defined and misunderstood," and, the report says, that may have "incentivized inappropriate actions" by V.A. personnel to hide the treatment delays. The report also says the V.A. has technology that's outdated and a shortage of doctors and other health care professionals. Tom Tarantino of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America says the President needs to do a better job of coordinating with veterans.

TOM TARANTINO, IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN VETERANS OF AMERICA: This report didn't need to be written because we could have told the President all of this stuff going back years. And so it's a shame that he has not chosen to use this resource that he has available to him.

WELKER: The report proposes a number of reforms, including increasing transparency and overhauling the entire structure, an agenda the new V.A. Secretary will be expected to implement quickly. What will the President be looking for in the new chief?

DAVID NAKAMURA, THE WASHINGTON POST: Someone who's a strong manager, someone who has experience in private industry, in working on these kinds of issues, but also someone who has military experience, probably serving in the military with distinction, someone who veterans can relate to and look up to.

WELKER: And the President is looking for an incredibly strong manager to fix the problems at the V.A. Remember, this is the federal government's second largest agency, treating almost a quarter of a million people every single day at some 1700 facilities nationwide. And again, the President could name his choice within 48 hours.