Nets Target Trump’s VA Pick, Fear He’s Not ‘Up to the Job’

March 29th, 2018 1:15 PM

After news broke Wednesday afternoon that President Trump would be replacing Veteran Affairs Secretary David Shulkin with White House Physician Ronny Jackson, Tuesday’s network morning shows proceeded to dismiss the Navy Rear Admiral as unqualified for the job. The coverage even seemed to criticize Jackson for accurately describing the President’s health during a press conference in January.

“President Trump announces yet another cabinet shake-up, replacing the Secretary of Veterans Affairs with his personal doctor, but some are questioning, is he up for the job?,” fretted co-host Hoda Kotb at the top of NBC’s Today show. In the report that followed minutes later, correspondent Peter Alexander noted: “The President praising Jackson, who also was President Obama’s personal physician, as highly trained and qualified, even though he has no experience managing a sprawling government agency, this one with a long history of problems.”



Alexander implied a connection between Jackson’s nomination and the doctor’s January press conference about the President’s health: “President Trump’s latest cabinet pick, his own doctor, Rear Admiral Ronny Jackson, two months after giving the President a clean bill of health.”

Introducing a follow-up report early in the 8:00 a.m. ET hour, Kotb referred to the choice as “a surprising pick,” with correspondent Kristen Welker reiterating Alexander’s concerns:

VA Secretary David Shulkin is out and the President is nominating Admiral Ronny Jackson, his personal physician, as the new VA secretary, a move that is drawing scrutiny this morning. Mr. Trump praised Jackson, who was also former President Obama’s personal physician, as highly trained and qualified. But Jackson has no experience managing a sprawling government agency, and the VA has been beset by management problems for years.

On ABC’s Good Morning America, correspondent Martha Raddatz proclaimed: “Dr. Jackson, who did deploy to Iraq, has served as White House Physician for three different administrations. But he’s about to take on the second-largest department in the administration serving more than nine million veterans, without a whole lot of management experience.”

Co-host Robin Roberts joined in the hand-wringing: “As you pointed out, and many have pointed out that as well, Dr. Jackson has not led any companies, any bureaucracies.” Raddatz tried to assure her: “That’s right. But I think like all political appointees, he’ll surround himself with people who have that experience.”

Like Alexander, Raddatz felt the need to highlight: “The man the President has nominated to replace him [Shulkin], Rear Admiral Ronny Jackson, the White House doctor who recently gave the President a glowing bill of health.”

Reporting the news on CBS This Morning, correspondent Major Garrett snidely remarked:

Shulkin is a former physician who ran hospitals and was confirmed unanimously by the Senate. The President’s choice to replace him....his personal physician Ronny Jackson, who had administered the President’s first physical and lavished praise on a president not known for his fitness or healthy eating habits.

The reporter then touted Democrats already announcing their opposition to the nomination: “Jackson’s confirmation is by no means certain. Democrats have questioned his seeming lack of experience heading the vast bureaucracy, the second-largest federal government agency that serves and treats nearly nine million veterans as patients.”

Beyond questioning Jackson’s credentials, the liberal media seem to think that the doctor’s unforgivable sin was informing the public about Trump’s healthy condition.

During that January press conference, reporters embarrassed themselves as they demanded that Jackson declare Trump to be mentally ill.