Fox News’ defense of Dr. Ronny Jackson, the ever-more-ridiculous nominee to head the VA, just happened to coincide with Donald Trump’s decision to stand by his totally unqualified and now reportedly substance-abusing man.
The New York Times reported today on the bipartisan concerns about Jackson and Trump’s defiance:
President Trump acknowledged Tuesday that Dr. Ronny L. Jackson, his nominee to lead the Veterans Affairs Department, is in serious trouble amid accusations that as the White House doctor he oversaw a hostile work environment, improperly dispensed prescription drugs and possibly drank on the job.
By Tuesday evening, however, Mr. Trump and Dr. Jackson met face-to-face, and the White House moved aggressively to defend the doctor against what the president had called “ugly” abuse by politicians. A White House statement said that Dr. Jackson’s record was “impeccable” and insisted that he would not be “railroaded” by false accusations.
The concern over Dr. Jackson’s nomination is bipartisan and emerged after Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee interviews with more than 20 people, including current and former military personnel who had worked with him. The committee began an investigation last week into Dr. Jackson’s White House work record, and its Republican and Democratic leaders jointly announced Tuesday that his confirmation hearing, planned for Wednesday, would be postponed indefinitely “in light of new information presented to the committee.”
Some of that new information, according to The Times, was the discovery by White House staff seeking his help during an Obama presidential trip that Jackson was passed out in his hotel room after a night of drinking.
All that was on top of pre-existing, bipartisan concerns about Jackson’s utter lack of qualifications to run the federal government's second-largest agency. Jackon's only qualification seemed to be his over-the-top-glowing medical report about Trump’s health that seemed to put him in the mood to offer his new BFF a reward.
But on Fox News tonight, contributor Marc Thiessen found nothing not to love about Jackson. Thiessen called Jackson “Exactly the kind of person we need at the VA right now.”
No management experience? Who cares? The last two VA secretaries were managers and “Look at all the problems that the VA had under their leadership,” Thiessen said. Neither he nor host Martha MacCallum pointed out that the last two secretaries effectively led the already-troubled VA.
“What Ronny Jackson brings to the table is leadership,” Thiessen gushed, despite the fact that Jackson has never led anything close to an entity like the VA. “He’s a Navy rear admiral who was a combat medic on the ground in Iraq. He was the guy who, when the helicopter landed with a guy who’d just been blown by an IED, Ronny Jackson is the guy who stuck his hands in his body and got blood all over his hands trying to save that guy’s life and stabilize him,” Thiessen continued melodramatically. “He understands the plight of our veterans in a way that no VA nominee ever has.”
According to Thiessen, Jackson’s lack of experience is immaterial because he “can surround himself with all sorts of management experts.”
Predictably, MacCallum never questioned how someone with no significant management experience would choose the right “sorts of management experts” to do the running of the VA. Nor did she point out that Jackson’s current management experience is not exactly promising. A 2012 watchdog report found he exhibited “unprofessional behaviors” and recommended his removal from his White House position.
Instead, MacCallum regurgitated, without challenge, a statement from a “senior White House official” that Jackson “has never been the subject of an Inspector General review and he will certainly not be railroaded by a bitter ex-colleague who was removed from his job.”
Then MacCallum scolded Jackson's critics: “People are so quick sometimes to decide that someone has to go because something has come up in the process of vetting them and we saw today, I think, sort of an egregious example of people immediately piling on before there was even clarity on what these issues were.”
As she spoke, a lower-third banner read, “PRESIDENT TRUMP DEFENDS VA NOMINEE AGAINST “VICIOUS” DEMOCRATS.”
Watch MacCallum and Thiessen defend the indefensible above, from the April 24, 2018 The Story with Martha MacCallum.
Crossposted at News Hounds.
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