After days of censoring  any mention of the latest congressional hearings on the ongoing Veteran's Affairs scandal, Wednesday's NBC Today finally found time to report on the topic, providing two news briefs amounting to a paltry 27 seconds of airtime. 27 seconds out of a 4-hour broadcast. [Listen to the audio ]
By contrast, the network morning show devoted a full 3-minute story to Yankee captain Derek Jeter playing his final MLB Allstar Game Tuesday night. That's over six times the amount of coverage given to the VA developments.
At least Today mentioned the continuing hearings on Wednesday,
with news anchor Natalie Morales noting early in the 8 a.m. ET hour:
"The acting head of the Department of Veterans Affairs is testifying on
Capitol Hill this morning about the scandal at VA hospitals. Sloan
Gibson faces questions about what is being done to shorten waiting lists
and to punish workers who falsified records."
ABC's Good Morning America skipped the story. In fact, the only coverage ABC provided on the newest hearings came in the form of a mere 23-second news brief on Tuesday's GMA.
Wednesday's CBS This Morning did not mention the VA. However, the network did provide full reports both Monday and Tuesday on CBS Evening News as well as on Tuesday's This Morning.
Here is a transcript of the coverage on the July 16 Today:
7:31 AM ET
MATT LAUER: And the acting secretary of Veterans Affairs is testifying on Capitol Hill today. Lawmakers want to know what the agency has done to address recent problems plaguing the VA medical system, including a long waiting list for appointments.
8:04 AM ET
NATALIE MORALES: The acting head of the Department of Veterans Affairs is testifying on Capitol Hill this morning about the scandal at VA hospitals.
[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: VA Hospitals Scandal; Acting Head of VA Testifying About Fixes]
Sloan Gibson faces questions about what is being done to shorten waiting lists and to punish workers who falsified records.
— Kyle Drennen is Senior News Analyst at the Media Research Center. Follow Kyle Drennen on Twitter.