Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki said being “mad as hell” was the strongest language he could use to describe his reaction to allegations that dozens of veterans died awaiting treatment at a Phoenix VA hospital.
So Jon Stewart took him to task on Monday’s “The Daily Show.”
“No, I think that would be an appropriate use of stronger language,” Stewart said, opening his “Veterans Affairs F*ck Ups” swear jar. “‘Motherf*cking sh*t’ does seem appropriate.”
White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough said President Barack Obama was “madder than hell” over the allegations, too. That type of “post-bureaucratic stress disorder” among government leaders goes all the way back to the 2007 scandal surrounding the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Stewart pointed out, which then-Sen. Obama said was a “wake-up call” at the time.
“It’s clear love and respect ain’t getting the job done,” Stewart concluded. “So there’s really only one way to put our government’s full resources behind anything: If they really want to improve the life of these veterans, I’m afraid we have to declare war on them. Congress, write a blank check to fund Operation Enduring Waitlist: A war on error. Because if you want Americans to feel shock and awe, you’ll fix this f*cking thing.”
Watch below, courtesy of Comedy Central:
Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.