Should a government official lose his job for doing something that is routinely done in bars all over America every night of the week? That is one way to look at the situation surrounding Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald. This is actually a really sad story. In an effort to relate to a homeless veteran, Secretary McDonald stated that he had served in the Special Forces. Unfortunately the moment was caught on camera. The sad part of this story is that Secretary McDonald is a military veteran (despite the fact that he was not in the Special Forces) and obviously has compassion for military veterans. The fact is that he lied. The question is, “How significant is that?” Actually, I think it is rather significant–if I were in the Special Forces and had seen action, I would resent someone who hadn’t served there claiming he had.
Yesterday The Washington Examiner posted an article noting the news coverage of this incident.
The article states:
A majority of headlines this week have characterized Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald’s claim that he served in the Army’s Special Forces as a “misstatement” and a “false claim.” Very few have referred to his admitted fabrication as a “lie.”
McDonald, who qualified but never served as a Ranger and did not serve in Special Forces, apologized this week for the falsehood.
Headlines from the Huffington Post, the Washington Free Beacon, the Washington Examiner, the Hill and Military Times have used variations of “falsely claimed” in headlines regarding McDonald’s fabrication.
I hate to be difficult, but I can’t help but wonder if this event would have been reported differently if a Republican were in the White House.