This is an example of television journalism at its best. Listen to workers about irregularities within their work place. Investigate their complaints. Report the findings on television and digital media. Watch the investigation result in changes to the status quo. It’s a tale of how 34 good people came forward to blow the whistle on […]
Investigate their complaints.
Report the findings on television and digital media.
Watch the investigation result in changes to the status quo.
It’s a tale of how 34 good people came forward to blow the whistle on inappropriate conduct and conflicts of interest involving high-ranking officials at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Cincinnati.
Like Edmund Burke said, ‘”The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
The result became a four-month joint investigation by the Scripps Washington Bureau and Scripps’ ABC affiliate, WCPO Cincinnati.
The findings of the joint Scripps-WCPO probe have already triggered two federal investigations and prompted VA headquarters to remove oversight of the Cincinnati hospital from the top regional VA official.
“This is an example of leveraging the best of national and local by creating this partnership,” said Ellen Weiss, Scripps Washington bureau chief. “We were able to scale this story in a much more significant way.”
The investigation finds that the VA’s pattern of cost-cutting forced out experienced surgeons, reduced access to care and put patients in harm’s way.
At the center of the turmoil are two VA leaders with a work relationship that dates back more than a decade.
“We went to Cincinnati and with the WCPO team, met with a group of whistleblowers,” said Weiss. “Then we started reporting this story together, a true collaboration. This story represents the important work our journalists do in holding public officials accountable for acting in the public interest.”
Makes you wonder how 34 professional medical people — doctors, nurses, even the former chief of orthopedics — could see all of this, feel so compelled to come forward and blow the whistle, and how the VA didn’t know.