In addition to hyping calls for Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Eric Shinseki's resignation, Fox News hosts have advocated for two of their own contributors to fill the position.
A preliminary report released by the VA Inspector General on May 28 substantiated allegations of VA officials falsifying records at the Phoenix, Arizona VA medical center, and found that at least 1,700 veterans waiting to see a doctor there were never scheduled for an appointment or placed on a waitlist. This review has prompted calls for Shinseki to step down, which right-wing media figures have enthusiastically promoted despite Speaker of the House John Boehner's refusal to demand the secretary's resignation.
But Fox was not content to simply call for Shinseki's resignation -- two prominent Fox hosts have replacements in mind for Shinseki, both of whom are the network's very own contributors.
During a May 28 interview on Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, host Bill O'Reilly advocated for Fox contributor Colonel Ralph Peters to replace Shinseki. When Peters -- who has repeatedly defended Shinseki -- skeptically asked O'Reilly who would replace Shinseki in the event of his resignation, O'Reilly was quick to respond, “You!” to Peters' chagrin:
The following day on his radio program, Fox's Sean Hannity followed in O'Reilly's footsteps with another VA secretary nominee in mind. During a discussion with Colonels Allen West and Ralph Peters, Hannity, prompted by Peters' question of who would replace Shinseki, declared his support for West, saying, “I'll give you the name, Colonel West, I like his plan” :
Although Peters laughed off O'Reilly's nomination, promoting both current and former Fox contributors for political office is a frequent endeavor at the network. Fox has supported previous guest host and Ohio Governor John Kasich in his reelection bid, dragged its feet in terminating New Hampshire Senate hopeful Scott Brown's contract, and hired Dr. Ben Carson as a Fox News contributor after touting him as a possible 2016 presidential candidate.