This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," December 26, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, I - VT: In your judgment, based on what you know, are people, quote-unquote, "cooking the books"? Is that in fact a problem within the health care system?
ERIC SHINSEKI, VETERANS AFFAIRS SECRETARY: I'm not aware other than a number of isolated cases where there is evidence of that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ED HENRY, ANCHOR: Then V.A. secretary Eric Shinseki suggesting he and other top officials were not aware of some of these problems. A judge has just suggested in employment case that perhaps Shinseki and others did know a lot more. We are back with our panel, distinguished all. Steve Hayes months later, does this matter?
STEVE HAYES, SENIOR WRITER, THE WEEKLY STANDARD: I think it does. The documents, to be clear, don't show that Shinseki knew, that he knew and that he was misrepresenting what he knew there to Senator Sanders. But they certainly provide more details about how high up the problems were known and particularly the problems in Phoenix. I think what these new reports do is they provide details to something that we all basically knew anyway.
BOB CUSACK, THE HILL: Senior leaders in D.C. knew about it. Shinseki said, reportedly, he didn't recall being briefed on this. And when you say you don't recall that's not good. And it also, remember, Obama waited too long to get rid of Shinseki.
HENRY: Charles, how many times have we seen this -- let's go beyond the Obama administration, where there's officials in either party, and I didn't know, and then documents months later say, well, OK, as Steve said, maybe Eric Shinseki didn't know everything, but he knew more than he was suggesting. And there is no recourse now.
CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: Exactly right. It shows that stonewalling works, particularly if the press is on your side. The story comes out now. Nobody cares. It's over the Christmas vacation. I guarantee you it's not going to be on page one anywhere in America. It probably will not be on page eight. And it will go away like the wind without anyone noticing. So if you can stonewall long enough, what we are learning with the IRS scandal, which is exactly the same thing, it can work.
Now, for the Lightning Round, one of the hot stories we have been talking about this movie "The Interview" which obviously now finally come out Christmas Day. I understand Charles has seen it. We're going to get to that. But, first, we have got some sound, some pretty amusing sound from people who have seen the movie. Let's take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's better than I thought it was going to be given the mixed reviews.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There not enough marijuana in the world to explain that screenplay. It was hilarious. I laughed the whole time.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If they wanted to kill Kim Un John (sic), they should give him a ticket to this movie and let him see it. That will do it. It was a terrible movie.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HENRY: Kim Jong Un. He had it a little mixed up there, Steve. All the marijuana in the world, screenplay, where do you take that?
HAYES: Can we go back to the second man on the street interview? So the guys says there is not enough marijuana in the world to explain the screenplay, and then concedes that he found it hilarious and laughed the whole time. What does that tell us about the condition of his viewing of this movie?
HENRY: Bob, what does it tell us?
CUSACK: I tell you, I think it's great that it finally got released. Sony made a lot of mistakes. I think on one hand you've got to give President Obama some credit here because he called Sony out. We saw the release. That was a good thing, but apparently Charles didn't think so.
HENRY: I want to show you quickly before I get to Charles, because I have been teeing this up, Charles. We're going to let you talk, but Susan Page of USA Today showed on Twitter today a dry erase board of "The Interview" in the D.C. area and it basically says "Sold out." So for all the hype and everything, it sold out. So it's helping them a little bit, I supposed, making some money. Howard Dean, the former DNC chairman, also had a tweet, you can see it there, "Just saw the first half of 'The Interview ' on Netflix. 'Animal House ' of the 21st century," he raves. "Outragoeus." (sic) He spelled "outrageous" wrong we should point out. But OK, "Incredibly funny, Rogan, Franco, genius." You disagree with Howard Dean?
KRAUTHAMMER: Yes. Given his judgment, you can tell why he is not President of the United States or even head of the DNC. But this is a great segue into winners and losers because my loser, well, I'll start with my winner, which is Kim Jong Un, which sounds a little bit counterintuitive. He won. Yes, the movie was released, but now that we have gotten to see it, Kim is the unanimously acclaimed winner of the critic of the year award. We may not approve of the methods but the man's got taste.
HENRY: But before I get to Bob, do you have a loser as well?
KRAUTHAMMER: I have got a loser unfortunately, it's a serious one.
HENRY: OK, so we'll get to that in a second.
HENRY: I want to know, because you sat down and finally saw the move.
KRAUTHAMMER: It was terrible. And as I said, I was asked about it the other night in the kicker, and I only had time to say "indescribably bad." And I'm thinking the English language does not have enough adjectives to describe it. Perhaps in Korea they have a way to --
HENRY: This is assault full scale.
KRAUTHAMMER: Yes. But I'm glad it showed. I'm glad $1 million were made yesterday.
HENRY: Quickly your loser?
KRAUTHAMMER: My loser, this is serious, is Al Sharpton. As usual, he was asked by the mayor for a -- to support a moratorium on demonstrations until at least the end of the funerals of the assassinated officers, and he refused.
HENRY: Let's go quickly. Winners, losers for you, Bob?
CUSACK: Winner First Amendment. It would have been a terrible precedent not to release the movie. Kim Jong Un I had as a loser. He clearly doesn't like the film.
HENRY: More disagreement on this panel. You viciously disagree.
HAYES: My loser is the guy you profiled in the outside of the beltway, the guy who was so upset about merry Christmas that he pitched a fit and got thrown off a plane.
HENRY: What kind of jerk is that?
HAYES: My winner is this new poof. We've got a Christmas puppy in the Hayes family that as of yet still does not have a name. I have asked my Twitter followers to help out coming up with a name, but as of right now we are looking for names, names preferably that have something to do with Wisconsin.
HENRY: I will be back in the seat next week filling in for Bret, so tweet me @EdHenry. We are going to get a name for this pooch. He is awfully cute.
That's it for the panel. But stay tuned for NFL smack talk that is going to brighten your day big time.
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