Almost as infuriating as the unholy alliance between a totalitarianism-aspiring political party and the large majority of the news media determined to play Pravda is the persistent denial that such an alliance exists despite mountains of daily evidence. (It’s a right wing conspiracy theory, you know.) This episode, small as it might seem, shows both reporters and Democrats outing themselves.
NBC reporter Dasha Burns commented on the air that Pennsylvania Senate candidate John Fetterman appeared to have trouble understanding their conversation prior to their interview, because his closed caption device allowing him to read questions in text while she was asking them wasn’t on yet.
This kind of information used to be known as “reporting,” back when journalists saw their jobs as informing the public about objective facts they needed to know. But Fetterman, who is still recovering from the effects of a major stroke that would have prompted an ethical candidate to withdraw from a Senate race is going to great lengths to avoid letting the public know how serious his comprehension and communications problems are. Naturally, his party, desperate to hold on to control of the Senate, wants to keep Pennsylvania voters in the dark as well. Also naturally, the mainstream progressive media, of which NBC is a card-carrying member, is expected to assist in this deception, and certainly not undermine it with that old-fashioned “reporting” stuff.
Thus Burns was immediately attacked by some of her colleagues for exploding the One True Party’s “Stroke effects? What stroke effects?” narrative regarding Fetterman. Naturally, again, the overwhelmingly left-biased medical profession rushed to Fetterman’s aid as well. Kevin Sheth, director of the Yale University Center for Brain and Mind Health (you know: Yale) cautioned that, without an examination, people should “not make judgments” about Fetterman’s condition based on his use of a language-assistance device. Why the hell not? Fetterman won’t release his medical records. The public must make its judgments based on the information it has. All things being equal, I’d always prefer a U.S. Senator who can understand what’s being sad without having to read it, just as I would prefer a Senator who speaks English rather than, say, Chinese.
The most useful of the expressions of outrage over Burns’ revelations, however, came from Fetterman’s wife Gisele:
“I don’t like saying rage because I think that’s a really unhealthy feeling, and when you feel those things, it only harms yourself. But I just, you know, what a disservice that she did to not only my husband, but to anyone facing a disability and working through it. I don’t know how there were not consequences. I mean, there are consequences for folks in these positions who are any of the -isms. I mean, she was ableist, and that’s what she was in her interview.”
Giselle clearly has her own cognitive problems. It is not “ablest” to question whether a runner with an amputated leg should be running in the Olympic relay races, and it isn’t “ablest” to reveal that a man running for a high position that depends on communication and comprehension hasn’t recovered from a stroke. Nor should there be “consequences” for a reporter telling the truth…except in the dystopian world Fetterman’s party would apparently construct for us, with the eager assassinate of most journalists.
There must be consequences for telling the public what’s happening! Reporters must be made to understand what their real task is: Protect the hive! Advance the Greater Good! Follow the approved narratives!
Thanks, Giselle. Your reaction would be useful information, if most of the mainstream media would report it.