NBC reporter criticized after PA Senate candidate Fetterman interview
SHANNON LONGWORTH: THE SWEATSHIRT-WEARING DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE FOR SENATE IN PENNSYLVANIA–IS STRUGGLING WITH AUDITORY PROCESSING ISSUES.
IT’S NO SECRET THAT THIS IS PART OF JOHN FETTERMAN’S RECOVERY AFTER A STROKE IN MAY.
AND YET—SOME CONTINUE TO BE SURPRISED–PARTICULARLY AFTER NBC’S RECENT INTERVIEW–THE FIRST IN-PERSON SIT-DOWN FETTERMAN’S DONE SINCE THE STROKE.
Dasha Burns, NBC: “Walk me through why we need the closed captioning…how it works.”
John Fetterman, PA. senate candidate: “It’s really just how things happen because I sometimes will hear things in a way that’s not perfectly clear. So I use captioning.”
LONGWORTH: THE REPORTER, DASHA BURNS, FOLLOWED UP WITH THIS ACCOUNT OF THE EXPERIENCE:
Dasha Burns, NBC: “In small talk before the interview without captioning, it wasn’t clear that he was understanding our conversation.
LONGWORTH: FOR THAT, BURNS WAS CRITICIZED.
Cassandra Hanks, TYT Network: “I don’t know if she has only ever cavorted around with angelic beings who are perfectly fit in body and mind. But I’m going to blow her mind right now. There are people who can’t hear even as well as him…there are a variety of disabilities–that doesn’t mean–well they’re not fit to serve, according to Dasha Burns.”
Sunny Hostin, The View: “I actually thought it was inappropriate that she said ‘during small talk before our interview’–maybe she’s bad at small talk! Maybe it’s her!”
LONGWORTH: BURNS REPORTED HER OBSERVATIONS AND RAISED QUESTIONS ABOUT WHETHER HE’D BE FIT TO SERVE.
News Nation Host: “The media couldn’t believe a member of their tribe–of the media. The media elite. Would offer such a candid observation.”
LONGWORTH: OTHER JOURNALISTS–INCLUDING KARA SWISHER–PUSHED BACK ON TWITTER, SAYING “I TALKED TO @JOHNFETTERMAN FOR OVER AN HOUR WITHOUT STOP OR ANY AIDES AND THIS IS JUST NONSENSE. MAYBE THIS REPORTER IS JUST BAD AT SMALL TALK.”
FETTERMAN HAS BEEN OPEN ABOUT HIS CHALLENGE. HE CITED IT AS THE REASON WHY HE WAITED TO DEBATE DR. OZ.
John Fetterman, PA. senate candidate: “They’re expecting to have a full recovery over the next several months, too.”
LONGWORTH: THE AMERICAN STROKE ASSOCIATION SAYS AUDITORY OVERLOAD IS A COMMON SIDE EFFECT AFTER A STROKE…EXPLAINING “BASICALLY, YOUR BRAIN JUST CAN’T KEEP UP WITH THE AMOUNT OF SENSORY INFORMATION IT RECEIVES.”
THE UNITED KINGDOM’S STROKE ASSOCIATION POINTS OUT THAT “COMMUNICATION PROBLEMS DO NOT AFFECT YOUR ABILITY TO READ OR WRITE.”
HOSPITALS, INCLUDING THE MAYO CLINIC, SAY SUCH IMPAIRMENTS CAN IMPROVE. WHILE THE MOST IMPROVEMENT ` GENERALLY HAPPENS IN THE “WEEKS AND MONTHS AFTER A STROKE…” “THERE IS EVIDENCE THAT PERFORMANCE CAN IMPROVE EVEN 12 TO 18 MONTHS AFTER A STROKE.”
FETTERMAN’S BANKING ON THAT—TWEETING “RECOVERING FROM A STROKE IN PUBLIC ISN’T EASY. BUT IN JANUARY, I’M GOING TO BE MUCH BETTER—AND DR. OZ WILL STILL BE A FRAUD.”
OF COURSE, THE MIDTERMS ARE JUST A FEW WEEKS AWAY, AND VOTERS NEED TO MAKE DECISIONS.
EVIDENTLY, BURNS TOOK THAT CONTEXT INTO CONSIDERATION WITH HER STORY, PURSUING THE QUESTIONS SOME UNDOUBTEDLY HAVE ABOUT THE CANDIDATE THEY COULD BE VOTING FOR.
THE SOCIETY OF PROFESSIONAL JOURNALISTS’ CODE OF ETHICS STATES, “THE PUBLIC IS ENTITLED TO AS MUCH INFORMATION AS POSSIBLE TO JUDGE THE RELIABILITY AND MOTIVATIONS OF SOURCES.”
JOHN FETTERMAN IS A SOURCE IN NBC’S MIDTERMS COVERAGE. BURNS PROVIDED INFORMATION ABOUT HIM TO HELP VOTERS DECIDE HOW RELIABLE HE IS.
NOW, SHOULD HIS DISABILITY MATTER IN A SENATE RACE? THAT’S FOR YOU TO DECIDE. LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK.