His spokesman says one thing and NBC News, surprisingly, says another.
Whom to believe in a low-credibility battle like that?
A statement from Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr.’s office says the Chicago Democrat is receiving “intensive medical treatment” for a “mood disorder.”
The statement Wednesday gives no details about his location and comes a month after Jackson went on medical leave.
The statement says Jackson is at a residential treatment facility and is responding positively to treatment. It says he’s expected to make a full recovery.
“Mood disorder”? Not so, says NBC:
NBC's Andrea Mitchell: Rep Jesse Jackson Jr is in a rehab facility in AZ suffering from alcoholism and addiction
— Jesse Rodriguez (@JesseRodriguez) July 11, 2012
Jackson’s wife and aide denied it, but watch the clip below and you’ll see that Mitchell doubled down on her claim for tonight’s Nightly News. She’s got his “friends and colleagues” — plural — as sources. Hard for me to believe they would have run with that if they weren’t very, very confident about it. The only thing that gives me pause is that, if you were going to invent a phony medical excuse to explain a congressman’s absence, “mood disorder” is an odd way to go. He could have claimed any sort of physical ailment and received no damage at all to his career, but by claiming something psychological, he risks voters being skittish about returning him to a position of power. That may be unfair, especially since he’s getting treatment, but that’s politics.
Of course, both explanations could be true. He has a bona fide mood disorder and he’s been treating himself by hitting the bottle. Happens all the time. Maybe his office simply chose to emphasize the less scandalous part of the equation.