Knives out edition: Is it Fetterman's turn under the bus?

AP Photo/Matt Rourke


It seems like years ago, but was only last October that a respected NBC journalist was driven from the scene by outraged mobs with pitchforks for questioning a certain Democratic senate candidate’s…well…health and mental acuity.


Even the candidate’s delightful and feisty South American wife went after the poor girl.

…An NBC News interview with Fetterman back in October caused a stir when a reporter asked him questions about his stroke experience.

Reporter Dasha Burns explained on air that “Fetterman’s campaign required closed captioning technology for this interview to essentially read our questions as we asked them,” and noted that, “in small talk before the interview without captioning, it wasn’t clear he was understanding our conversation.”

The exchange left Gisele Fetterman, his wife, in a “rage” over the report, for which she demanded “consequences” for Burns.

It was appalling to the entire disability community and I think to journalism,” Fetterman’s wife said.

Across progressive media, journalists condemned Burns for discrimination and stigmatizing disabled people. Criticisms were not consistent, however, ranging from insisting nothing was wrong with Fetterman to determining that his health condition was immaterial anyway.

Everyone jumped on speaking the truth and Dasha Burns, pretending all was well with the Uncle Fester-ish Fetterman. From that point forward, there was orchestrated dogpiling-into-exile of anyone who mentioned the obvious or questioned the candidate’s fitness for office through unending, excruciating faux pas.


Then it’s all, “Congratulations on your new senator, Pennsylvania.” THIS guy.

Courtesy of a state rest stop in Pennsylvania

My little brother was thoughtful enough to share this shot from a PA state rest stop with me. Pretty sure that’s his LtGov pic they still had up, but you get the vibe.

I thought channeling Slingblade for an official portrait was definitely edgy.

Well done, team!

He was just a big, sensitive, heart-achingly compromised progressive, ne’er do well lug with a spit-fire foreign wife. Who couldn’t love him and wish him the best? In fact, there were people in the media – now that it seemed inevitable heartthrob Avenatti was going to prison – who were looking elsewhere for heroes to lionize. In Fetterman’s oversized, rumpled exterior, they thought they might just have found their Hephaestus ~ the crippled Greek God of the forge.

Alas. Their dreams, it seems, were doomed.

Concerns about Fetterman’s health and every last question associated with it were reignited this week when he wound up in the hospital Wednesday after feeling “lightheaded” during a Democratic retreat. It is now [checks watch] Friday, and he just got released late this afternoon.

Sen. John Fetterman has been released from a Washington, DC, hospital, after being admitted due to “feeling lightheaded” and undergoing tests earlier this week, according to a statement from his office.

The Pennsylvania Democrat intends to return to the Senate on Monday.

“In addition to the CT, CTA, and MRI tests ruling out a stroke, his EEG test results came back normal, with no evidence of seizures,” Fettterman’s communications director, Joe Calvello, said in a Friday statement.

Fetterman was elected to the Senate in November while recovering from a stroke he had suffered in May. According to the senator’s spokesperson on Thursday, doctors had ruled out him having suffered a new stroke following additional tests.


It’s amazing what started burbling out about what was actually going on in Fetterman’s world when that news broke, and wait, whut?!

How long has this been going on? Helpfully today, the NY Times basically answers, “Oh, the whole freaking time. What? You didn’t know?”

…But his adjustment to serving in the Senate has been made vastly more difficult by the strains of his recovery, which left him with a physical impairment and serious mental health challenges that have rendered the transition extraordinarily challenging — even with the accommodations that have been made to help him adapt.

“What you’re supposed to do to recover from this is do as little as possible,” said Adam Jentleson, his chief of staff. Instead, Mr. Fetterman “was forced to do as much as possible — he had to get back to the campaign trail. It’s hard to claw that back.”

So Fetterman’s stroke was much worse than we were all led to believe? Maybe that’s why no one was allowed to see those medical records after all.


Doc/donor said ‘s’all good. And who “forced” him to hit the campaign trail if he was so desperately ill?

I’m glad to see I’m not the only one reading the story who interpreted that line that way.

This is ghastly.

…The most evident disability is a neurological condition that impairs his hearing. Mr. Fetterman suffers from auditory processing issues, forcing him to rely primarily on a tablet to transcribe what is being said to him. The hearing issues are inconsistent; they often get worse when he is in a stressful or unfamiliar situation. When it’s bad, Mr. Fetterman has described it as trying to make out the muffled voice of the teacher in the “Peanuts” cartoon, whose words could never be deciphered.

The stroke — after which he had a pacemaker and defibrillator implanted — also took a less apparent but very real psychological toll on Mr. Fetterman. It has been less than a year since the stroke transformed him from someone with a large stature that suggested machismo — a central part of his political identity — into a physically altered version of himself, and he is frustrated at times that he is not yet back to the man he once was. He has had to come to terms with the fact that he may have set himself back permanently by not taking the recommended amount of rest during the campaign. And he continues to push himself in ways that people close to him worry are detrimental.

Oh. NOW they’re worried. Right.

The media lied, lied, and then lied again, in concert with the Fetterman campaign, viciously and shamelessly berating naysayers while eviscerating honest questioners who had the temerity to point out the obvious impairments.


And they are still craven enough to crumble when a teensy voice of outrage peeps up from the murk, and comes close to accusing them of being “ableist”…or…something. Witness the NYT stealth scrambling to appease a mob monster on this very story TODAY because the verbiage didn’t suit her.


Now? All the concern oozing and dripping out of this article – coupled with plenty of OOO, Tucker Carlson is ALWAYS SO MEAN to the crippled guy barbs – is nothing more than a cold, calculated set piece. Establish how horribly wounded Fetterman was, how he sacrificed himself for the noble cause, how he is hanging on by a thread and a weak 2-ply poly vice 12-ply cotton one at that.

To what purpose? As if we didn’t know.

Fiesty Gisele or someone. Won’t be Big John.

The same purpose this conspiratorial charade went through, to begin with: take the senate seat at all costs, and deal with the damage – and damaged goods – after it’s safely in the bag.

We all saw it coming.

I sure hope Fetterman quickly gets well enough to get out of the hospital. Hopefully, he goes home to heal what’s left of him.


The damage is already done to everything else.

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David Strom 6:40 PM | April 18, 2024