Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center went hard after John Fetterman during the 2022 race for Pennsylvania Senate, portraying the Democrat as mentally incapacitated after suffering a stroke in an attempt to boost his Republican opponent, Mehmet Oz. The attacks waned around election day because 1) they weren't working, as Fetterman handily won, and 2) it looked more than a lilttle tacky to attack Fetterman over a health issue. The MRC started to feel better about attacking Fetterman as the year went on, though. A Feb. 17 post by Nicholas Fondacaro offered fake compassion after Fetterman checked into Walter Reed Medical Center to deal with depression:
The liberal media didn’t care about the people of Pennsylvania being properly represented when they propped up struggling now-Democratic Senator John Fetterman’s candidacy; they certainly didn’t care about his health as the stress from the job and the recovery caused the Senator to check himself into Walter Reed Medical Center to treat his clinical depression. As some of his most outspoken supporters, The View spent part of their Friday show suggesting his hospitalization was a victory for transparency.
Instead of going to the logical conclusion that Fetterman should have dropped out of the race so he could focus on his recovery, Sara Haines lamented that he needed to campaign while trying to recover:
Well, January came and went and Fetterman was still not out of the woods as promised. If he were a Republican (and who had a doctor that's donated to his campaign give him the green light), he certainly wouldn’t be getting this kind of favorable treatment. They would be calling him a liar and demanding his resignation.
Fondocaro, of course, cares nothing about Fetterman or his health -- he just fervently hoped that Fetterman would have dropped out of the race so Oz would win.
In an April 2 post, Kevin Tober whined that Fetterman and his wife did "a softball interview with liberal CBS Sunday Morning anchor Jane Pauley," pretending to be upset that Pauley "asked with a straight face if the brain-damaged Senator would be open to serv[ing] "beyond the United States Senatem," huffing: "He can barely speak and needs to read closed captioning to fully understand what people say to him yet Pauley apparently believes he could run and serve as President of the United States."
Tim Graham whined in his May 17 post that "The same media outlets that constantly questioned Donald Trump's mental fitness are acting very gentle and protective around their favorite partisans" like Fetterman. Tober returned fora May 21 post ranting that Fetterman is appearing in hoodies and shorts at the Capitol:
File this under the type of stories you'd never see written about a Republican member of the United States Senate. The article in question is an article written Sunday by Mary Clare Jalonick and Marc Levy (yes it apparently took two people) which claims Pennsylvania Democratic Senator John Fetterman wearing hoodies and gym shorts to work at the Capitol is proof he's recovering from his depression and other after effects of suffering a stroke last year.
In the article titled "Back in hoodies and gym shorts, Fetterman tackles Senate life after depression treatment", Jalonick and Levy write in the opening paragraph that "Before Pennsylvania Sen. John Fetterman checked himself in to the hospital for clinical depression in February, he walked the halls of the Senate stone-faced and dressed in formal suits. These days, he’s back to wearing the hoodies and gym shorts he was known for before he became a senator."
The duo reveal how Fetterman gets around the Senate's strict dress-code: "He votes from the doorway of the Democratic cloakroom or the side entrance, making sure his “yay” or “nay” is recorded before ducking back out."
Tober ranted that "the AP apparently likes Fetterman degrading the institution of the United States Senate by dressing like a slob.," adding, "Sadly, it appears there isn't an institution in America that the media won't help the left tear down."
The MRC continued to have sartorial issues with Fetterman. Fondacaro raged in a Sept. 19 post when his hate-watching of "The View" brought up that the Senate dress code had been altered to allow Fetterman to wear his hoodies on the Senate fllor:
ABC moderator Whoopi Goldberg found herself the odd one out during Tuesday’s edition of The View; as the rest of the table largely didn’t support Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) dumbing down the Capitol Hill dress code so that John Fetterman (D-PA) could ditch a suit and appear on the Senate floor looking like a slob in work out attire. She proclaimed the dress code infringed on his rights and admitted to being a slob too.
Goldberg opened the show by praising Schumer for doing “a really wonderful thing for John Fetterman.” She followed up by scoffing at how “people are upset on the other side of the aisle. They think this is not something that should have been done, that it shouldn't have been changed.”
After admitting that she didn’t even dress up for church as a kid, Goldberg admitted that she supported Fetterman because she’s a slob too. “I don't care what you wear as long as you get the job done,” she huffed. “I'm more comfortable looking like me and Barbara [Walters] understood that and she allowed it. Okay? I dress in what I wake up in.”
Goldberg also flaunted her profound ignorance of what the word “decorum” meant when she stressed: “You can keep the decorum that works for you but if it doesn't work for him, let him have his thing.”
More whining about Fetterman's dress code came in a Sept. 21 post by Clay Waters:
New York Times congressional correspondent Annie Karni thought she had a good “gotcha” in response to Republican criticism of the Senate’s new relaxed dress code, imposed by Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY), in response to a fellow Democrat’s insistence in showing up on the Senate floor dressed like a slob in defiance of Senate rules.
In Wednesday’s “For Some Senators, New Relaxed Dress Code Is Just Uncomfortable,” Karni changed the subject from the disheveled appearance of Democratic Senator John Fetterman by implying that Republicans were the true demeanors of Senate tradition. Not until the fifth paragraph was Fetterman -- the reason for the dress code change -- even mentioned. Karni briefly noted Fetterman’s hospitalization for depression, but the issue of Fetterman’s stroke was omitted entirely.
Curtis Houck added his own indignation in a Sept. 22 post with more shots at Fetterman's health:
On Friday’s CBS Mornings during the “Talk of the Table” segment, they came through with the first broadcast network news show coverage of the Senate dress code change in order to accommodate the mentally and physically incapacitated Senator John Fetterman (D-PA). And, instead of focusing on how the former was made to baby the ladder, the CBS crew laughed about opposition to axing a business professional requirement from the Senate.
Fill-in co-host Adriana Diaz began by touting there’s “another showdown brewing in Congress” and full of “dramatic twists and turns” and it wasn’t the looming shutdown: “[J]ust yesterday, a top Democrat broke with the party’s leadership to align himself with the other side, and this debate is over the Senate dress code.”
Tober added more cheap shots at Fetterman's health issues in a Sept. 26 post:
MSNBC doesn’t have a laugh track, but if they did, it would’ve gone off a few times on Tuesday evening when The ReidOut host Joy Reid gushed over brain damaged Senator John Fetterman (D-PA) for his “unique and proven ability to tell it like it is.” Anyone who has ever heard Fetterman speak since his debilitating stroke, knows he’s barely able to utter a coherent sentence.
Previewing her upcoming interview with Fetterman, Reid heaped praise on the Democrat Senator: “John Fetterman joins me to talk about his unique and proven ability to tell it like it is on all things. Basically the shenanigans going on on the other side of the aisle.”
When Fetterman appeared on Steven Colbert's show in part to call out those right-wing cheap shots, Alex Christy spent an Oct. 12 post complaining about it:
For the second night in a row, Stephen Colbert welcomed a Democratic member of Congress to CBS’s The Late Show. On Wednesday, it was Pennsylvania Sen. John Fetterman’s turn as Colbert pretended that Fetterman is the first question to ever be questioned about his health, gifted him a tuxedo T-shirt, and fawned over this “excellent meme game.”
Colbert asked a hoodie and shorts-clad Fetterman, “Well, I can see how being more empathetic might make you a better senator. And being public about the disability that you have is a good thing. But how does it feel to have your private health become public news?”
Fetterman is hardly the first politician whose health has led people to wonder if he is capable of performing the job. As for Fetterman’s response, he took the opportunity to take a swipe at Fox, “you sign up for that gig and that's part of it and now, you know, the better I get, the sad, you know, Fox News becomes. Because they love -- every word I missed was like candy for Fox News, you know, and now they even started thinking, some people now think there's a conspiracy that I have a body double now, you know, so.”
Later, the conversation shifted towards the Senate dress code, which led Fetterman to wonder what the big deal was, “I was really struck by, you know, ‘oh, my god, the world is going to burn because he's going to wear a hoodie on the floor,’ but, I mean, like Ukraine or shutting down the government, or, you know, all these issues. I think it's much more important to seize, you know, what will this man wear on the floor of the Senate?”
At this point, Colbert pulled out a gift for Fetterman, “Well, just in case you want to stay casual and formal at the same time, we got you a tuxedo T-shirt.”
Christy didn't mention that among those taking cheap shots at Fetterman's health were his own co-workers.
Graham added more whining about Fetterman's Colbert appearance in his Oct. 13 column: "After six weeks in office, Fetterman was gone for two months being treated for depression. Fetterman attacked Fox News, but all the Democrat journalists were biting their nails over his absence." And Graham, like subordinate Fondacaro, was doing his own nail-biting in hoping he would have dropped out of the race so Oz would win.