WaPo Reporter Who Posted Made-Up Fetterman Quote Tries to Explain Himself, Ends up Making Things Worse

AP Photo/Alex Brandon

On Tuesday, Jeff Stein, a reporter for The Washington Post, published a “quote” from John Fetterman that looked surprisingly coherent. No words were missing and the syntax was just fine. In short, it was nothing like we’d been hearing from Fetterman over the last year.


Was he having a miraculous recovery from his debilitating stroke? Could he now communicate clearly and finally be able to accomplish the duties of his office?

To kick things off, here’s what Stein said Fetterman said.

Shouldn’t you have a working requirement after we bail out your bank? Republicans seem to be more preoccupied with SNAP requirements for hungry people than protecting taxpayers who have to bail out these banks.

But as I reported initially, that’s not what Fetterman said at all. Rather, this was the actual line of questioning presented to the former CEO of Silicon Valley Bank.

Shouldn’t you have some kind of working required suu after we sail your bank billions of your bank? Because you seem we were preoccupied when then SNAP requirements for works for hungry people but not about pro, protecting the tax, tax papers you know that will bail them out of whatever does about a bank to crash it.

Stein would eventually delete his tweet with the fake quote, and on Wednesday, a day later, he finally offered some explanation of what went wrong. According to the reporter, the quote came from John Fetterman’s office.


There are several things that immediately jump out at me here. For starters, why is Stein publishing quotes provided to him by a politician’s office? Did he not think he needed to do any due diligence to make sure the quote was accurate? Does he operate as a stenographer for all Democrats, or only Fetterman?

As a reporter, it is Stein’s job to ensure what he’s putting out is accurate, and even he should have quickly noticed that quote was way too clean to actually be what Fetterman said. All it would have taken was a couple of minutes to review the video of the hearing to get the truth. But Stein, like most left-wing reporters, wanted to dunk on Republicans, and he found Fetterman’s fake quote useful in accomplishing that.

But let’s say this was an honest mistake. Alright, so why isn’t Stein mad at Fetterman’s office? Why is he not publicly questioning why they fed him a fake quote? Wouldn’t a real reporter want to look into that and get to the bottom of the situation? That road leads to the realization that Fetterman is completely incapable of being a US senator, though, and that’s a path Stein will not go down.

Regardless, putting the Post reporter’s antics aside for a moment, isn’t it a problem that a US senator’s office is out there making up quotes and giving them to the media without any disclaimer? I’m not sure what’s worse, the behavior of the reporter or Fetterman’s staff. Making up quotes is not some small thing, and a politician being grossly impaired is not an excuse for their handlers to lie to people.


That fake quote was put out to serve one purpose: To continue to lie to the American people about Fetterman’s condition. A real press corps wouldn’t take too kindly to that, but alas, we don’t have one of those.


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