NYT Stealth Edits Report They Did Revealing Fetterman's Big Problems

AP Photo/Ryan Collerd
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I wrote earlier about the depths of some of the problems that John Fetterman has been having including not being able to understand what people are saying — with voices sounding like the teacher in the Peanuts cartoon and refusing to take questions from reporters because he can’t understand what they are saying. Then this week, he was hospitalized with lightheadedness, showing that there are continuing problems.


Before the election, Fetterman’s medical issues were downplayed and we were assured by him and his team that he was just getting better. Even his doctor — who was also a donor — claimed that he had no work restrictions and could resume full work duties.

But now, in the new report from the NY Times, they are acknowledging that serving in the Senate may have impacted his recovery. 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.”

So the story they were telling us before about being able to return fully to work wasn’t true.

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.”

That, of course, is what we all said at the time. But Democrats were too concentrated on using him to win the seat, not about how ultimately he would recover, and they attacked anyone who would dare raise issues about him, as somehow questioning “disabled” people.


Even now, with this current NY Times report that is finally spilling the beans, some seemed more concerned about their framing than about Fetterman’s impairment to serving and the fact that his team wasn’t telling us the whole story.

Reporter Sara Luterman complained about the fact that it said that Fetterman had “special needs” in the story.

The New York Times edited out the “special” but made no note of it, as they should have.

But closed-captioning everything — at who knows what expense — certainly qualifies for the term. Most people are far more concerned about being misled by the campaign over the whole issue to help the Democrats in their quest to hold onto power in the Senate, at the expense of Fetterman’s health. But do people think if they redefine the words that it will change the situation? Whether you call the needs “special” or not, when you can’t understand what people are saying and you can’t respond to reporters, that’s a problem. So if they don’t want to call it special needs, I’m going to call it exactly what it is — a big problem.


The Times also said that this has convinced his staff that “Mr. Fetterman needs a better plan to take care of himself, both physically and emotionally.”

Mr. Fetterman declined to be interviewed for this story. But aides and confidantes describe his introduction to the Senate as a difficult period, filled with unfamiliar duties that are taxing for someone still in recovery: meetings with constituents, attending caucus and committee meetings, appearing in public at White House events and at the State of the Union address, as well as making appearances in Pennsylvania. [….]

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.


So I have a question here — are we hearing all this now because they’re going to come out and say that he needs to step down and have the Democratic governor appoint someone? Oh, too bad, we downplayed everything but now we realized there’s a big problem, so we’re going with Plan B? I wouldn’t be surprised.


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