The Associated Press was blasted Wednesday for a story on criticism of an NBC News reporter after her interview with Democratic Pennsylvania U.S. Senate candidate John Fetterman revealed “lingering” issues from his stoke in May.
NBC correspondent Dasha Burns explained on Tuesday prior to the full release of her interview with Fetterman, “We had a monitor set up so he could read my questions because he still has lingering auditory processing issues as a result of the stroke.” She also said it appeared he “had a hard time understanding our conversations” in small talk without the aid of closed captioning.
AP national media writer David Bauder highlighted how Burns subsequently became the focus of the story in an article titled “NBC reporter’s comment about Fetterman draws criticism.”
“An NBC News correspondent who interviewed Pennsylvania Senate candidate John Fetterman says an on-air remark she made about him having difficulty following part of their conversation should not be seen as a commentary on his fitness for office after he suffered a stroke,” Bauder wrote.
LIBERALS RUSH TO DEFEND FETTERMAN AS REPORTERS QUESTION HIS MENTAL FITNESS FOLLOWING NBC INTERVIEW
Online critics quickly turned on the article for attacking a journalist rather than acknowledging Fetterman’s health issues.
“Ah weird, journalism is the problem now,” The Spectator’s contributing editor Stephen Miller joked.
RealClearInvestigations senior writer Mark Hemingway tweeted, “NBC accidentally did journalism, so here comes AP to clean things up for Democrats.”
National Review correspondent John McCormack wrote, “When is the last time the @AP did press criticism as a news* story?”
Media Research Center director Jorge Bonilla tweeted, “The report and subsequent narrative were a controlled burn, intended to prevent further spread (reporting) of Fetterman’s condition and fitness to serve.”
“You never see establishment media attack establishment media like this over a story about a Republican. Usually it’s just reflexive wagon-circling,” Washington Free Beacon investigative reporter Chuck Ross wrote.
Manhattan Institute Senior Fellow Brian Riedl tweeted, “Its not about Twitter criticism. The purpose of this article is to warn other reporters that covering Fetterman’s health and competency issues will be punished by the tribe. Control of the Senate is in the balance, and Fetterman cannot be allowed to lose.”
NBC’S SAVANNAH GUTHRIE QUESTIONS OWN NETWORK’S REPORT ON FETTERMAN’S ABILITY TO UNDERSTAND
Liberal journalists largely attacked Burns’ comments and defended Fetterman from questions about his medical fitness to run for office. Fellow NBC colleague Savannah Guthrie also pushed back while speaking with Burns on Wednesday.
“Since then, other journalists who have also dealt with Fetterman came forward and said they had a different experience,” Guthrie said of Burns’ interview with the candidate.
Burns responded, “Yeah, and Savannah, that’s completely fair that that was their experience. We can only report our own.”
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Fetterman has frequently been questioned about his health following his stroke in May. Despite requests for his medical records from both Republican candidate Mehmet Oz and reporters his campaign has declined to release them.
Fox News’ Gabriel Hays contributed to this report.