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Liberal Media Sure Does Seem to Complain About 'Ableism' a Lot With John Fetterman


Earlier this month, one of the few media interviews Democratic nominee John Fetterman gave as he seeks to fill retiring Sen. Pat Toomey's (R-PA) seat caused quite a stir. It was painfully obvious that the candidate was still experiencing the effects of a stroke he had in May, shortly before winning the Democratic Senate primary. 

As Townhall and our sister site Twitchy highlighted, not long after the interview, BuzzFeed's David Mack went all in on lamenting how the interview reeked of "ableism." Mack even quoted a disability activist, Charis Hill, who claimed it "will only worsen attitudes and violence toward disabled people."

Mack was hardly alone. The New York Times got on board, publishing an opinion guest essay on October 13 by David M. Perry. While the title currently reads "Why That John Fetterman Interview Caused a Furor," it was originally titled "John Fetterman Is a Disabled American Who Needs Technology to Do His Job. So What?" as tweeted screenshots and an archived version show.

On October 18, The New York Times also published letters about Perry's piece, which is listed as yet another title, "Adapting to Disability Isn't a Crutch. It's the Future," though it still links to the same piece. Most of them touted Fetterman's campaign.

Teen Vogue's Sarah Blahovec on October 13 wrote, "John Fetterman's Stroke Has Led to Ableist Criticism From Media, Politicians." That same day, HuffPost's Shruti Rajkumar wrote about how the "Disabled Community Calls Out Ableism In Coverage Of John Fetterman Following Stroke." Alex Samuels wrote for FiveThirtyEight, "What Attacks On John Fetterman's Health Reveal About Disability And Politics." The next day, Adweek published Josh Loebner's "John Fetterman Drama Shows Media's Ignorance of Disability."

All but the TeenVogue and FiveThirtyEight pieces reference NBC interviewer Dasha Burns, though they do reference the NBC interview that Burns conducted. As Katie highlighted at the time, other reporters went after the respected journalist, not merely the ones highlighted above. There were also those who came to her defense. 

In addition to the liberal mainstream media, there have been strong reactions from Fetterman's wife, Giselle Barreto Fetterman, who goes by SLOP in her Twitter bio, Second Lady of Pennsylvania. She has demanded that Bash face "consequences," as has Charis Hill, the disability activist mentioned above in BuzzFeed, who demanded an apology. 

Another issue with the campaign and Fetterman's capabilities is how it seems that the SLOP is the one who is really running to replace Sen. Toomey. Matt covered a Rolling Stone report that hinted as much, and President Joe Biden had a slip of the tongue that Giselle was going to be "a great lady in the Senate." There are also her other interactions with the president. 

Burns, to her credit, has not shied away from continuing to cover the race between Fetterman and his Republican opponent, Dr. Mehmet Oz. This includes a memo from the Fetterman campaign lowering expectations ahead of the debate between Oz and him later on Tuesday. 

When it comes to all this talk of "ableism," voters deserving the right to have full transparency about a candidate's health and the right to factor that in as part of their decision-making aren't the only things missing in this discussion. An even more glaring omission is the "ableism" of abortions that occur because a baby may be diagnosed in utero with disabilities such as Down Syndrome. 

It's worth noting that those outlets above are generally pro-abortion outlets. Fetterman has also gone on the record to indicate that he doesn't support any limits on abortion. He has also been endorsed by NARAL and Planned Parenthood, which oppose virtually any regulations and restrictions on abortion, including when a baby is aborted due to a disability like Down Syndrome. 

HuffPost and Teen Vogue are known for posting pro-abortion propaganda, and Adweek also has a spin. And FiveThirtyEight has tried to heavily promote how important abortion supposedly is in the midterms. 

Last but not least, The New York Times on July 31 published a guest essay by Kendall Ciesemier, "Leave My Disability Out of Your Anti-Abortion Propaganda." Earlier this month, with regards to Sen. Lindsey Graham's proposed abortion ban at 15 weeks, with exceptions, the outlet published Ronn Caryn Rabin's "An Abortion Ban With Unexpected Consequences for Older Mothers," which is about detecting disabilities.

The New York Times also fits in because, in January, their account tweeted out information about how prenatal tests diagnosing fetal abnormalities are often wrong.

Amy Julia Becker also published a guest essay with the site on February 1, "I'm Thankful Every Day for the Decision I Made After My Prenatal Tests." While Becker chose life for her daughter, most other mothers do not, as an estimated 60 to 90 percent of pregnancies where the child is diagnosed in utero with Down Syndrome end in abortion. This is despite how most with Down Syndrome experience a happy and fulfilled life. 

If the candidates are indeed asked about abortion during the debate, one can certainly expect Fetterman to try to downplay his own extremist stance by portraying Oz as the extremist and even potentially lying about how his opponent is pro-life but actually believes in exceptions in cases of rape, incest, or the life of the mother. 


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