Multiple journalists said NBC’s Dasha Burns was owed an apology after Pennsylvania Democratic Senate candidate John Fetterman’s debate performance indicated she was onto something with her report about his communications issues.
Burns was lambasted by liberals after noting in a report that Fetterman, who suffered a stroke earlier this year, struggled with “small talk” before their interview. After the Democrat delivered a widely panned debate performance Tuesday against Republican Mehmet Oz, where he consistently struggled to answer questions clearly or deliver clean responses, Burns’ observation was revisited.
“Shame on every reporter who attacked @DashaBurns over her Fetterman reporting, and tried to cover up what we are all witnessing now with our own eyes,” Free Beacon reporter Alana Goodman wrote.
Meghan McCain added, “@DashaBurns deserves an apology from the American press corp for her treatment covering Fetterman.”
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“Remember all those reporters who attacked NBC’s @DashaBurns for her remarks about her Fetterman interview? YIIIIIIIIIKES,” Federalist editor-in-chief Mollie Hemingway wrote.
“The losers who went after Dasha Burns for frankly underselling the issue should be ashamed,” Fourth Watch editor Steve Krakauer wrote.
Burns was vilified by media peers earlier this month for noting Fetterman had problems communicating with her when she attempted to make “small talk” before a rare interview granted by the Democratic candidate.
She said Fetterman had a problem understanding their discussion before the interview, which relied on closed-captioning technology from a desktop computer so that he could read Burns’ questions in real time. Fetterman has not released his medical records, leading some medical experts to speculate that he’s suffering from an auditory processing disorder called aphasia.
From Fetterman’s wife calling for a network apology and “consequences” for Burns, to her own NBC colleagues publicly questioning her observations, to a flood of liberal journalist anger and sympathetic reports on behalf of Fetterman after her interview, Burns endured a swarm of criticism for her observation.
“Anyone who watched any part of the debate between Fetterman and Oz knows exactly what happened – whether they’re willing to admit or not – and people should read this thread, and remember what was done to @DashaBurns, to immediately see why people hate and distrust the media,” journalist Glenn Greenwald wrote.
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An Axios report called Fetterman’s performance “painful” and described the Capitol Hill reaction as “brutal,” and other critics like Bari Weiss said Burns had been vindicated.
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Fetterman was widely criticized for a bizarre opening statement when he opened with “good night,” and he continued to struggle from there. He had a particular issue answering a question about his flip-flop on fracking.
Left-wing podcaster Kara Swisher had defended Fetterman’s ability to communicate following the NBC report. On Tuesday political pundit Stephen L. Miller unearthed a tweet she sent suggesting it was Burns who was bad at small talk.
“They lied and Dasha Burns deserves an apology for this person sicking the entirety of Twitter journos on her,” Miller wrote to caption Swisher’s initial defense.
Journalist Peter Savodnik also addressed the situation in a piece for Common Sense.
“Last night’s debate was an unmitigated disaster. A disaster for Fetterman, Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor—who appeared confused and could barely manage a coherent sentence, let alone a complete paragraph,” Savodnik wrote. “And a disaster for Pennsylvania voters, who didn’t get the tough, substantive debate they deserved.”
“NBC reporter Dasha Burns had the temerity to observe the obvious: John Fetterman has trouble with chit chat,” he added, noting she got “crucified” for it. “If anything, Burns, who has covered the race extensively, understated just how bad Fetterman’s condition is.”
Polls show a tight race in one of the country’s most closely watched Senate contests, with the majority potentially hanging in the balance. Fox News Power Rankings has the Pennsylvania Senate race as a toss-up.
Fox News’ David Rutz contributed to this report.