Philadelphia Inquirer staff shredded for saying Fetterman won debate with Oz: ‘Clown world in action’

Critics tore into the Philadelphia Inquirer’s opinion staff on Wednesday after they had reviewed Democratic U.S. Senate candidate John Fetterman’s debate performance as better than that of his opponent, Dr. Mehmet Oz.

Even though many liberal media pundits admitted that lingering impairments from Fetterman’s stroke in May rendered his debate performance “painful to watch,” the Philadelphia paper’s opinion section rated it better than his rival’s.

The paper graded the performance by averaging the scores of each opinion writer’s assessments of both candidates. Ultimately, the Inquirer gave Fetterman a 4.3 rating out of 10, while giving Oz a 4.1.


Some individual reviews of Fetterman were very critical. Staff columnist Jenice Armstrong wrote, “Fetterman’s stumbling and verbal gaffes made the debate a complete cringefest from beginning to end. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, he closed by announcing he’s rooting for the Steelers. Argh! (2/10).”

Another wrote, “Fetterman performed well enough against lowered expectations. But more basic mistakes — like refusing to explain his recent change of heart on fracking, and insisting, without evidence, that Oz will cut social programs — made him look inflexible and unmoored from the facts. (2/10).”

However, some had decent praise for Fetterman. Commentary and Ideas Editor Devi Lockwood wrote, “He had zingers, saying that Oz has never met an oil company that he doesn’t ‘swipe right’ on. Hearing Fetterman say that Roe v. Wade should be the law led me to audibly sigh in relief. Abortion should be a choice between a pregnant person and their doctor. (7/10).”

However, The Philadelphia Inquirer’s opinion writers trashed Oz worse than Fetterman. For example, opinion editor-at-large Paul Davies gave him a “0” rating.

He wrote, “For all his years on TV, Oz came across as a fast-talking used car salesman. The second Oz said that he would support the return of the twice-impeached former president who incited a deadly insurrection and tried to overturn a free and fair election, he disqualified himself from holding public office and his score went to zero. (0/10).”

In the end, Oz’s scores averaged out to him losing to Fetterman in the eyes of the paper’s opinion section. Though conservatives on Twitter were not buying it. 

National Review columnist John Fund had a hard time believing the outlet’s writers thought Fetterman won. He tweeted, “The Philadelphia Inquirer’s editorial writers, columnists and contributors collectively thought Fetterman performed better than Oz in debate. Seriously.”

The Spectator contributing editor Stephen L. Miller exposed why the paper would grant victory to the Democrat, tweeting, “They endorsed Fetterman, so yeah.”

Former Republican U.S. Senate candidate Elisa Martinez claimed the article was a great example of liberal bias in media. She retweeted Fund’s post, commenting, “If you ever wondered about journalists lying & covering for Dems.”

Independent journalist Tim Pool simply laughed at the paper’s assessment, tweeting, “Hahaha.”

Conservative radio host Gerry Callahan sarcastically asked, “Don’t you just love journalism?”


The Federalist co-founder and CEO Sean Davis remarked, “LOL. Clown world in action.”

Conservative journalist Jim Stinson tweeted, “The Philadelphia Inquirer is lying to you. And they are proud of it.”

Americans For Prosperity reporter Michael Mathes commented on the fact that the piece was behind a paywall, tweeting, “Interesting that the Inquirer has this behind a paywall. You’d think they would want their opinion writers’ public positions on the debate available to everyone…”

Conservatives on Twitter ripped the The Philadelphia Inquirer’s opinion section for declaring Democratic candidate John Fetterman the winner of Tuesday’s Senate debate.

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