The “Outnumbered” panelists called on the mainstream media to be transparent in covering Pennsylvania Senate candidate John Fetterman after an NBC reporter was vilified by some on the left for noting issues with the Democrat’s health after speaking with him in person.
NBC’s Dasha Burns was questioned on-air by her colleague, Savannah Guthrie, after explaining that Fetterman had a difficult time understanding small talk without the use of closed captions before their interview.
“Outnumbered” co-host Kayleigh McEnany said Thursday that she found the liberal backlash to Burns’ comments amusing.
“Dasha Burns is a serious beat reporter, well respected,” McEnany said. “She stood up for her reporting.”
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In their on-air exchange, Guthrie cited other journalists who claimed that Fetterman’s health was fine. Burns then defended herself, saying her team was the first to hold an interview with Fetterman in person rather than via video conference when closed captioning is available.
Emily Compagno, co-host of “Outnumbered,” argued that Americans deserve to have answers on a Senate candidate’s health.
“Our tax dollars pay these people’s salaries, and they represent us in establishing policy and legislation and running our entire country,” she said.
Compagno noted that the media’s narrative is now focused on Burns’ comments instead of Fetterman’s health as the election draws nearer.
“This is the shell game the media is playing,” she said.
“That is horrifying to me, as a member of the journalism world at large, that she would be attacked and suffer attacks like that without people acknowledging the legitimacy of her credentials and her caliber and her personal experience.”
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Cassie Smedile, executive director of America Rising PAC, expressed sympathy for Fetterman, who suffered a stroke in early 2022, but maintained that the questions of his fitness for office are valid.
“[Burns is] speaking to a relevant point in this election, though. Is he ready to serve on day one?” she asked.
Host Harris Faulkner said it’s “insane to me” that other outlets went after Burns, including a disability advocate who told Buzzfeed News that the interview would increase “violence” against disabled people.
Fetterman has said he won’t commit to releasing his medical records, despite challenges from his Republican opponent Dr. Mehmet Oz.
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McEnany, however, said there is an expectation that the Senate candidate would release that information out of “an overabundance of transparency.”