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Mainstream media, campaign cover-ups and Honest Abe

Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania and Democratic U.S. Senate candidate John Fetterman speaks to supporters during a campaign rally at Temple University on October 29, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Fetterman continued to campaign for the upcoming midterm election against Republican Mehmet Oz for the U.S. Senate seat that will be vacant by incumbent Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA).
Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania and Democratic U.S. Senate candidate John Fetterman speaks to supporters during a campaign rally at Temple University on October 29, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Fetterman continued to campaign for the upcoming midterm election against Republican Mehmet Oz for the U.S. Senate seat that will be vacant by incumbent Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA). | Getty Images/Alex Wong

If you are currently experiencing some deja vu, you are not alone. The mainstream media has once again concealed the crippled cognitive abilities of a struggling political candidate. First, it was Joe Biden’s presidential campaign two years ago, and now John Fetterman’s Senate campaign in Pennsylvania.

Author Howie Carr opined in October 2020, “Media Continue to Cover Up Joe Biden’s Mental Decline.” Matt Viser of the Washington Postreported: “Joe Biden Spent Much of the General Election in His Basement." Historian Victor Davis Hanson explained: “The Strategies of Dementia Politics.” 

Joe Biden’s forgetfulness and penchant for seclusion over the past two years are consistent with the mental impairment witnessed during his 2020 presidential campaign. And the mainstream media has remained firmly committed to concealing Biden’s mental health challenges whenever possible, as highlighted in this report last year: “President Biden Still in Media-Protected Hiding."

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Sadly, we have now witnessed in the case of John Fetterman yet another blatant example of a campaign cover-up involving a cognitively impaired Democratic politician.

ABC ran a piece a few weeks ago titled: “Republicans Suggest John Fetterman is Too Sick to Serve. Neurologists Call Attacks Uninformed.” Anyone who watched “Fetterman’s Painful Debate” last week now understands why Republicans raised concerns. And with the cat now out of the bag, ABC has been forced to abandon its neurologist narrative. 

While John Fetterman certainly deserves much compassion, Pennsylvania voters should nevertheless have been made fully aware of the complications which arose after Fetterman had a stroke nearly six months ago. It is now too late for the early voters to cast an informed vote. As reported a week ago, “500k Votes Already Cast in Pennsylvania Midterm Election."  

CBS recently published an article about Fetterman’s current condition, quoting the Senate candidate's primary care physician: “He has no work restrictions and can work full duty in public office.” Fetterman’s dismal debate performance flew right in the face of that wildly inaccurate narrative. Nice try doctor and nice try CBS, but no dice. 

Prayers for this stroke victim are needed, but hiding his true condition from the voters represents journalistic malpractice. America suffers whenever political campaigns and impaired candidates are deceptively promoted by the mainstream media. 

Scientific American, a popular science magazine, had never backed a presidential candidate in its 175-year history. But that all changed in 2020, when they endorsed Joe Biden. A few weeks ago they published this article: “John Fetterman Shows How Well the Brain Recovers after Stroke.” The article concluded with Fetterman asserting, “I feel like I’m going to get better and better every day. I believe I’m going to be able to serve effectively.” 

It will come as no surprise if Scientific American stops making political endorsements after stumbling so badly on their only attempt in 175 years.

Dasha Burns is a journalist with NBC who recently interviewed John Fetterman. Afterwards, she tactfully brought up some troubling issues she observed with the Senate candidate's inability to process and articulate basic thoughts and ideas. Burns was then “vilified by media peers for noting Fetterman had problems communicating with her when she attempted to make ’small talk’ before a rare interview granted by the Democratic candidate.” What crime did Dasha Burns commit? This NBC journalist simply shared what she witnessed when visiting with a man who is running for a seat in the U.S. Senate. Isn’t that what journalists are supposed to do?  

After the debate last week, there was plenty of righteous indignation over the way her peers lambasted her honest disclosure: “Critics Say NBC’s Dasha Burns is Owed an Apology After Fetterman’s Debate Performance: ’Should Be Ashamed.’” It is no wonder so many Americans simply do not trust the mainstream media. After all, how many journalists in their circles would have shared with the world what Dasha Burns was willing to reveal?

The mainstream media cover-up of John Fetterman’s weakened mental processes is reminiscent of the crafty campaign coverage Joe Biden (and Hunter Biden) received in 2020. Tens of millions of Americans recognize the danger the mainstream media poses to our nation, as reported several weeks ago: “Nearly 60% See Mainstream Media as a Threat to Democracy: Poll.”

How many cover-ups must there be among your ranks for Americans to view your entire coalition as a threat to democracy? That is a brutal indictment.

Politicians and journalists today would be wise to follow the example of Abraham Lincoln. The first reported instance of Lincoln being called ‘Honest Abe’ was when he was a general store owner. After realizing one time that he had overcharged a woman by a small amount, he walked to her house over two miles away to return the change he owed her. 

Lincoln’s political opponents were well aware of his unwavering honesty. “I shall have my hands full,” a worried Stephen Douglas said when told that the Republicans had chosen Lincoln to run against him for the U.S. Senate in 1858. “He is the strong man of his party - full of wit, facts, dates – and the best stump speaker…He is as honest as he is shrewd.”

President Abraham Lincoln famously issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, which declared "that all persons held as slaves within the rebellious states are, and henceforward shall be free.” 

History is replete with honest people who stood up for the oppressed and fought for freedom. Dishonest people, on the other hand, enslave others, lie, cheat and steal. They constantly look for ways to gain control over people.

Abraham Lincoln gave some excellent advice in a lecture to young lawyers: “Resolve to be honest at all events; and if in your own judgment you cannot be an honest lawyer, resolve to be honest without being a lawyer.”

Likewise, I believe Honest Abe would advise aspiring young journalists today: "If you cannot be an honest journalist, resolve to be honest without being a journalist.” 

If the mainstream media was as honest as Abraham Lincoln, and as determined as Dasha Burns to stop covering up inconvenient truths about Democratic politicians, Americans would no longer view these journalists as a threat to democracy. The predicament the mainstream media find themselves in today can be summed up in another quote from Honest Abe: “What kills a skunk is the publicity it gives itself."

Dan Delzell is the pastor of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Papillion, Nebraska. 

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