Today Show Covered Benefits of MS Patients Riding Horses Same Day O'Donnell Mocked Ann Romney For It

As NewsBusters previously reported, MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell on Monday mocked Ann Romney for riding horses to combat her multiple sclerosis.

Hours earlier, NBC's Today show, in a segment about the recent MS diagnosis of rock star Ozzy Osbourne's son Jack, addressed the benefits of horseback riding for reducing the symptoms of the disease (video follows with transcript and commentary):


ANN CURRY, HOST: How is Jack treating his disease?

KATE COYNE, PEOPLE MAGAZINE: He's working with a team of physicians. He's exploring medication options. I mean, he's obviously doing everything he can to return to a very active, very functioning state. But it has its challenges.

CURRY: What kind of treatment options are there, because we know you say this is not a genetic disease.

DR. NANCY SNYDERMAN: No, it's not genetic. We don't really know what the triggers are. You know, a lot of people are trying to figure out is there something in the immune system that goes haywire, is there a virus that suddenly turns on-and-off switch. The medications that are out there are what we call immune modulators. They are medications that make the immune system more responsible. It's likely that with a good team of doctors he's going to have a robust and wonderful life. But he's going to have to keep really good diaries now of possible triggers that make episodes come and go. Hopefully now he'll have a couple of episodes, the vision problems and the numbness, and then go a long period with nothing and then he'll have some episodes down the line.

CURRY: When you say episodes, what is an episode?

SNYDERMAN: Episodes--another episode of numbness and tingling, stumbling...

Ms. COYNE: Stumbling.

SNYDERMAN: ...not feeling well. Any organ system in the body can be affected by MS. Every nerve has insulation around it. And MS attacks that insulation so that the electrical impulses from the brain to the tips of your fingers and toes don't work as well. So he's going to have to be really in tune with his body.

CURRY: Recently a lot has been made about Ann Romney having MS...

SNYDERMAN: Hm.

CURRY: ...and using horseback riding as a way to be--to have therapy.

SNYDERMAN: Yeah.

CURRY: Can athleticism help you...

SNYDERMAN: Absolutely.

CURRY: ...stay healthy?

SNYDERMAN: And, you know, a lot of riding for Ann Romney has been this mind-body aspect. Decreasing the stress, massage, meditation, all of those things that make the mind-body connection stronger can be a really integral part of treating MS.

Imagine that.

Yet probably less than fifteen hours later, on NBC's sister network MSNBC, anchor O'Donnell said, "There are a lot of things you can do to try to deal with MS. But, come on, dressage does not appear in any of the more traditional courses of treatment."

With this joke of a so-called "news network," one hand really doesn't know what the other is doing, does it?

(HT NB reader Megan Murphy)

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.