Just as the liberal broadcast networks tried to keep former Gov. Charlie Crist’s (D-FL) campaign afloat, CBS Mornings did its best to pull Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman (D) across the finish line in his close race against Republican Dr. Mehmet Oz. Thanks to chief campaign and election correspondent Robert Costa, CBS had one simple message for voters weighing Fetterman’s health in their vote: let it go.
Costa spent the second half of his piece on Fetterman’s health, leading with a clip of the mentally and physically limited Fetterman stammering his way through one of his rare stump speeches.
“Fetterman, who had a stroke in May, has been reassuring voters that he is ready to serve. His doctor has done the same, issuing a letter that the candidate ‘has no work restrictions and can work full duty in public office,’” Costa explained.
Costa’s problem? He chose to ignore the fact that, thanks to the Washington Free Beacon, this doctor is both a Fetterman supporter and donor.
Costa added that “Fetterman’s use of a captioning device will be on display during the debate” and posed the question to passerby’s in State College, Pennsylvania this past weekend.
After one person said no one “should be shamed for using things that makes things more accessible” and another seemed indifferent, Costa brought in an expert from the left-wing Poynter and cited a CBS News poll to argue alleged talk about issues with Fetterman’s health need to end:
AL TOMPKINS: There's just too much attention on it.
COSTA: Says media observer Al Tompkins. And more than half of the voters agree, saying they don’t think it’s important to talk about Fetterman’s health during debate.
TOMPKINS: I think people care about things like inflation and crime and international relations, trust in government. Those are all important issues for people.
Before he got to Fetterman’s health, Costa started off on a benign note, saying “a lot is on the line” with Oz focusing on crime and “link[ing] Fetterman to President Biden.”
But the former conservative reporter quickly pivoted to defending Fetterman and his fellow Keystone State lefties even though, “on the economy, pain is evident”: “Across the ballot, the Republican push on crime has led other Democrats to push back, including the state's attorney general and Democratic gubernatorial nominee.”
NBC’s Today on briefly touched on Fetterman during its midterms report thanks to Washington correspondent Hallie Jackson previewing the “Keystone clash”.
Unlike CBS (and ABC), Jackson mentioned how Fetterman’s campaign is “downplaying expectations after a stroke five months ago that affected his speech” with a memo calling the rumble “unprecedented, previewing the likelihood of awkward pauses or missing some words, adding that the live captioning process they’re using may also lead to time delays and errors in the exchanges.”
And on ABC’s Good Morning America, political director Rick Klein only focused on the midterms as a whole (click “expand”):
This is the most basic question: Do you want a Democrat or a Republican to control Congress? You saw up until a couple of days ago Democrats actually were leading in that, but in the last few days, Republicans have nosed ahead. They’re up by about half a percentage point. And here’s the thing. The way the districts are drawn typically Democrats have to outperform Republicans by a couple of points[.]
Right now, Democrats have a little better than a coin flip chance, 55 out of 100 chance, according to our partners at fivethirtyeight of taking the Senate, but we’ve got the only Senate debate in Pennsylvania. And if John Fetterman is able to defeat Dr. Oz after having that first debate today, all of a sudden, Democrats jump to about three in four chance, just based on that one race. Now, Republicans, of course, they’re on offense in a whole lot of places. Maybe their best opportunity for a pickup out in Nevada. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto, one of the most endangered Democrats anywhere in the country right now, if Nevada goes red, Republicans go to a seven in ten chance just based on that race.
Look, you see right now Democrats who are battling a lot of tough history, a lot of tough math — maps — math. All of these things pointing in the same direction. Republicans...just have to flip about five seats to take over the majority....Fivethirtyeight has run just about every possible scenario and...Republicans are heavily favored, about an eight in ten chance to take over the House.
Tuesday’s attempt to run cover for Fetterman was made possible thanks to the help of advertisers advertisers such as Ashley Homestore (on CBS), Home Depot (on NBC), and IHOP (on ABC). Follow the links to see their contact information at the MRC’s Conservatives Fight Back page.
To see the relevant transcripts from October 25, click here (for ABC), here (for CBS), and here (for NBC).