The Media Seems to Have Lost Interest in John Fetterman. I Wonder Why.

AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib

In mid-April, Sen. John Fetterman (D-Pa.) finally returned to Capitol Hill after spending most of his tenure as a U.S. senator at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center being treated for clinical depression. Last month, he had been given the chance to chair the Senate Subcommittee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry in an attempt to prove to the public that he was capable of doing his job. The Washington Post admitted that “his voice stumbled at times while reading from prepared notes,” but even that was a generous observation. The video from the hearing is hard to watch as Fetterman struggled to read his prepared remarks and didn’t seem to grasp the meaning of what he was saying.


The hearing served as a painful reminder of the cognitive impairments that had previously raised concerns during the campaign. After suffering a stroke in May 2022, he was incapacitated for several weeks and was fortunate to have survived. Nevertheless, he decided to keep campaigning, which likely resulted in irreversible brain damage, according to his close associates. Despite being away from the Senate for an extended period, he seemed to have made no progress in his stroke recovery.

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While it’s apparent to everyone that Fetterman is unfit to hold office in the Senate. The media has been trying to distract from Fetterman’s cognitive impairments by praising him for “talking about” depression, even though it wasn’t revealed until after he checked into Walter Reed that he’d had a history of clinical depression throughout his life.

Since his disastrous committee hearing performance in mid-April, the media has demonstrated less interest in showing Fetterman on camera. Since the aforementioned hearing, Fetterman has also quietly made appearances at a Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing, and a Senate Banking Committee hearing, during which he struggled to read out his prepared questions.

The lack of media interest in Fetterman’s participation is notable, considering how there was so much eagerness after his return from Walter Reed to not only prop him up as a bastion of strength and courage but also to prove he is actually capable of being a senator. That’s why his chairing of the Senate Subcommittee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry hearing was planned as a large media spectacle and why his appearances since have not.


The Democrats’ narrow majority in the Senate made Fetterman’s extended absence, along with that of others, a significant problem. It appears that the Democrats are making an effort to portray him as working and fulfilling his duties to avoid his resignation before the 2024 elections — and the media is helping by not giving his public appearances much attention anymore.


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