Fetterman’s wife calls for NBC to apologize after interview
Gisele Fetterman in an interview with The Independent asked NBC to apologize after one of its reporters made on-air comments about the health of her husband, Pennsylvania Democratic Senate nominee John Fetterman.
NBC News’s Dasha Burns earlier this month conducted an interview with John Fetterman, who suffered a stroke in May, in which he discussed the effects it had on his auditory process. John Fetterman used closed captioning during the interview, and Burns commented on his comprehension during an appearance on the network promoting the conversation.
“During some of those conversations before the closed captioning was rolling, it wasn’t clear he could understand what we were saying,” Burns said on NBC.
The interview raised fresh questions about John Fetterman’s health as he faces voters in his closely watched race against Republican nominee Mehmet Oz next month, providing viewers with a close look at his recovery.
“I would love to see an apology towards the disability community from her and from her network for the damage they have caused,” Gisele Fetterman told The Independent.
She told the news organization that the NBC interview, which sparked a firestorm online, may cause damage to those with disabilities, citing messages from disabled voters expressing frustration.
“If this happened in a school, if this was a child that was ableist towards another child or a teacher, there would’ve been issues stated,” Gisele Fetterman told The Independent.
“There would have been new training done,” she continued. “What is being done at the media after a reporter came out so openly ableist towards a person? I think shocked and appalled, but sadly not surprised. I know there’s still so much to do, but it would be great to see some accountability, to actually see real change.”
The Hill has reached out to an NBC News spokesperson and Burns for comment.
The Fetterman campaign released a new ad on Friday in which John Fetterman discusses his stroke following the interview.
“After my stroke, I was just grateful to see Gisele and our kids,” he says in the ad, which began airing on Saturday. “Across Pennsylvania, I keep seeing families that don’t have enough time to focus on each other. They’re struggling, left behind.”
Oz has repeatedly attacked the Pennsylvania Democrat over his health and his agreement to participate in only one debate, which is scheduled for later this month.
Oz has demanded John Fetterman release his health records, and the Republican National Committee has been quick to tweet about his mispronunciations to highlight his trouble speaking since May.