It’s Happening: Fox News, CNN, NY Times Raising ‘Questions’ About Bernie’s Campaign After Heart Attack

 

After several days of treading lightly, outlets like The New York Times, Fox News, and CNN have begun to raise “questions” about Bernie Sanders’ ability to continue his campaign following a heart attack.

When the Sanders campaign announced Wednesday that the senator had been hospitalized, news outlets spent several days following the campaign’s cues, largely avoiding terms like “surgery” and “heart attack” in favor of “procedure” and “blocked artery.”

Other candidates wished him well, and Sanders himself seized the narrative by tweeting from his hospital bed, and linking his experience to his own health care policy. The downplaying of Sanders’ scare was a stark contrast to the reactions of the media when Hillary Clinton was briefly felled by pneumonia in 2016.

But since the Sanders campaign announced, on Friday, that Sanders had indeed suffered a heart attack, media outlets have begun to freely speculate about whether the incident will affect Sanders’ chances politically.

For example, on Saturday, The New York Times ran a headline trumpeting the heart attack diagnosis, and saying that while stent surgery is common, “the news of Mr. Sanders’s heart attack raised more serious questions.”

On CNN Friday night, Mark McKinnon told Don Lemon that Sanders is “already seen as the old guy in the race,” ant that the heart attack “confirms the suspicions voters had” about Sanders’ age. And on Saturday, CNN reporter Ryan Nobles said this will “no doubt be an issue for him going forward.”

“His age, he just turned 78, has long been a knock on his campaign, and now with the specter of a recent heart attack added to the mix, it’s going to make the argument that he is up to the job that much more difficult,” Nobles said.

On Fox & Friends Saturday, the network went with a giant “SANDERS’ HEALTH SCARE” graphic, and cited The New York Times as “highlighting” Sanders’ heart attack.

While co-hosts Griff Jenkins and Jedediah Bila were very kind to Sanders, Pete Hegseth — also wishing Sanders well — weighed in by saying “We wish him a speedy recovery, at the same time his campaign is going to need a speedy recovery, because he was already on his way to the second tier.”

“Something like this will, and it shouldn’t be this way but it is, you’re 78 years old, you’re running for president, you have a heart attack, people are going to ask questions,” Hegseth continued. “Are you able to do the job? So we hope he comes back, he’ll be at the debate stage, but definitely a setback for that campaign.”

MSNBC largely shied away from raising concerns about Sanders’ health, instead focusing on the campaign’s effort to keep the words “heart attack” out of the media.

The Sanders campaign has pushed back hard on the mere hint that this episode could negatively affect Senator Sanders’ ability to continue. National Press Secretary Briahna Joy Gray got into a lengthy Twitter feud with the authors of an article at The Root that  asked the question “Could This Be the End of the Bernie Sanders Presidential Campaign?”

But perhaps the most macabre speculation about Sanders’ health came from Nathan Robinson of Current Affairs magazine, who, ostensibly in Sanders’ defense, wrote that Sanders is “willing to destroy himself and shorten his life and give up whatever he might have wanted to do with his twilight years” in order to continue his campaign, and that Sanders is “an old man is carrying the most colossal imaginable weight on his shoulders.”

If you’re wondering what Gray and Sanders campaign manager Faiz Shakir would do if they read that, the answer is tweet it out and praise it.

For better or worse, it is now open season on Bernie Sanders’ health, and the political implications thereof.

Watch the clips above, via CNN and Fox News.

Have a tip we should know? tips@mediaite.com

Filed Under: