Fox personality makes snide remark about John Fetterman’s ability to run

By Michael P. Hill Article may include affiliate links

A Fox personality slipped in a snide remark poking fun at Pennsylvania U.S. Senate Democratic candidate John Fetterman’s ongoing recovery from a stroke he had in May 2022.

Pete Hegseth appeared on “Fox & Friends” Nov. 8, 2022, from a diner in Pennsylvania to provide an update on Fetterman’s race against Republican Dr. Mehmet Oz, a television doctor with a history of making questionable medical statements.

“It’s Mehmet Oz. It’s John Fetterman. All the way through the tape — even if only one of them can run,” he said live on air, apparently referring to the proverbial tape at the finish line of a race. He could be seen visibly smirking when making what he thought was a joke at Fetterman’s expense.

The word “run” can refer to both the physical act of running or the concept of “running” for a political office.

Fetterman had a stroke in May 2022 and has undergone extensive rehabilitation therapy since then. He still lives with auditory or verbal challenges and used a wheelchair earlier in his recovery process.

His campaign has been criticized for not releasing that Fetterman had a history of cardiovascular issues prior to the stroke as well as for not releasing his full medical records after the stroke.

Fetterman’s camp has released statements from his doctors attesting that they expect him to make a full recovery.

During televised interviews and debates, Fetterman was provided with live captioning of the questions and Oz’s statements due to an ongoing auditory processing disorder as a result of the stroke. He has also been documented as having some “halted” speech during events and interviews.

Hegseth’s aside blatantly making fun of someone living with a disability is not something that would be tolerated by most media outlets, but has become common on Fox. Both its analysis and commentary shows along with its so-called “news” broadcasts are littered with offensive comments, name-calling and baseless statements related to this sophomoric behavior.

Oz, meanwhile, rose to stardom after becoming a regular on Oprah Winfrey’s talk show, speaking on medical and wellbeing issues. He later got his own show but that show was canceled after he announced his candidacy.

In the years since becoming famous, Oz has made numerous false or misleading statements about medicine, supplements and what some call “quack science” despite being a former surgeon.

Winfrey has since spoken out against Oz’s candidacy.

Oz has also been heavily criticized for only having a cursory connection to Pennsylvania. He does own property in the state, which, along with being registered to vote in the state, is required for him to run for office to represent the state.

Many critics say Oz is running on a technicality that is possible, at least on part, based on his wealth and ability to own multiple properties in multiple states and countries — and that he really is a resident of New Jersey, having called that state his primary home for years.

That said, Oz is not breaking the law and he is not the first candidate, Democratic or Republican, to use an address in a state where he or she does not reside full-time. In some cases, candidates from both sides even strategically buy property in a state where they are more likely to win or opt to use a property they already own there for their voter registration.

Oz is the first Muslim candidate to run for U.S. Senate on either party’s ticket. Critics have noted that many Republicans falsely claimed that former President Barack Obama was a Muslim, in an effort to drum up anti-Muslim fear to garner support for his opponents. However, most of these same voices have remained quiet about Oz’s Muslim faith, something that many pundits attribute the fact Oz is from Turkey and has lighter skin tone compared to Obama’s mixed-race background.

Hegseth also has a history of making questionable comments about science and medicine. At one point he claimed on air that he has not washed his hands in years, explaining that he does not believe in germs because they are not visible.

Later reporting revealed that Hegseth was once considered a finalist to help run the U.S. Veterans Administration’s medical system.