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OPINION

‘Wildly Irresponsible’: NY Times Blasted Over Debunked Parkinson’s Doctor ‘Innuendo’

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The New York Times is under fire after publishing a report Monday critics call “wildly irresponsible” and “not journalism,” which – at least in its headlines – implies President Biden has Parkinson’s, or might have Parkinson’s, despite the White House and the White House Physician point-blank stating he does not.

“Parkinson’s Expert Visited the White House Eight Times in Eight Months,” was The Times’ headline. The print edition, The Times noted, ran this headline: “Parkinson’s Expert Visited White House 8 Times in 8 Months, but Why Is Unclear.”

The context is important — The Times has published over two hundred stories on President Biden’s debate performance – now nearly two weeks ago – and published an editorial from the Editorial Board calling on President Biden to drop out of the race. On Tuesday The Times’ Editorial Board for a second time called on the President to end his re-election campaign.

Media critic Dan Froomkin noted Monday night that The Times was “still front-paging a story on Biden and Parkinson’s based solely on innuendo and now thoroughly debunked by the White House.” He added that the print edition headline ran after the White House denied President Biden has Parkinson’s.

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The Times, which has a habit of re-working stories without noting changes, early on Monday had published this sub-head: “The White House has said that President Biden has no signs of the disease and that there has been no reason to update the most recent testing, conducted in February.”

But later, changed it to read: “The White House said President Biden had met with a neurologist only three times in more than three years in office, and implied that the doctor’s visits were related to treating other people.”

And later still: “The White House said President Biden had met with a neurologist only three times in more than three years in office. But it would not say whether the visiting expert was consulting with the president’s physician about his health.”

What The Times did not include in its report, as many critics have noted, is that last week President Biden signed major legislation in a public ceremony, the “National Plan to End Parkinson’s Act.”

“An expert on Parkinson’s disease from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center visited the White House eight times in eight months from last summer through this spring, including at least once for a meeting with President Biden’s physician, according to official visitor logs,” The Times report reads. “The expert, Dr. Kevin Cannard, is a neurologist who specializes in movement disorders and recently published a paper on Parkinson’s. The logs, released by the White House, document visits from July 2023 through March of this year.”

In the middle of The Times report, it acknowledges: “Records from the Obama administration, when Mr. Biden was vice president, show that Dr. Cannard made at least 10 visits in 2012 plus a family tour; four in 2013; one in 2014; four in 2015; and eight in 2016. Mr. Trump rescinded Mr. Obama’s voluntary White House visitors disclosure policy, so records are not available for his four years in office.”

As many have noted, The Times appears to have based the bulk of its report on visitor logs.

David Ryan Miller, an Assistant Professor of Government at American University, wrote: “The mistake journalists made yesterday was speculating about the *purpose* of these visits based on their *existence.*”

“COULD they have been to treat Biden? Yes. But without knowing more than their existence, reporting like this from @nytimes was wildly irresponsible.”

READ MORE: ‘Where’s Trump?’: Ex-President Hasn’t Held Any Public Events Since Day After the Debate

During Monday’s White House daily press briefing reporters attacked Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, causing tumult to a degree rarely seen in that room.

Late Monday night the White House was forced to release a two-page statement from the Physician to the President, Dr. Kevin O’Connor, stating, “Dr. Cannard has been the Neurology Consultant to the White House Medical Unit since 2012,” and, “President Biden has not seen a neurologist outside of his annual physical.”

He made clear, President Biden does not have Parkinson’s, or any “other central neurological disorder.”

“The results of this year’s exam were detailed in my February 28th letter,” Dr. O’Connor added, citing those findings: “An extremely detailed neurologic exam was again reassuring in that there were no findings which would be consistent with any cerebellar or other central neurological disorder, such as stroke, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s or ascending lateral sclerosis, nor are there any signs of cervical myelopathy. This exam did again support a finding of peripheral neuropathy in both feet. No motor weakness was detected. He exhibits no tremor, either at rest or with activity. He demonstrates excellent fine motor dexterity.”

On CNN Monday night, attorney and political commentator Baraki Sellers, a Democratic former U.S. Congressman from South Carolina, blasted the media’s coverage and suggestions President Biden has Parkinson’s.

“I think it’s patently absurd that we’re having this discussion, to be completely honest with you,” Sellers told his CNN colleagues Monday night (video below). “I think we’re chasing this rabbit of The New York Times saying that I believe a Parkinson’s expert visited the White House eight times without even corroborating that, with whether or not the President was there or who that doctor actually saw.”

“It’s extremely clear now that he did not see the President of the United States. And to use visitor logs to simply say or deduce that someone has Parkinson’s is not journalism, it is beyond the pale,” Sellers said.

“We spend more time talking about Joe Biden’s age, then we have Project 25, than we have the Chevron ruling, than we have what the Supreme Court did about presidential immunity. And I think that’s an utter disservice to the, it’s a disservice to voters in this country.”

He added, “President Joe Biden is old, he is old. But there is an argument about policy and what he has done and the question that people have to ask themselves, and the question that the mainstream media is not asking themselves, and journalists are not asking themselves about is his ability to lead. Has he not led us from COVID? Has he not led us to a bipartisan infrastructure bill? Has he not led us to a bipartisan infrastructure Reduction Act? Has he not selected a Black woman as Vice President, has he not put a Black woman on the Supreme Court? I mean, let’s talk tangibly about the things that he has done, because he’s old. And you know, the question is, do you want someone old or do you want a sociopath? That is legitimately the question.”

“But we still we are harping on this mainly because there are a lot of journalists within the beltway who feel as if somehow they’ve been lied to or betrayed, or emotional, and that emotionalism is not journalism.”

Communications expert Susan Bordson on Monday blasted the media’s response to the Parkinson’s speculation: “The way our collective political press and our dumb American culture is acting and responding right now, how a person’s feet perform is ranked as greater in importance for executive governance than one’s critical thinking, principles, experience, wisdom, character, etc.”

Media critic Jennifer Schulze observed, “This @nytimes set off a feeding frenzy with this speculative story about a ‘Parkinson’s doctor.’ We now know the doctor saw Biden 3 times & other patients the other times. The main headline & story should be crystal clear about that right at the top.”

MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell added more details Monday night.

Watch the videos above or at this link.

READ MORE: ‘You Keep Talking About Donald Trump’: Exasperated Fox Host Tries to Turn Dem Against Biden

 

 

 

 

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OPINION

‘Unmitigated Disaster’: Conservatives Stunned by ‘Clinically-Insane Trump Speech’

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The fourth and final night of the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee on Thursday is being panned by pundits, political strategists, grassroots voters, and even some in the press, as many express shock and condemnation over Donald Trump’s presidential nomination acceptance speech, or, as one critic put it, the “clinically-insane Trump speech.”

Chris Wallace, the former long-time Fox News anchor turned CNN commentator declared he was “disappointed,” and suggested Trump’s 90+ minute speech (transcript) helped President Joe Biden’s re-election campaign.

Trump’s speech got off to a good start, Wallace said, but after awhile the GOP nominee, “couldn’t keep up the act, and so we started hearing about ‘crazy Nancy Pelosi,’ and cheating on elections, and talking about Biden. Frankly, it was a long speech, it was a rambling speech, it was a speech by an older man and I couldn’t help but think that the people who are going to be happiest tonight are not the people at Trump headquarters, but the Democrats, maybe at Biden headquarters, maybe at the headquarters of the people who think they are going to replace Joe Biden, but Jake, we have ourselves a presidential campaign again.”

READ MORE: ‘Stop the Attacks’: 1400 Black Women Leaders Demand DNC Support Biden and Harris

CNN fact-checker Daniel Dale reported Trump delivered at least 22 “falsehoods” during his remarks, including that when he left office, “the world was at peace.”


Even The New York Times, which critics say has often ignored or whitewashed Trump’s worst remarks and weaknesses while focusing on President Biden’s – to the point of calling for Biden’s exit but not Trump’s – ran this headline overnight, invoking the ex-president’s 2017 inauguration speech: “Trump Struggles to Turn the Page on ‘American Carnage’.”

“On the last night of the G.O.P. convention on Thursday, Donald J. Trump promised to bridge political divides, and then returned to delighting in deepening them,” the paper of record reported.

Meanwhile, conservatives – former Republicans and current, Never-Trump Republicans – led the criticism on social media Thursday night and into Friday morning.

The Lincoln Project’s Stuart Stevens, a top political strategist and former Republican, panned Thursday night’s GOP convention: “A man who beat his wife introduced a Republican nominee found liable of sexual assault the judge called rape. And the Republican Party thinks it’s great.”

“I’ve watched thousands of political speeches in thirty years in the business. This was by far the worst,” observed Mike Madrid, the Latino GOP political consultant and Lincoln Project co-founder, calling it “an unmitigated disaster.”

“Is anyone else seeing this with their own eyes?” Madrid asked on social media, referring to Trump’s speech. “Maybe, just maybe, this is what independent voters saw at the debate.”

“The [media’s] gonna call for his withdrawal after witnessing this obvious cognitive decline right?” Madrid also asked.

READ MORE: ‘Democratic Machine’ Strategists Behind Move to Oust Biden: Ex-Congressman

He summed it up in one word: “Fiasco.”

Former Republican U.S. Congressman Denver Riggleman declared: “Media should demand Trump step down based on mental issues and incoherence.”

Fred Wellman, the former Lincoln Project executive director had a few words for top Democratic donors dissatisfied with President Joe Biden: “Hey Democratic big donors! Shut up and get back to work. Jesus. We are going to beat this loser like a drum.”

“The View” co-host Ana Navarro-Cárdenas, a Republican who opposes Donald Trump wrote: “If this clinically-insane Trump speech does not get Democrats out of their defeatist doldrums, and focused and energized around electing their nominee -instead of tearing him down- I don’t know what will.”

She added, “And you all are screaming that Biden has dementia….?”

Former Republican Rick Wilson, an award-winning political TV ad expert and Lincoln Project co-founder decimated Trump’s speech and invoked the nominee’s top campaign chiefs:

“Trump’s speech was, objectively, the single worst convention acceptance speech in modern history. It was a ramblefuck disaster from start to its long-delayed finish, and nothing is going to make it better. You know. I know it. LaCivita and Wiles know it. Utter disaster.”

Former Republican U.S. Congressman Joe Walsh added, “And one more thing: I don’t want to hear anyone in the media talk about Biden’s cognitive decline without also talking about Trump’s cognitive decline. Thanks.”

Republican Sarah Longwell, a political strategist and publisher of the conservative news and opinion site The Bulwark, commented throughout Trump’s speech.

“What would [you] say this speech is about?” she asked toward the end. Minutes earlier she remarked, “Rambling man.” And: “I dunno, this weirdo seems pretty beatable.”

Watch the videos above or at this link.

READ MORE: ‘Have to Stop This Psychopath’: Conway Launches PAC Focused on Trump ‘Mental Instability’

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OPINION

‘Impose Gender Ideology’: DeSantis Continues Attacks on LGBTQ Equality at RNC

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Walking out beneath a banner that read “Make America Safe Once Again,” Florida Governor Ron DeSantis continued the GOP’s attacks on LGBTQ Americans into Tuesday night at day two of the Republican National Convention, despite the party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, vow to unite the nation.

Parading his far-right social agenda, DeSantis, who ended his 2024 presidential bid in January, angrily attacked President Joe Biden and American principles of equality.

“Let’s be honest here. Biden is just a figurehead. He’s a tool for imposing a leftist agenda on the American people. They support open borders, allowing millions and millions of illegal aliens to pour into our country and divert in our communities. But just don’t send any to Martha’s Vineyard then they get really upset,” the two-term Florida GOP governor mockingly declared, reminding Republicans that he spent state tax dollars to pick up 48 Venezuelan asylum seekers, including children, in Texas, and transport them to the tiny island town in Massachusetts, where they discovered, one said, they had been “tricked.”

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“They have unleashed progressive prosecutors across our nation who care more about coddling criminals than about protecting their own communities,” DeSantis continued at the convention where Donald Trump, a convicted felon, was officially chosen as the party’s presidential nominee just 24 hours earlier.

“They use the unelected bureaucracy to impose their will on us without our consent,” DeSantis added, although it was unclear if he was  referring to the nation’s justice system. “And they weaponize political power to target their political opponents like they’ve done to our own nominee.”

“They want to ban gas automobiles, eliminate Second Amendment rights and impose gender ideology on everyone from our infantry men to kindergarteners. They stand for DEI, which really means ‘division, exclusion and indoctrination’ and it is wrong.”

DEI stands for diversity, equity, and inclusion.

“They mandated that you show proof of a COVID vaccine to go to a restaurant, but they oppose requiring proof of citizenship to cast the vote,” he claimed before adding, “They can’t even define what a woman is.”

READ MORE: ‘Fight! Fight! Fight!’: RNC’s ‘Chilling’ MAGA Chant Echoes Trump – and ‘1930’s Germany’

DeSantis originally had not been scheduled to speak at the convention, despite having endorsed Donald Trump when he ended his presidential campaign. On Tuesday it was announced both DeSantis, and Trump’s other top rival for the nomination, his former Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, would both speak to the delegates.

As DeSantis praised Trump, the nominee was in the audience, standing next to his son Eric, his new vice presidential running mate, U.S. Senator JD Vance, and U.S. Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia.

CNBC reported Tuesday the second day of the Republican National Convention saw Nikki Haley, Ron DeSantis, Marco Rubio, and Ted Cruz “bend the knee.”

“The primary campaign is a distant memory now,” Florida Politics noted.

Watch DeSantis’ speech below or at this link.

READ MORE: Was Trump Hit by a Bullet or Not? Calls Mount for Campaign to Release Medical Records

 

 

 

 

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OPINION

Critics: Where’s Trump’s Hour-Long Press Conference With Policy Questions from Reporters?

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Following President Joe Biden’s 58-minute long unscripted, solo press conference without a teleprompter, fielding questions from reporters and responding with nuance and depth on a range of issues including foreign and domestic policy, some critics are calling on his opponent, ex-president Donald Trump, to do the same.

It’s been a long time since Trump has held an actual unscripted, lengthy, solo press conference, with questions from reporters, and well-over a year since he did one that wasn’t centered on his legal crises.

“When is last time Trump did an hour long press conference? Anyone know?” asked Bloomberg News’ Steven Dennis Thursday night after the President’s press conference.

“So now the media will demand that Trump hold an hour-long press conference on complex foreign policy issues — right?” snarked attorney and legal commentator Tristan Snell, who headed the successful New York State civil prosecution of Trump University.

READ MORE: ‘Dead Heat’: Biden Ahead or Tied With Trump in Two New Post-Debate Polls

“Trump is getting a free pass just like he did in 2016. No way he could do a press conference for 40 minutes after 3 long days with world leaders. He is incoherent most of time when he’s not spewing bile,” declared CNN Political Commentator Karen Finney Friday morning.

“It’s now time for the corporate media to dissect every word Trump says for the next two weeks, have debates on his mental state, amplify the small number of Republicans who want Trump to drop out and demand he hold a press conference where we can dissect him even more,” remarked attorney and SiriusXM host Dean Obeidallah Friday morning.

“Per CSPAN last time Trump held a press conference that approached an hour in length at which he took questions from reporters, he was still president,” observed Aaron Fritschner, Deputy Chief of Staff for U.S. Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) Friday morning.

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He adds, “Per the CSPAN archive, the last time Donald Trump took questions from reporters in a press conference was on February 8th. National and campaign reporters made an issue of the lack of press conferences with Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden. To date, they have not done so with Trump.”

On November 8, 2022, from Mar-a-Lago, after polls closed, Donald Trump delivered remarks discussing the midterm elections. He spoke for about four minutes to supporters and took no questions from reporters, whom he mocked. (Full C-SPAN video.)

Semafor’s David Weigel argues, “A lot of the ‘whatabout Trump’ stuff is cope, but he really is getting an easy ride with interviewers compared to 2016 or 2020.”

“Most of his interviews are softball-fests. When he did All-In the campaign had to clean up his green card/diploma answer.”

READ MORE: ‘No Change’: Biden Debate Performance Has Had ‘Almost No Impact’ on 2024 Race Report Finds

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