Debate host rejects ‘unfortunate’ Fetterman camp claim closed captioning system ‘filled with errors’

The triumph over adversity message peddled by Pennsylvania Democratic Senate candidate Lt. Gov. John Fetterman’s campaign, following his widely concerning debate performance, wasn’t quite as impactful when they pulled the victim card on “captions filled with errors” only to be summarily refuted by the production team.

Having conducted a sheltered campaign more reclusive than even then-candidate Joe Biden’s basement tour of 2020 following a stroke in May, Fetterman took to the debate stage Tuesday night against Republican candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz. For some, it was their first genuine exposure to the Democrat since his medical incident and, as previously reported, even corporate media had to admit to his questionable fitness.

In response to the torrent of negative reactions, Fetterman for Pennsylvania communications director Joe Calvello released a statement tempering his boss’s showing against supposed technical difficulties, “We are thrilled with John’s performance. He did remarkably well tonight–especially when you consider that he’s still recovering from a stroke and was working off of delayed captions filled with errors. John won countless exchanges, counter-punched aggressively, and pushed back on Oz’s cruelty and attacks.”

Upon learning of that claim, Gary Weitman, Nexstar Media Group, Inc. chief communications officer, did not watch silently as the hard work put in by his team was used as a scapegoat and said, “It is unfortunate that Mr. Fetterman is now criticizing the closed captioning process employed by Nexstar during tonight’s debate.”

“Both candidates agreed to the technical set-up for the closed captioning process weeks ago, which was implemented at the request of the Fetterman campaign,” he explained. “Both candidates were offered the opportunity for two full rehearsals with the same equipment used in tonight’s debate; Mr. Fetterman chose to do only one.”

“In fact,” Weitman continued, “Nexstar’s production team went to extraordinary lengths to ensure the effectiveness of the closed captioning process, and to accommodate several last-minute requests of the Fetterman campaign. The closed captioning process functioned as expected during rehearsal and again during tonight’s debate. We regret that Mr. Fetterman and his campaign feel otherwise.”

Meanwhile, Sen. Josh Hawley’s (R-Mo.) press secretary Abigail Marone astutely addressed the blatant logical fallacy in Calvello’s claim and said, “Interesting that the Fetterman campaign is trying to blame closed captioning for their candidate’s poor performance after they spent the first few hours after the debate bragging about how good Fetterman did. Both can’t be true…”

Considering the lengths taken to put the debate together, one person singled out the caveat that Fetterman’s campaign may have overlooked as they sought to play the victim while simultaneously assuring that he can handle the responsibilities of being a U.S. Senator. “This means there isn’t viable technology that allows Fetterman to ‘normally’ communicate to anyone in real time. This is important information. He needs to resign and heal. I wish him the best.”


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Kevin Haggerty


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