'Wildly Irresponsible': NY Times Blasted Over Debunked Parkinson's Doctor 'Innuendo' (2024)

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.

READ MORE: Josh Hawley: ‘I’m Advocating Christian Nationalism’

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.”

Today I signed the National Plan to End Parkinson’s Act – a law that will help prevent, treat, and cure Parkinson’s disease and similar disorders.

This law is about dignity. It gives people hope that we can end this cruel disease and that we can still do big things. pic.twitter.com/Vac4gZFEym

— President Biden (@POTUS) July 3, 2024

“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.

.@PressSec Karine Jean-Pierre to @edokeefe: “It doesn’t matter how hard you push me. It doesn’t matter how angry you get with me. I’m not going to confirm a name…What I can say share with you is that the president has seen a neurologist for his physical three times.” pic.twitter.com/oZQjMiIOPv

— CSPAN (@cspan) July 8, 2024

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.”

Sellers: I think it’s patently absurd that we’re having this discussion to be completely honest with you. I think we’re chasing this rabbit of The New York Times saying that a Parkinson’s expert visited The White House eight times without even corroborating that with whether or… pic.twitter.com/YTdCmKJetG

— Acyn (@Acyn) July 9, 2024

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.

Cutting through the bullsh*t on today’s absolute circus of press-briefing with Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, and setting the record straight on President Biden’s physical and neurological exam with physician Dr. Kevin Cannard.

The @nytimes got it wrong — AGAIN!

🚨 SPOILER… pic.twitter.com/Q9KFWFrzg3

— Christopher Webb (@cwebbonline) July 9, 2024

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

'Wildly Irresponsible': NY Times Blasted Over Debunked Parkinson's Doctor 'Innuendo' (2024)

References

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Fredrick Kertzmann

Last Updated:

Views: 6181

Rating: 4.6 / 5 (46 voted)

Reviews: 93% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Fredrick Kertzmann

Birthday: 2000-04-29

Address: Apt. 203 613 Huels Gateway, Ralphtown, LA 40204

Phone: +2135150832870

Job: Regional Design Producer

Hobby: Nordic skating, Lacemaking, Mountain biking, Rowing, Gardening, Water sports, role-playing games

Introduction: My name is Fredrick Kertzmann, I am a gleaming, encouraging, inexpensive, thankful, tender, quaint, precious person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.