Think that the term “brain injury” doesn’t carry a stigma? Think again. Recently, Senator Johnson of South Dakota has been making the headlines for a “stroke-like” event that has left him with some level of cognitive impairment. It’s creating some serious political fallout, of course, but I think it’s interesting to have a look at how the media is portraying this.
When I searched for “Senator Johnson” and “Stroke” through Google’s news service, I found 921 articles. Although a stroke is an injury to the brain, when I googled “Senator Johnson” and “brain injury,” I received ZERO returns. When I searched for “senator” and “brain injury,” I received 10 articles, not all of them dealing with Johnson.
While the Iraq war is helping to create awareness about TBI, the media needs to be clued in to the fact that brains get injured here on the home front as well.