Hillary Clinton points to the audience as she is introduced at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass., Friday, May 25, 2018. Harvard University’s Radcliffe Institute honored Clinton with the 2018 Radcliffe Medal. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
The rules, they keep changing.
You may recall during the 2016 election when Hillary Clinton was literally being thrown in the back of a van after collapsing on a scorching 79 degree day in New York. Even though there was video evidence (see below), we got any number of excuses pushed in the media and it became almost taboo to point out she had actually collapsed.
Hillary Clinton 9/11 NYC pic.twitter.com/q9YnsjTxss
— Zdenek Gazda (@zgazda66) September 11, 2016
She also suffered from a bout of pneumonia and had uncontrollable coughing fits multiple times while speaking. To say that her health was in question is an understatement. Perhaps she wasn’t on the verge of dropping dead, but she certainly dealt with any number of ailments that could have affected her performance as President. Giving the odd speech every now and then, as she’s done since her loss, is hardly the same workload Hillary would have been under had she been elected.
Just how bad her health was isn’t certain. But what was certain is that the media immediately declared any questioning of it off limits and a “conspiracy theory.”
"Go online & put down 'Hillary Clinton illness,'" Rudy says. Yes — but look up the truth — not health smears https://t.co/EprqiZhAxM
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) August 22, 2016
Per Conservative Review.
Stelter said that members of conservative media covering Clinton’s health were part of a “truly deplorable basket. Sean Hannity fits into it, so does Rush Limbaugh, Alex Jones and others. These are people who bring up rumors and innuendo about Clinton’s health, and have been doing it for years.”
“I’m not saying Hannity or Limbaugh fit into these necessarily,” Stelter continued, “but they — some of these figures want her to be sick. They want her to be dying. They want her to be on her deathbed.”
That was all well and good until President Trump took office. Then baseless smearing of one’s health became cool again. Ironically, it was Brian Stelter himself leading the charge, bringing on guests to his show to question Trump’s mental health.
Trump's mental health keeps being invoked by commentators online and on TV. The volume is much louder as of late…https://t.co/dZFc4ie8JD
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) August 26, 2019
Maybe President Trump is cool, calm and collected in person. But on Twitter, he sounds deeply troubled right now. He sounds unhinged. This is why Q's about his fitness for office are so urgent… https://t.co/Kj8xG1PZAp
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) February 18, 2018
Then a weird thing happened. Bernie Sanders had a heart attack on the campaign trail and the media suddenly found it off limits again to discuss the broader implications of a candidate’s health. In fact, the story completely died after just a few short days. Imagine the coverage Donald Trump having a heart attack in 2016 would have received.
We also saw this hypocritical dynamic on display when Joe Biden started shooting blood out of his eye and slurring his speech on the campaign trail.
— BT (@back_ttys) June 10, 2019
— Humble Talent (@AHumbleTalent) June 11, 2019
But good news, kids. It’s once again acceptable to question a Presidential candidate’s health again (in this case the incumbent) because it involves Trump.
Visited a great family of a young man under major surgery at the amazing Walter Reed Medical Center. Those are truly some of the best doctors anywhere in the world. Also began phase one of my yearly physical. Everything very good (great!). Will complete next year.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 17, 2019
Earlier today on CNN, Dr. Sanjay Gupta said it's "a bit curious" that Trump went to Walter Reed for an unannounced visit. The W.H. said it was for a physical. Gupta wondered if the medical team had time to plan for his visit. Did they know he was coming ahead of time? (1/2)
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) November 17, 2019
Opinion: We need a second opinion on the president’s health https://t.co/MlHZiaBk2L
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) November 17, 2019
This is how this is going to go and don’t think Trump’s health won’t be made an issue come 2020. The same media that dismissed all questions about Hillary as conspiracy theories will be right there with a rash of editorials and cable news hits proclaiming that the President is on death’s door. Even today, they’ll brush aside any concerns about Joe Biden barely staying lucid at times while running through the gambit of at-home psychological opinions on Trump.
Perhaps we should be more diligent in ascertaining just how healthy people running for President are. But by making it a partisan issue, the media have lost all credibility on the matter.
Enjoying the read? Please visit my archive to read more of my latest articles.
Find me on Twitter and help out by following @bonchieredstate