Monday, September 12, 2016

Yesterday was the Beltway Media's Worst Day of the Campaign

I talked in the last post about how the media had finally had to move on from the emails-even the Washington Post was calling it a minor scandal and Dan Rather was declaring it time to move on from the 'damn emails'-one of Bernie's enduring neologisms.

This left the Beltway journalists who hate Hillary Clinton and pursue her with the doggedness of Ahab and his white whale with a quandary: they can't allow her to run without a scandal! That's for male nominees, Republican nominees, non Clinton nominees. 

So they picked up the absurd health trutherism of Trump, Hannity, and Bannon. False equivalence restored. 

Speaking an Ahab obsession with 'Those Clintons', of course, the new mainstream heath trutherism brought Cokie Roberts out of the woodworks. Brian Beutler on Beltway balance:

Balance, as defined by Morning Edition, is Cokie Roberts and Mollie Hemingway agreeing about how Clinton totally blew it for a full segment.

The media can sometimes admit the Clintons aren't treated fairly, but the reason given is: the Clintons bring it on themselves.

Clinton has an uncanny knack for making things that shouldn't be a big deal into a big deal. And it ain't "the media" doing it.

Ben White is agnostic if there is even such a thing as the media. It's just an informal blog of journalists who want to destroy the Clintons like Cokie Roberts and Maureen Dowd have every day of her life since 1992.

Let's consider the actual media coverage yesterday. Let's being with the fact that this was framed with a Trumpster Truther lens as Brian Stalter admits:

"The coverage of this episode will be magnified and extended because the people who’ve been pushing conspiracy theories about Clinton's health for some time understand well one of the less appealing qualities of the political press: say something long enough and loud enough and it becomes a controversy, part of the narrative, and gets covered regardless of its actual importance or basis in fact. Then, when there's an event like this that fits that narrative, it’s a bigger and more damaging story than it might otherwise have been."

So the Beltway media system is ripe for abuse or 'capture' by liars and slanderers. Good to know.

"Hillary Clinton had to leave a 9/11 memorial event this morning before it concluded because she became dehydrated due to pneumonia which had been caused by chronic coughing due to her allergies. It’s a straightforward story, easily understood, and only an extremist conspiracy theorist could come up with a way of disputing it. Yet even after all the facts were available, many of the major media outlets proceeded to spend the day playing conspiracy theorist anyway – and they ended up looking rather foolish by day’s end."

Of course. The conspiracy theorists have had the media's ear as Stelter concedes.

"Clinton was diagnosed with the pneumonia, a common temporary ailment afflicting Americans of all ages, on Friday. It wasn’t disclosed publicly at the time because she believed it wouldn’t prevent her from continuing with her campaign schedule, which would have made the diagnosis irrelevant one way or the other. But almost immediately after she had to bail on the 9/11 memorial, her doctor announced the pneumonia diagnosis in an effort at full transparency."

"But by that time, various major media outlets had already begun baselessly speculating about what might be wrong with Hillary Clinton, and what random health issues she might supposedly be suffering from. There is no reasonable basis for this speculation, as Clinton has already disclosed her medical history in detail and she’s demonstrated that she’s in strong health. Yet simply because her opponent Donald Trump has repeatedly floated false claims about her health, the media felt it had license to join Trump in essentially making up fake medical conditions and assigning them to Hillary in criminally negligent fashion."

Of course. And there was a vacuum with the email story losing much credibility.

You go Huffington Post:

"Hillary’s Pneumonia: The Media’s Lowest Moment."

"A 68-year-old woman with pneumonia still kept a schedule that most of us wouldn’t make it through. That’s not weak. That’s actually tough as hell."

"So, Hillary Clinton has been campaigning with pneumonia for a bit. Today, she finally gave in to it and had a near-fainting episode, at a remembrance ceremony for 9/11."

"Unfortunate, but understandable, and nothing too alarming."

"Yet, for most of the day, that is not how it was portrayed. FOX News was first out of the gate, with what actually was the most objective ― and correct ― report."

"Correspondent Rick Leventhal merely reported that Secretary Clinton had a “medical episode” and had trouble getting into her car, when she left the ceremony early. Her campaign then said it was due to overheating."

"Cue the jackals."

“Hillary Clinton’s health just became a real issue in the presidential campaign,” Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post breathlessly predicted."

"Alarms from Politico!"

“Hillary Clinton’s health – long the obsession of conspiracy theorists –emerged Sunday as a legitimate campaign issue after Clinton nearly swooned and stumbled at a Sept. 11 commemoration, underscoring the sense that that summer’s sure-thing candidate is teetering at the worst possible moment,” the inside-D.C. paper decreed."

“Nearly swooned and stumbled! Legitimate campaign issue!”

Even the venerable Tom Brokaw got into the act.

Hillary “should Go To A Hospital And See A Neurologist,” said the former anchor of NBC News.

Indeed. But then we know this whole campaign is judged through a sexist lens.

‘It looked dramatic, but it’s ok’: Doctor rips ‘misogynist’ media coverage of Clinton’s near-faint

"In a blog post titled “Hillary Clinton almost fainted. I’m a doctor. It’s really o.k.,” Gunter explained that fainting — or “passing out” — is commonplace and associated with a broad array of physical syndromes."

“The lack of blood flow to the brain that triggers fainting can be caused be a wide variety of things, from anxiety or eating a massive meal, all the way to very serious heart problems,” she continued. “Mrs. Clinton is under the care of a physician and had athorough work up when she fainted in 2012 and a documented annual exam in 2015 so we can exclude every heart condition as a cause.”

But then, this was never about her health. It's about having an issue to hold over her head.

P.S. Remember when Jimmy Carter passed out in 1979 from running his marathon? Amazing that was treated as proof of 'malaise!' He had just run a marathon!,,20074710,00.html

Then here is a partial list of Presidents and Vice Presidents with health issues.

Richard Nixon for instance had a deep vein thrombosis in 1965 and again in 1974. As for Hillary, you can't help but think of what George W. Bush's doctor said ini 2003 after W fainted.

Let's paraphrase: 'Hillary a human being. She gets sick.'

Dan Pfieffer:

"Is there really a tradition of candidates publicly disclosing illnesses like colds, flu's etc?"

Jon Favreau:

"so which illnesses that are treated with antibiotics do you have to disclose? all."

Dan Pfeiffer added,

No comments:

Post a Comment