On September 11, 2016, Hillary Clinton left a 9/11 memorial service early. Her campaign vigorously denied Republican claims Clinton was ill. The press ridiculed Republicans for suggesting it, calling them conspiracy theorists.
Shortly thereafter, a video appeared showing Clinton collapsing. Secret Service agents caught her and helped her into a van. Republicans took it as confirmation Clinton had a health problem. Undaunted, Justin Miller of the Daily Beast tweeted, “Trump and the right have so traduced Clinton’s health that coughing or getting too hot is made out to be signs of illness.”
“Hillary Clinton left the 9/11 memorial ceremony early on Sunday after feeling “overheated,” her campaign said,” a Politico reporter wrote. Peter Daou, a former adviser to Hillary Clinton, tweeted, “To Hillary haters jabbering about NYC weather, I LIVE HERE. I usually play outdoor summer hoops and today it was too hot even for a stroll.” At the time Hillary Clinton left the 9/11 memorial service the temperature was in the mid-seventies with a mild, cool breeze, and low humidity. The high in New York City that day was 84°F, apparently a temperature in which “it was too hot even for a stroll.”
Once conservatives pointed out the inconvenient truth of the weather, the Clinton campaign came up with their third excuse. Hillary Clinton had bacterial pneumonia and her doctor put her on antibiotics. Why then, Republicans wondered, did the Clinton campaign release pictures of Clinton playing with her grand daughter after leaving the 9/11 memorial? If she had to be put on antibiotics, surely it was not healthy to play with a toddler. But the media again dismissed the questions as an unhealthy fixation and conspiracy theory about Hillary Clinton’s health. The poor lady had pneumonia.
The next day, on September 12, 2016, Bill Clinton addressed a crowd in Las Vegas and said Hillary Clinton had the flu. So, to review, first she did not leave the event in ill health. Then a video surfaced and she left not in ill health, but because she got overheated. Then the temperature data was released and she left in ill health with bacterial pneumonia, but was not contagious and could play with her toddler grandchild. Then it was the flu.
To raise questions about any of this was to be dismissed by the media. Donald Trump’s suggestion that the election was rigged was an affront to democracy until he won. Then it was okay to believe the Russians stole the election. Republicans obstructed Barack Obama’s nominations so much it was okay for the Democrats to scrap the filibuster, but the GOP better keep it for Supreme Court nominees.
Trump did terribly with black and hispanic voters, the media told us, until we learned he bested Mitt Romney with those groups. Trump won because of fake news reports reported the same press that reported the ISIS loving Orlando night club shooter shot up the place because of a gay relationship the FBI says never existed.
This last week, Donald Trump nominated General James Mattis to lead the Defense Department and General Jack Kelly to lead the Department of Homeland Security. “Three generals and maybe a fourth. Can we just cut to the chase and call ourselves a junta?” tweeted Julia Ioffe, a writer for Foreign Policy magazine and the Politico. After nominating Iowa Governor Terry Branstad of Iowa to be the Ambassador to China, liberal writer Ian Millhiser tweeted, “I’m sure the governor of a small, rural, landlocked state full of white people will totally know a whole lot about China, and stuff.” Governor Branstad is friends with Xi Jinping, the President of China.
I recount these things to note the one group in America refusing to do any post-election self reflection is the media. Convinced of their righteousness, they will continue to hold Trump voters in bitter contempt, they will continue to suggest Republicans are conspiracy theorists while peddling their own fake news and conspiracies as true, and they will refuse to admit they got anything wrong in 2016. Reporters used to report what happened. Now they tell us what to think and resent like hell that any of of us might think differently.