Chris Cillizza of The Washington Post was forced to eat his own words Sunday night, finally admitting that Hillary Clinton’s health is now a “real issue.”
That talk was largely confined to Republicans convinced that Clinton has long been hiding some sort of serious illness. I wrote dismissively of that conspiracy theory in this space last week, noting that Clinton had been given an entirely clean bill of health by her doctors after an episode in which she fainted, suffered a concussion and then was found to have a blood clot in late 2012 and early 2013.
Clinton has–wisely–cancelled her west coast campaign swing this week, but now she should work to backfill exactly what led to Sunday’s collapse, being open and transparent with the press that’s pulling for her like it was their daughter running in a 100m sprint.
Clinton may well be totally fine — and I certainly hope she is. But we are 58 days away from choosing the person who will lead the country for the next four years, and she is one of the two candidates with a real chance of winning. Taking the Clinton team’s word for it on her health — in light of the episode on Sunday morning — is no longer enough. Reasonable people can — and will — have real questions about her health.
Let’s look at “reasonable” here. In 2004, Dan Rather pulled so hard for John Kerry that he believed and reported an obvious conspiracy theory and made-up stories as truth.
In those early hours after the Rather “60 Minutes” exposé, the national focus was rightly and understandably on anachronistic typographic oddities in the documents. But those typos did not corroborate or determine the accuracy or authenticity of the documents or the content therein. This is why even today, so many think the memos were real.
Even in 2015, the A-list movie “Truth” (starring Robert Redford and Cate Blanchett) attempted to justify CBS’s and Rather’s “September surprise” on Bush as some altruistic crusade, raising the same questions that should be completely put to bed.
William Campenni, who served with Bush in the Texas Air National Guard, compared the conspiracy to a portrait of George Washington wearing a digital wristwatch.
Those of us who actually were in the Texas Air Guard quickly pointed out other discrepancies and impossibilities in the memos exclusive of the typos and fonts—a long retired Gen. Staudt; wrong dates for exams; orders to report on a date the base was closed; use of outdated serial numbers; and our personal knowledge of Jerry Killian, his actions, and his behaviors, which conclusively flagged these memos as sick frauds.
Candidates sometimes obscure details about their health. The late Sen. Paul Tsongas and his doctors outright lied about his cancer prognosis in 1992. “[If] the full facts had been known about the recurrence of his cancer earlier in 1992, another candidate might have won the eight primaries or caucuses that Tsongas captured and that candidate, not Bill Clinton, might have emerged as the nominee.”
The left wing press always protects the left wing Democrat, and never lets go of obvious conspiracy theories and lies propagated against Republicans. They can’t help themselves.