CNN, MSNBC Sprinted to Spin Hillary’s 9/11 Health Episode as Just Conspiracies

September 12th, 2016 2:15 PM

For weeks, the liberal media have been dismissing in all mediums nearly any questions being raised about Hillary Clinton’s health as conspiracy theories. Even after she admitted to not remembering a whole host of important details in her July 2 FBI interview about her e-mail scandal, the media stayed on message in denouncing concerns as illegitimate.

On Sunday, those asking questions about Clinton’s health grew exponentially as Clinton appeared to stumble in exhaustion and left New York City’s 9/11 Memorial event which later pressed the Clinton campaign to reveal that she had been diagnosed with pneumonia on Friday. 

The moments between the 9/11 Memorial and the release of the pneumonia diagnosis presented on Sunday morning and afternoon the latest and most despicable example of the media covering for a liberal. Despite the video showing a stumbling Clinton, on-air journalists on CNN and MSNBC dutifully continued to tow the line about Clinton’s health issues being conspiracy theories perpetuated by Republicans.

Going to perhaps the most jaw-dropping example was actually after the pneumonia news from CNN’s Brian Stelter, who opined that Clinton going out in public with the illness is actually “a very strong, bold thing to do” and criticism is simply sexist that women constantly have to deal with:

I think we should be honest about the subtext to a lot of this today....Hillary Clinton also trying to show her strength. If she had pneumonia and she went to the 9/11 ceremony this morning, that's a very strong, bold thing to do also knowing that Trump was going to be there. We should be honest about the double standards that women sometimes face with regards to their health, with the idea that women's portrayed as being weaker than men, how they have to work harder to show they're as strong as men, especially in workplaces, especially in politics.

Stelter first led the denunciations hours earlier when he repeatedly dropped the conspiracy theory line on his Reliable Sources program and at one point ruled that such talk about Clinton being ill is something the media “should not give oxygen to.”

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“As someone who covers the Clinton campaign, what can you tell us about how frequently Clinton may have any health issues, because obviously for years, there have been conspiracies online promoted by conservative websites, saying that she is secretly ill. The campaign has denied that and her physician has said she is fit to serve as president,” Stelter complained in one soundbite to correspondent Jeff Zeleny.

Instead of discussing Clinton’s health history (including her 2012 concussion and blood clot), Stelter went straight to promoting those ludicrous supermarket tabloids: 

[T]hey had this horrible photo on the cover of that supermarket tabloid. Clearly, Hillary was photoshopped in the picture. I thought it was disgusting and yet, even though there are these conspiracy theories, which we should not give oxygen to, saying that she is secretly ill, suggesting she is on her deathbed, which we can she is not[.]

The spin wasn’t just confined to Stelter. NBC’s Kristen Welker repeatedly told MSNBC viewers prior to the pneumonia news that there needed to be some “broader context” to the narrative about Clinton’s health as she fretted that the “swirling” conspiracy theories could be exasperated even though Clinton had “insisted” she’s in good health along with her doctor and Welker herself “[a]s one of the reporters covering her campaign.”

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Meanwhile, New Yorker writer Ryan Lizza tag-teamed with Wolf Blitzer over on CNN to tout the “fuel” Clinton’s ailment would provide to “the conspiracy theories” amongst the masses: 

Most of the conspiracy — these conspiracy theories are just that, they're conspiracy theories, you know, there's one floating around based on a video of Clinton joking around and so they were nothing that anyone should have taken seriously, but now she's publicly had a bit of an issue here and transparency is the key here.

Always willingly to give Clinton a leg up (especially when interviewing her — pun intended), Washington Post Clinton beat writer Anne Gearan doled out some poor-Hillary spin during the 4:00 p.m. hour on MSNBC: 

I can certainly say that this episode comes at a very bad time for Hillary Clinton....The campaign has pushed back for months now against what they say are Republican conspiracy theories built on nothing that there's something wrong with Hillary Clinton's health. This is about the worst time from their perspective for them to have video of her looking unsteady. 

With the media backtracking late Sunday into Monday, the narrative has already shifted from disappointment at their friend Hillary to wondering if she’s held to a high standard to even gushing praise (like Stelter did Sunday night) for Clinton showing strength by venturing out into public with a contagious illness.

Clearly, Clinton and her campaign have some explaining to do and one would hope voters receive answers this week. However, if and when new information becomes available, one should expect the media to do their best to assist the Clinton campaign in parroting its conclusion that there’s nothing to see here.