“Hillary Clinton is human. Hillary Clinton got sick,” writer (and apparent Clinton fangirl) Darlena Cunha began in an article that appeared on TIME magazine’s blog Motto Tuesday. Cunha, who also writes for the Washington Post, New York Times and the Atlantic, structured her article around the premise that anyone who questions Clinton’s health is bigoted against a woman who is expected to do too much. Cunha completely misses the whole point of why people care about Clinton’s health and instead dismisses the attention on the topic as sexism and undue scrutiny.
“She was on day three of diagnosed pneumonia. She had told no one,” Cunha began her melodramatic defense for Clinton (How Cunha knows that Clinton “told no one” she does not reveal.) She repeated again:
CUNHA: She had pneumonia for three days. And no one could tell.
Really, no one could tell? She has had a bad cough for quite a while, but to be extra generous Cunha claims her illness started the day her doctor diagnosed her. Silly, but that wasn’t the silliest things Cunha wrote.
“Has no one ever heard of pneumonia before?” Cunha asked, exasperated by critics who speculated Clinton might have a neurological condition, based off how she was acting in the video and her history of memory lapses. Cunha then lectures her audience on how serious pneumonia is, not realizing she’s doing Clinton's critics' work for them:
CUNHA: Unlike a common cold, pneumonia is a lung infection that usually presents as a complication of another disease or condition. It comes on after extreme stress to the body’s system. Stress that could come from a hard-fought presidential campaign, a term as Secretary of State and two terms as a senator.
She then claims that Clinton was hiding her illness to not “admit weakness” before gushing over Clinton’s “dedication to her country:”
CUNHA: To admit she had pneumonia would be to admit weakness in front of the American people. But a 68-year-old woman who was diagnosed with pneumonia, then stood in 90-degree heat in a bullet-proof vest and a few layers of clothes for over an hour before giving up embodies strength, not weakness. She is so dedicated to her country and her quest that even pneumonia won’t stop her.
Cunha then whines this whole story is driven by sexism, claiming that women are expected to come to work when sick (and men aren’t?) but it’s doubly worse for Clinton because...she’s Clinton. Clearly Cunha thinks only fawning interviews from Clinton’s fan club are the unbiased ones.
CUNHA: Because she’s a woman, yes. Most women could tell you horror stories about soldiering through illness and injury because it is simply expected of us. But more than that, it’s because she is Hillary Clinton.
But she’s wrong: the media haven’t always been interested in Clinton’s health problems, only when forced to after this most recent video tape came out.
If that wasn’t gag-worthy enough, Cunha then launches into her idea that the media views Clinton as some sort of mythical “flawless” god, a “real-life” Paul Bunyan, who can’t live up to the high expectations placed on her. Apparently running for the highest office in the land doesn’t demand tough scrutiny?
CUNHA: Hillary Clinton has long been seen as beyond the realm of human. With all the insults slung her way, with all the arrows penetrating her flawless armor, the public has forgotten that Clinton is a person.
She is pretty much the real-life equivalent of Paul Bunyan right now, and people have long stopped reading about her as a human being. She’s become an idea.
This pneumonia incident shows that both her lovers and her haters look at her as invincible. And that is a credit to her, but it’s also, like most of the narratives surrounding her, completely unfair.
Hillary Clinton is becoming a myth right before our eyes.
Cunha continues completely missing the point, ending her silly article by praising the “remarkable and strong human” that Clinton is and urging everyone to remember Clinton is “only human.”
Besides this article, Cunha’s Twitter feed is filled with more of the same. She retweeted this tweet from a producer for the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon blasting Republicans as anti-women:
This is the first time Republicans have cared about a woman's health.— Chase Mitchell (@ChaseMit) September 11, 2016
Newsbusters has previously written about Cunha. On Thanksgiving of 2014, she wrote an article for Time comparing rioters from Black Lives Matter to the patriots of the American Revolution.