Can’t Walk, Can’t Talk, Can’t Be Asked About It
Media refuse to address Clinton's lingering health concerns, blame right-wing conspirators
Despite years of significant health-related incidents, from possible seizures and strokes to difficulty walking or speaking through coughing fits, the mainstream media has yet to ask Hillary Clinton for reasonable disclosures about her physical fitness to serve in office.
And now, after February photos taken by Getty of Hillary Clinton apparently stumbling up a flight of stairs resurfaced across the internet Sunday, the liberal media powerhouse is actually defending its champion from being asked to answer to her health.
“She should be transparent and inform Americans about her health status,” Olson said. “The broader point is that she appears to have issues and Americans deserve to know about them.”
The pictures, which showed Clinton’s aides holding onto her arms above the elbows and steadying her up the moderate flight of stairs, re-circulated on Sunday. After the Drudge Report picked up the piece and the images were spread all across the internet and social media, the Left concocted elaborate responses Monday, blaming right-wing conspiracies and blatantly ignoring the possibility Clinton may have actual health issues.
“From the looks of Matt Drudge’s home page, Hillary Clinton is so sick, she needs help getting up a flight of stairs,” wrote Brian Stelter for CNN Money. “But looks can be deceiving. The Drudge Report, one of the most widely read sites on the web, is misleading visitors by taking a six-month-old photo out of context.”
As Stelter noted, the February photos were indeed forgotten until the weekend.
"What happened then, when a cadre of pro-Trump Twitter accounts started reposting the pictures as evidence that Clinton has a hard time walking, shows how easily photos can be distorted to take on a new and more sinister meaning," Stelter wrote. "But given all the past chatter about her physical condition, the message from the pro-Trump accounts was clear: Clinton can barely walk."
But as the "cadre of pro-Trump Twitter accounts" accurately emphasized, the real issue wasn't whether or not the photos were from this month or from February. Rather, the real issue concerned why Clinton has been given a media "pass" over her lengthy list of health concerns.
"She should be transparent and inform Americans about her health status," Olson said when The Washington Post questioned him about his article. "As for the timing of the photos and my writing about them, as Hillary Clinton said, 'What difference, at this point, does it make?' The broader point is that she appears to have issues and Americans deserve to know about them."
In January, several reports indicated that a lengthy bathroom break Clinton took during a primary debate was actually due to health concerns resulting from a brain injury Clinton suffered during a fall in 2012. In 2011, cameras captured Clinton as she stumbled and fell after boarding a plane, and in 2009, Clinton fractured her right elbow and required surgery after she slipped and on the way to her car. Clinton also made some conservative news outlets' headlines for bouts of intense coughing fits that have occurred during speeches and hearings over the years.
Despite all these scares, the media and the public at large have not demanded that the Democratic presidential nominee produce appropriate medical evidence indicating that she is healthy and fit to serve as president. Clinton's only health related disclosure was a letter from her personal doctor in July 2015 calling her a "healthy 67-year of female."
But the media were not so generous as to accept a simple letter with Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain from Arizona when he ran in 2008.
After enduring intense hounding at the media's hands, the then-72-year-old McCain gave the public full access to 1,173 pages of health records to prove his physical ability to serve in office.
"This release is an unprecedented disclosure of primary sourced medical information about a presidential candidate," McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds said in 2008, according to the Los Angeles Times.
No such records have been demanded for Clinton, however, and conservatives who are frustrated with the media's double standard and blatant hypocrisy made their voices heard. Heaven forbid that the media could take their reckoning graciously.