September 13, 2016

WHEN A COUGH IS NOT JUST A COUGH. At Commentary, Matthew Continetti writes, “the worst day of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign has to be September 11, 2016. An hour and a half into a 9/11 memorial ceremony at Ground Zero, Clinton suddenly left and was spirited to her daughter’s apartment three miles away:”

At first there was confusion, since Clinton departed without the pool of reporters that follow her every move. Then a spokesman said that she had left because she was feeling “overheated.” Then a video surfaced in which Clinton struggled to reach her SUV, and had to be lifted by staff members into the vehicle. Then Clinton appeared outside the apartment and said she felt great. And then, hours after the event, the campaign released a statement by Clinton’s physician saying that she had been diagnosed with pneumonia two days before.

This sequence of events was more than bizarre. It exemplified the opacity and dissimulation, the changing explanations and outright lies, for which Clinton is known. There couldn’t be a worse way for her to combat her reputation for dishonesty and untrustworthiness than to have a medical episode at a 9/11 memorial, be tight-lipped about what happened, and then say she’d had a serious illness for days.

The media did not come across any better. MSNBC weekend anchor Alex Witt ascribed Clinton’s departure to the New York weather that day, which in her words was “humid,” “horrible,” “horrific,” and “ridiculously awful.” It was 79 degrees. NBC’s Andrea Mitchell said Clinton had looked fine to her. Brian Stelter of CNN warned his peers not to give credence to “conspiracy theories.”

Apparently, the Washington Post didn’t get the message, publishing a John le Carré-esque conspiracy theory yesterday that Hillary may have been poisoned – by Trump or Putin: “Bennet Omalu, the forensic pathologist who has made the NFL so uncomfortable with his discovery of chronic traumatic encephalopathy in the brains of deceased players, suggests that Hillary Clinton’s campaign be checked for possible poisons after her collapse Sunday in New York…. But this is Omalu, whose credentials and tenacity are well known. He wasn’t giving up on Twitter, adding that his reasoning is that he does not trust Russian President Vladimir Putin or Donald Trump, the Republican presidential nominee who has expressed admiration for Putin.”

As Ed Morrissey notes in response, “Hillary has had Secret Service protection for years, and even more so over the course of the campaign…[But] one thing is certain :Dr. Omalu isn’t buying the pneumonia explanation. Will Hillary start complaining about conspiracy theorists on the Left now, and perhaps start a new basket of deplorables with Omalu as the first entry. We could get Will Smith to play Omalu again in The Deplorables II: Putin on the Fritz. I wonder what kind of reception Omalu will get the next time he testifies before Congress … or if we hear much from him in the future at all after this.”

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