Cable news had its wishes granted and dreams fulfilled Sunday morning regarding a juicy Hillary Clinton story to spice up the newsday.
Figuring that they were going to be stuck doing 9/11 tributes and panel discussions throughout the day, they thanked the great god of yellow journalism for dropping ‘HILLARY FAINTED?!?!?!’ right into their laps. See, towards the end of a memorial in New York City that was attended by both Clinton and Donald Trump, along with several other notable politicians, Clinton apparently felt overheated and needed to leave a little early.
Amateur video posted by a firefighter visiting the memorial appeared to show the former Secretary of State stumbling as she entered a van.
Hillary Clinton 9/11 NYC pic.twitter.com/q9YnsjTxss
— Zdenek Gazda (@zgazda66) September 11, 2016
Well, this was all that was needed for news outlets to run BREAKING NEWS stories for the next couple of hours. CNN and USA Today sent out alerts. MSNBC had a running chyron for hours as they breathlessly reported on Hillary, treating it as a Special News Report several times. Fox News did what Fox News does, citing an anonymous source saying she was dealing with a “medical episode.”
MSNBC had BREAKING NEWS alert for 2 hours, Fox foxing it up, NBC broke into broadcast, journos tweeting conspiracies https://t.co/Pn4qsSFYcG
— Angelo Carusone (@GoAngelo) September 11, 2016
Of course, right-wing media has been pushing the conspiracy theory that Clinton is perilously sick and perhaps even near death. Sean Hannity has devoted entire broadcasts to discussing how Hillary could be suffering from seizures and brain damage. Trump’s surrogates and spokespeople have baselessly speculated on Clinton’s health during media interviews. Trump himself continues to feed into it by constantly saying the Democratic nominee doesn’t have the strength and stamina to be POTUS.
So, when presented with a 68-year-old woman feeling faint during a warm morning at an outdoor event (it was 82 degrees at the time and rising), reporters just couldn’t help themselves. “Hey, look, this is confirmation that she really is DYING,” they seemed to be saying to themselves. It was as if they could report the conspiracy while feeling all journalistic. Even after she emerged from her daughter’s NYC apartment 90 minutes later, telling them she was fine with a smile on her face, it didn’t matter. There’s now some fire to go with the smoke!
When people began criticizing the over-the-top reporting of #Heatgate, MSM reporters began getting a bit defensive. While Hillary deserves every bit of scrutiny the media can toss at her, and should expect there to be some coverage of something like this, it was evident there was a feeding frenzy going on from the word go. This is a legitimate story to cover. She is running for the highest office in the land after all.
However, the way it was reported should also be criticized. There was no interest here to just report on a relevant news story. It was to increase the madness. It was to sensationalize this due to the way Trump and his allies have attempted to push a Clinton health crisis into the mainstream. And now it has been mainstreamed. Thanks wholly to our fourth estate.
Good job, guys.