So a week ago Hillary Clinton got sick and the 24-news cycle went off the rails. All day that Saturday and Sunday as I flipped from station to station — CNN, MSNBC, Fox — until late in the afternoon, I watched the picking apart of Clinton’s health. Did she stumble? Was she conscious? Was she dragged into the car as some conspiracists think? How sick is she? Is she dying? Then the inevitable parade of doctors began as they diagnosed someone they’ve never met. They diagnosed based on a shaky video; they diagnosed based on the timbre of her cough; they diagnosed based on, well, how long they could keep getting called on by CNN.
The video of Clinton stumbling into the SUV has now been shown and studied thousands of times, and at every angle, and in more slow motion and stop motion than the Zapruder film of President Kennedy’s assassination. The press treated it like she went to Miami, got Zika, had a microcephaly baby and didn’t tell anyone. All because she didn’t immediately ring up Wolf Blitzer with a doctor’s note when she first coughed however many weeks ago. One of her old Secret Service buddies, Gary Byrne, claims that he knows exactly what is happening. He can see what no one else can:
Through the lens of my 29-year-career in The Service, I can see what a naked-eyed media pundit cannot: There is something seriously wrong with Mrs. Clinton.
It’s quite a lens!:
She awkwardly leans on the ballard and stares straight ahead with her neck craned and extended up as her body is supported at the side and rear by her staffers.
The agent who opened the door moves to take the place of the staffer and take Mrs. Clinton’s arm, but as they switch control, she nearly falls completely. The bald agent, who I believe is the shift leader, knows what is going on with Mrs. Clinton and — this oddity is very telling.
As Mrs. Clinton jerks back and forth and her legs fold, the bald agent takes her right arm. The staffer also tries to also grab underneath Mrs. Clinton’s armpits to lift Mrs. Clinton.
Close examination of Mrs. Clinton’s legs reveal her feet and legs have extended and are not holding her weight at all. The toes of her right foot drag and skid on the pavement. As they lift and push her forward, her legs don’t keep up and she falls forward again.
This, of course, is supposed to convince me that Clinton died weeks ago and that the campaign is Weekend at Bernies come to life.
The Press, The Press — suddenly it suffered a weeklong case of the vapors because Clinton continued to work even though she wasn’t feeling 100%. Because, in real life, we all take a sick day the very minute we have a sniffle, a headache or a hangnail. But when Clinton dared to attend the 9/11 memorial service and dared to feel sick under a hot sun — didn’t that simply prove what Alex Jones’ website Infowars has been telling Trump supports all along, that the woman is literally dying?
And even if she’s not, as Donald “Killer” Trump said this weekend, let’s have the Secret Service disarm and maybe someone will murder her.
Trump called and called for Clinton’s full health records despite the fact that his own medical report — the now-famous “To Whom My Concern” letter — was written by a Woodstock-throwback doctor who admitted that he wrote it five minutes while Trump’s limo idled outside.
What was Dr. Bornstein’s assessment? If it quacks like a duck, then it must be a quack doctor:
If elected, Mr. Trump, I can state unequivocally, will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency.
But don’t worry: preeminent TV doctor and Columbia University embarrassment Dr. Mehmet Oz would give The Donald the Seal of Good Health on his silly and unserious Dr. Oz show. Soon we’d learn Trump is the healthiest person to walk the earth in the last two billion years. Or at least since Lucy died.
But it’s not just Trump and all his unpaid lackeys asserting some mysterious illness or possible head injury that Clinton is hiding. It’s now a part of foaming-at-the-mouth Trump surrogate Rudy Giuliani’s repertoire of psychosis and racist vomit.
Giuliani, you see, received his medical degree from Trump University, so he is well-suited to diagnose Clinton without actually examining her, just like all of the other proto-fascists. “Go online and put down ‘Hillary Clinton illness,’ take a look at the videos for yourself,” Giuliani urged on Fox News Sunday. It took real balls for a man to do that whose own Senate race in 2000, against Clinton, was sidelined by a bout with prostate cancer. Or maybe it’s all explained by his mysterious head injury — the one that made him forget his favorite verb, 9/11.
Clinton spent four years working traveling nonstop around the world and never complained and never called in sick and never showed any outward sign of exhaustion. That was, of course, after 18 months of nonstop campaigning in 2007-08. Yet the food-food-ingesting, fat-shamed Trump consistently calls her stamina and physical health into question. This from a man who flies around in his private golden plane to one rally a day where he speaks — by speak, I mean yells — for 30 minutes, gets back into his lofty chariot to return to his own bed filled with the softest, goose-down unpaid models anywhere. Not for Trump the rigors of a Motel 6 in the middle of nowhere and then back on a campaign bus smelling of spilled booze, pizza, rotting fruit and the stale sweat of underpaid staffers. No, sir. The only thing Trump’s inner sanctum smells of is the pent-up ejaculate of the KKK and sweet American violence.
For months Trump has mocked every single sneeze, bump on the head and Clinton stumble. With help from his legions of Killary-haters, Trump has not only declared her physically but mentally unfit due to a 2012 concussion. He puts forth the ridiculous notion that only those who have never been sick and will never be sick can possibly handle the stress of the presidency. Trump, with his passion for all food fast and fried, should keep his mouth shut and worry what would happen if the Secret Service disarmed around him. That would be far more threatening than the pain of the men and women who work through sickness, labor contractions and broken bones. I know about broken bones. After I broke both ankle bones and had major surgery, I was working on my company’s 10,000-person annual congress two weeks later. This is what Americans do. They don’t cry and whine and they don’t lay in bed moaning. They work.
There has been a history of Presidents who were physically or mentally infirm, affected or ill. President Wilson had a stroke. Some believe President Harding was poisoned. President Franklin D. Roosevelt had polio. President President Kennedy had Addison’s Disease. President Nixon had phlebitis. President Ford tripped so much he became a punchline on Saturday Night Live. President Reagan was possibly impaired with Alzheimer’s Disease during his second term. President George H.W. Bush threw up in the Japanese Prime Minister’s lap. President George W. Bush choked on a pretzel.
I don’t want to label it as sexism, what the media has done, but if it isn’t sexism, surely it’s the irrational right-wing Trump-supporting Clinton hatred driving the media. Sexism has been a part of this campaign from the beginning, including when GOP chief Reince Priebus — currently angling to be Trump’s head of Gestapo — said that women ought to “smile more.” There have been remarks about Clinton’s hair, her looks, her clothes, her voice — too shrill, they protest, in a GOP dog whistle for hating the sound of a woman’s voice. No one comments on Trump yelling at every rally. It’s a hypocrisy not merely owned by Trump and his Binders full of Deplorables, it’s fully owned by the media. The same media that has let Trump get away with the most racist, sexist statements and flat-out lies in the history of the nation. The same media that has an unquenchable thirst to fill 24 hours a day of news, no matter how trivial. The same media that doesn’t investigate that thoroughly corrupt Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi or that wheelchair-bound Texas governor Greg Abbott (why doesn’t Trump make fun of him?) and all of Trump’s dishonest, pay-to-play financial dealings involving Trump University in those states. The same media that didn’t put Paul Manafort’s ties to Vladimir Putin front and center.
No: the nonstop talk has been about a woman with pneumonia who stumbled getting into her car. It’s more than insulting: it’s a declaration of war on women. This is why women must work harder and try harder, all while suffering walking pneumonia or whatever other illness to avoid being called weak. The media that criticized Clinton for not telling the world she felt ill earlier that week. The media that criticized Clinton for not releasing notes from her doctor immediately after leaving her daughter’s apartment. The media that criticized Clinton for being sick.
Either way, she loses. If she’d taken her doctor’s advice and stayed in bed over the weekend and missed the 9/11 memorial, imagine those headlines. She’d have been crucified. So here’s my message directly to the media: back off. Back off until you’re ready to do your job, which you haven’t done all along, which makes you the biggest Deplorable of all. Back off until you start monitoring Trump’s every morsel of KFC, McDonalds, pizza and taco bowls as closely as you monitor Clinton’s every breath. You have the time, you know. You always have another 24 hours to fill.