Hillary’s Health Is a Media Scandal

The Politico article on Hillary’s health scare begins with the line, "Hillary Clinton’s health -- long the obsession of conspiracy theorists -- emerged Sunday as a legitimate campaign issue."

A Washington Post column by Chris Cillizza struck a similar note. Writes Cillizza, talk of Hillary's illness "was largely confined to Republicans convinced that Clinton has long been hiding some sort of serious illness. I wrote dismissively of that conspiracy theory in this space last week."

As this incident makes painfully clear, to report facts that the media choose to suppress makes one a “conspiracy theorist,” at least until the facts become too obvious for the media to ignore. The irony is that if there were no prior health incidents, Hillary’s collapse on Sunday would not have been much of an issue. Instead, it is a major issue, maybe the dominant campaign issue, only because the conspiracy theorists chronicled Hillary’s previous problem moments.

In the two months since my book on TWA 800 was published, I have faced this same conundrum. Although almost everyone in the aviation industry knows the 747 was shot out of the sky in July 1996, the media will not report this politically inconvenient fact unless it becomes too obvious to ignore. They will not even look at the evidence, which is even more overwhelming than that for Hillary’s ill health.

Today, they call people who report the truth prematurely “conspiracy theorists.” A generation ago, the operative word was “reporter.”

The Politico article on Hillary’s health scare begins with the line, "Hillary Clinton’s health -- long the obsession of conspiracy theorists -- emerged Sunday as a legitimate campaign issue."

A Washington Post column by Chris Cillizza struck a similar note. Writes Cillizza, talk of Hillary's illness "was largely confined to Republicans convinced that Clinton has long been hiding some sort of serious illness. I wrote dismissively of that conspiracy theory in this space last week."

As this incident makes painfully clear, to report facts that the media choose to suppress makes one a “conspiracy theorist,” at least until the facts become too obvious for the media to ignore. The irony is that if there were no prior health incidents, Hillary’s collapse on Sunday would not have been much of an issue. Instead, it is a major issue, maybe the dominant campaign issue, only because the conspiracy theorists chronicled Hillary’s previous problem moments.

In the two months since my book on TWA 800 was published, I have faced this same conundrum. Although almost everyone in the aviation industry knows the 747 was shot out of the sky in July 1996, the media will not report this politically inconvenient fact unless it becomes too obvious to ignore. They will not even look at the evidence, which is even more overwhelming than that for Hillary’s ill health.

Today, they call people who report the truth prematurely “conspiracy theorists.” A generation ago, the operative word was “reporter.”