This past weekend we learned what a conspiracy theory is, namely a set of facts that has yet to drop kick the media in the teeth.
To think of this fact-set as a “conspiracy theory,” the media must first know that some group, almost always from the ranks of the “deplorables,” believe it to be true.
To reassure themselves the theory in question is false, the media turn not to the evidence but to the opinion of their peers and their political allies.
Once confident their peers also will ignore the evidence, the media feel free to mock anyone advancing – or even entertaining – the theory in question.
Tons of evidence support the two theories with which I have been most closely involved – the fate of TWA Flight 800 and the authorship of Obama’s “Dreams” – but neither has drop-kick potential.
Barring a confession from Bill Ayers or the FBI’s Jim Kallstrom, the mainstream media will continue to ignore both stories. Fearing the conspiracy label, the respectable conservative media will do the same.
Hillary Clinton’s health, however, does have drop-kick potential. This is why Hillary accused Donald Trump in August of endorsing “dark conspiracy theories drawn from the pages of supermarket tabloids and the far reaches of the Internet.”
One of those theories involved her physical condition. “[Trump’s] latest paranoid fever dream is about my health,” Hillary scoffed. At the time, I wrote that the rationale for the speech “was to make questions about her well-being taboo.”
For a while the taboo worked. The media were happy to assign those who questioned Hillary’s health their uniquely fitted tin foil hats.
On Sept. 6, the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza wrote a column that captured the goofy hauteur of America’s newsrooms.
Titled “Can we just stop talking about Hillary Clinton’s health now?” the article dismissed questions about her health as “a totally ridiculous issue.”
Continued Cillizza, “The simple fact is that there is zero evidence that anything is seriously wrong with Clinton.”
Although fully aware of the coughing fits and apparent seizures, Cillizza believed that the reassuring note provided by Hillary’s doctor rendered the other “evidence” – his quotes – frivolous.
Then came Sept. 11, and Hillary drop-kicked him in the teeth. An embarrassed Cillizza quickly backtracked. Hillary’s spell that morning, he conceded, “will catapult questions about her health from the ranks of conservative conspiracy theory to perhaps the central debate in the presidential race over the coming days.”
Cillizza went so far as to question the explanation of the Clinton camp that Hillary “felt overheated” and so left for her daughter’s apartment. In fact, he put “overheating” in quotes just as he had the word “evidence” five days earlier.
A Politico article on Sept. 11 took a similar tack: “Hillary Clinton’s health – long the obsession of conspiracy theorists – emerged Sunday as a legitimate campaign issue after Clinton nearly swooned and stumbled.”
Like Cillizza in the Post, the Politico reporters were still rubbing their teeth. They had the feeling of being betrayed and expressed skepticism about all the contrary reports put out by the Clinton camp.
By Sept. 13, Cillizza, like the rest of the major media, was back on the Kool-Aid. His wide-eyed headline read, “Hillary Clinton may not recover from her pneumonia until late October.”
Yes, of course, as the Clinton camp assured him and his peers, Hillary had been diagnosed with pneumonia on Sept. 9, and the antibiotics caused her to be dehydrated.
Cillizza explained to Dr. Steven Simpson, a Kansas pulmonologist, that Hillary appeared to be “somewhat unsteady on her feet – at least briefly.”
Hillary’s symptoms, Simpson assured him, were “absolutely consistent with a diagnosis of pneumonia 48 hours previously.”
Of course, Hillary was not “somewhat unsteady.” She was off her feet entirely and was heaved into her vehicle like a side of beef.
I do not know if Simpson saw the video or just took Cillizza’s word for it, but I do know that he is the rare Democrat among Kansas doctors.
That said, the diagnosis works well, especially the “until late October” part. Democrats are already sending out memes about how strong women have to survive in this rough and tumble political environment.
As to everything that preceded Hillary’s Sept. 11 collapse – the coughing, the seizures, the moments of confusion – that, once again, is just the stuff of conspiracy theories.
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