Hillary Clinton collapses and appears to faint before a team of Secret Service agents and staffers pushes her into her van

In the blink of an eye Sunday, the attitude about Hillary Clinton’s health among the nation’s “mainstream” media went from dismissing them as nutty “conspiracy theories” to genuine concern, if not panic.

A series of uncontrollable coughing fits during public speeches didn’t do it.

Compelling video of apparent, inexplicable seizures didn’t do it.

The opinion of nationally recognized medical authorities didn’t do it.

Virtually none of that was even reported by what we euphemistically call the “mainstream” media.

But when Mrs. Clinton prematurely left a memorial service marking the 15th anniversary of 9/11 in New York City, walking gingerly and collapsing as aides tried to get her into a van, the dam of silence collapsed.

Watch a slow-motion video of Hillary Clinton appearing to faint:

Suddenly, it was a top story for the Associated Press, New York Times, NBC News, et al.

The Washington Post went so far as to explain the quick turnabout: Chris Cillizza, who writes the aptly named political blog, “The Fix,” for the paper while covering the White House, explained his own sudden about-face on the topic.

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On Tuesday, his position was: “The simple fact is that there is zero evidence that anything is seriously wrong with Clinton. If suffering an occasional coughing fit is evidence of a major health problem, then 75 percent of the country must have that mystery illness. And I am one of them.”

RELATED: Hillary Clinton’s doctor now admits she’s sick

In almost apologetic tones Sunday, he wrote: “Well, that is no longer operative. Context matters. A coughing episode is almost always just a coughing episode. But when coupled with Clinton’s ‘overheating’ on Sunday morning – with temperatures something short of sweltering – Clinton and her team simply need to say something about what happened (and why the press was in the dark for so long). Taking the Clinton team’s word for it on her health – in light of the episode on Sunday morning – is no longer enough. Reasonable people can – and will – have real questions about her health.”

What was out of bounds last Tuesday is no longer beyond the pale.

Now even “reasonable” people were entitled to express their opinions that Hillary Clinton is covering up health problems in her determined bid for power.

Even the New York Times’ Adam Nagourney tweeted Sunday morning that now might be a good time for Clinton to release a fuller record of her medical history.


In other words, the illegitimate questions became legitimate, as the Post blog further explained: “Hillary Clinton falling ill Sunday morning at a memorial service on the 15th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks 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.”

Did you catch that? It’s now the “central debate in the presidential race.”

Let me explain the sudden shift.

The so-called “mainstream” press would love for this to become the “central debate.” Why? Because Hillary’s campaign is faltering on what should be the central debate – her inability to run away with this race based on her record, her character, her ideas, her policies and her communication abilities, even with the Big Media cheerleading her and demonizing her opponent.

The focus on health issues actually gives the Hillary partisans in the media cover to continue ignoring her national security scandals as secretary of state, her corrupt practices with the Clinton Foundation and her lack of genuine achievement in her 25 years in the political limelight.

It’s easier to cover up personal health issues than an existing public record.

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What you will see in the coming days is predictable – in fact, we’re already seeing it as this column is being written hours after her latest stumble.

On Sunday afternoon, the campaign recognized the tide had turned as her collapse dominated the news cycle. It turns out Hillary had battled a previous undisclosed bout with pneumonia, all the while insisting she was in perfect health. The pneumonia caused her to become “overheated” in a mild autumn day and “dehydrated.”

Does this explain the coughing fits, too? Does it explain other falls? Does it explain the disturbing head-bobbing episodes that have gone unreported by the media?

Wouldn’t “pneumonia” be a convenient excuse for all of it?

The Clinton camp was in a panic Sunday when the media actually covered the “medical episode.” It probably shocked them, just as some tough questions she got from Matt Lauer in her recent national security forum.

Not only did they quickly come up with a palatable explanation, but Hillary even made a quick smiling appearance a few hours later for the media on a New York street outside her daughter’s residence.

Once again, we’ll be told there’s nothing to see here. Who are you going to believe, Hillary Clinton or your own lying eyes? It was just a case of pneumonia.

But, if that’s the case, why has it not been mentioned previously? What else hasn’t yet been mentioned?

Something is wrong here. Something is very, very wrong.

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