Right-Wing Media's Never-Ending Freak Out Over Hillary Clinton's Health And Bodily Functions

››› ››› ALEX KAPLAN, BRENDAN KARET & TYLER CHERRY

Right-wing media are attacking Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton for coughing during a campaign event, continuing a long-standing pattern of criticizing Clinton's health.

Hillary Clinton Coughed During Speech At Iowa Campaign Event

Clinton Coughed, Then Drank Water, At Campaign Event In Des Moines, IA. A January 25 blog post on Mediaite highlighted Hillary Clinton having "an uncontrollable coughing fit during a speech" before the Jewish Federation of Greater Des Moines, on January 25. Mediaite reports that "the fit lasted for about a minute," and that Clinton continued speaking "in a very strained voice":

Hillary Clinton had an uncontrollable coughing fit during a speech before the Jewish Federation of Greater Des Moines Monday.

The fit lasted for about a minute, and was bad enough that Clinton had to pause to take several gulps of water before it subsided. "You do talk a lot in this campaign," Clinton said, and she continued with speech in a very strained voice. [Mediate, 1/25/16]

Right-Wing Media Mocked Clinton, Claimed Coughs Are Evidence Of Deteriorating Health

Drudge: "Hillary Thyroid Drama: More Choking Fit". Right-wing website Drudge Report featured a picture of Hillary Clinton coughing headlined "Hillary Thyroid Drama: More Choking Fit," on its front page January 25.

Drudge:

[Drudge Report, accessed 1/25/16]

Sean Hannity: "I'll Send [Hillary Clinton] Some Pine Brothers Cough Drops [...] She Needs Some, Desperately." During the January 26 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Sean Hannity Show, Sean Hannity mocked Clinton's coughing, adding that "I think I'll send her some Pine Brothers cough drops [...] She needs some, desperately":

SEAN HANNITY (HOST): Hang on, I sound like Hillary.

[...]

Sorry, I know that was probably hard to listen to, but -- You know, we gotta get Hillary, I think I'll send her some Pine Brothers cough drops. You feel that throat-coating action in seconds. She needs some, desperately. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Sean Hannity Show1/26/16]

Breitbart: Clinton's Coughing Fit Raises "Further Questions About Her Health And Stamina." A January 25 Breitbart article wrote that Clinton's coughing fit during the campaign event raises "further questions about her health and stamina,":

Hillary Clinton suffered a coughing fit lasting over a minute at a Jewish Federation campaign stop in Iowa Monday, raising further questions about her health and stamina during this election season.

Breitbart News led the coverage of Clinton's slowness during the Democratic debate in New Hampshire in coming back from the women's restroom during a commercial break. That slowness may have been a flare-up of her post-concussion problems, which have continued to dog her, according to law enforcement sources close to Clinton. [Breitbart, 1/25/16]

Rush Limbaugh: Hillary Clinton Is "Out There Coughing Up Phlegm ... She's Still Looking Sick, Unenergetic." On The January 26 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show, Rush Limbaugh claimed that Hillary Clinton is "still out there coughing up phlegm," and "looking like ... a chubby Ms. Haversham left at the altar," concluding that Clinton is "still looking sick, unenergetic":

RUSH LIMBAUGH (HOST): How many times have we been told "This is it for Hillary, man," or "This is it for Bill?" It's too many to count, and it's never been right. Now, supposedly Hillary's in deep doo-doo over the e-mails, and the server, and all of the FBI people investigating her, and the data is in, and it's "unsurvivable," they say. But yet, there she is, she's still out there coughing up phlegm, she's still looking like Ms. Haversham. Well, a chubby Ms. Haversham left at the altar. She's still looking sick, unenergetic. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show1/26/16]

WND: Clinton's "Hacking Attack" "Will Do Little To Quell Rumors." On January 25, WND reporter Douglas Ernst wrote that Clinton's "hacking attack" "will do little to quell rumors," since "Clinton's health has been a question of speculation since her last coughing fit":

Democrat front-runner Hillary Clinton had a coughing fit on Monday that will do little to quell rumors the former U.S. secretary of state is in poor health.

The 68-year-old Clinton had to stop a speech in West Des Moines, Iowa, to try and compose herself after a hacking attack."

.@HillaryClinton has coughing attack at West Des Moines event, may be unable to finish remarks," Amy Chozick of the New York Times said on Twitter.

Clinton's health has been a question of speculation since her last coughing fit before the House Select Committee on Benghazi on October, 22, 2015. Media titan Matt Drudge called Clinton's apparent health issues the "biggest revelation" of the Benghazi hearings. [WND, 1/25/16]

RedState Used Clinton's Coughing To Compare Her To A "Paranoid" "Kremlin" Leader.  A January 25 RedState article compared Hillary Clinton to "paranoid" leaders in the "Soviet Union," claiming Clinton, like the "Kremlin," "never [tells] anybody anything and certainly never [talks] about [her] health." The article baselessly lamented that "any coughing fits of hers - like most aspects of Clinton's health - are only sporadically reported, and never weaved together as part of a larger narrative that asks questions about" her health:

You may not be aware that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has a bit of a chronic cough problem - one that was on full display today when she coughed for a full minute during a speech. This is largely because any coughing fits of hers - like most aspects of Clinton's health - are only sporadically reported, and never weaved together as part of a larger narrative that asks questions about whether the former Senator is really well enough for the job of President.

[...]

All that being said, I'm not sure why the Daily Mail counted the coughs... wait, no, I do.  It's like the old days!  You see, back during the Cold War, we had this thing called 'Kremlinology;' basically, the Soviet Union was run by a bunch of paranoid old guys who never told anybody anything and certainly never talked about their health. Or internal politics, or... seriously, I meant it when I said 'never told anybody anything.' So what we'd have to do is try to guess what was going on inside the Kremlin by analyzing the heck out of everything that we could see**. You'd get people arguing over whether it mattered that Godless Commie #1 was standing next to Godless Commie #2 at one parade review, but then was all the way over with Godless Commies #4 and #6 at the next one.

Sure, it sounds absurd now, but when you're on the outside looking in, and the people on the inside have nuclear weapons that could end human civilization above the township level, absurdity stops being a reason to not do something.  So I think that's what the Daily Mail is doing, here: they're counting coughs because there's simply no other possible way to figure out what, if anything, is chronically wrong with Hillary Clinton.  Goodness knows, we're never going to get a straight answer out of the Clinton campaign as to whether she's unhealthy.  The woman could vomit blood on the debate stage and they'd probably try to explain it away as a tribute to Ozzy Ozbourne. [RedState: 1/25/16]

Right-Wing Media Have Long Obsession Over Hillary Clinton's Bodily Functions

Fox's Andrea Tantaros: Donald Trump's Attack On Clinton's Bathroom Usage Was "Masterful", Makes Clinton Look Like "A Whiny, Weak Female". During the December 22 edition of Fox News' Outnumbered, co-host Andrea Tantaros applauded Donald Trump's assertion that Hillary Clinton's use of a bathroom during the third Democratic debate was "masterful," claiming "it baits Hillary to come out and look like a wimp" and "a whiny, weak female":

HARRIS FAULKNER (CO-HOST): Donald Trump, talking about -- and I don't know if you guys watched it. Saturday night, the debate, there was a little bathroom break with Hillary Clinton. Watch.

[...]

ANDREA TANTAROS (CO-HOST): He shouldn't have said it. He -- I think that he doesn't need to say those type of things, because he knows that historically Hillary likes to play the victim, and he knows that now her campaign's talking about this. But this campaign season's different. People don't care about political correctness. They don't. And, frankly, I think what he's doing may be smart because it baits Hillary to come out and look like a wimp. A whiny, weak female. And her campaign has to make up its mind. Is she a strong leader who can handle criticism about going to the potty or not? Or is she a victim? Can she handle ISIS or can't she? And you know what, Trump knows that and he's baiting her and it's masterful. I have to say. She's going to lose this one.

[...]

TANTAROS: She looks very, very weak and victim-like. And in this environment, that is a losing strategy. [Fox News, Outnumbered12/22/15]

CNN's Jeffrey Lord: Clinton's Bathroom Use Is "Endemic Of Her Personality." During the January 22 edition of CNN's New Day, Jeffrey Lord claimed Hillary Clinton's bathroom break was "endemic of her personality" and the types of tactics she uses to get her way:

JEFFREY LORD: [Hillary Clinton] wants to be treated as an equal, Bob. What other candidate for president gets to, you know, sashay back on to the debate stage well after the debate has started? This is her personality. This is what she's like.

CHRIS CUOMO (HOST): Oh Jeffrey, you can't say that the delay coming back is indicative of a personality.

ALISYN CAMEROTA (HOST): The women's bathroom was much further in that locale than the men's bathroom. And her staff had even talked about that, that that was going to be an issue. I mean, that's not fair.

[...]

CUOMO: How can you defend these kinds of tactics? Would you ever suggest if you were running a guy's race, yeah you should talk about her going to the bathroom, say it's disgusting and then say you don't want to talk about it and, you know, use the word schlong and, you know, do that kind of stuff? Because people dig it.

LORD: Chris, when you as a candidate do something that is as obvious and public as she did, this wouldn't be a subject of discussion if she --

CUOMO: You make her going to the restroom as an insult, as it was a tactic an affront. Where do you get that?

LORD: Chris, it is endemic of her personality. [CNN, New Day12/22/15]

Limbaugh: Clinton Should "Wear A Diaper" If She "Can't Hold It For Two Hours." On the December 21 edition of The Rush Limbaugh Show, host Rush Limbaugh said that since Clinton "can't even hold it for two" hours, she should "wear a diaper":

RUSH LIMBAUGH (HOST): You take something that isn't -- you take a lie from Hillary Clinton, nobody can find any evidence, she's a flat out liar on this and then you dare to ask, but what if it were true? It's the old seriousness of the charge versus the nature of evidence question. And as far as the left is concerned the seriousness of the charge trumps everything.

[...]

That's right, Hillary can't even hold it for two -- why not wear a diaper? If you can't hold it for two hours get a Depends in there or something or whatever else. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show12/21/15]

Drudge: Clinton's Coughing Fit Was The "Biggest Revelation" At The Benghazi Hearing. Matt Drudge, proprietor of the right-wing website Drudge Report, tweeted that Clinton's "coughing fit" during her October 2015 Benghazi hearing was the "biggest revelation," claiming that Clinton is "obviously induced by meds." [Media Matters, 10/23/15]

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