Hillary Clinton’s fainting episode at a 9/11 memorial Sunday morning was preceded by months of Matt Drudge, the proprietor of the Drudge Report, claiming that Hillary’s health is worse than she lets on to the public.
Video of the incident shows Clinton going limp before being carried into a van by Secret Service agents. The Clinton campaign first downplayed the incident as “overheating,” before later blasting out a note from Clinton’s doctor saying she had been diagnosed with pneumonia on Friday.
Drudge again called attention to Clinton’s health last week after she had a severe coughing fit last Monday that lasted almost two minutes. (RELATED: Hillary Has A Nearly 2 Minute Long Coughing Fit [VIDEO])
On Tuesday, Drudge tweeted out a picture of the Clinton press pool that had been photoshopped to portray the reporters wearing surgical masks. The Drudge Report prominently featured stories on Clinton’s coughing episode the same day, earning criticism from the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza.
“Led by Drudge, there have been questions circulating in the conservative media — and among Trump surrogates like Rudy Giuliani — that ‘something’ is wrong with Clinton for months,” Cillizza wrote in an article titled “Can we just stop talking about Hillary Clinton’s health now?”
By Sunday, Cillizza was singing a different tune about Clinton’s health problems.
“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,” Cillizza wrote in a piece titled “Hillary Clinton’s health just became a real issue in the presidential campaign.”
The Atlantic’s James Hamblin also pushed back on Drudge’s coverage of Clinton’s health issues last week.
“The coughing spell played into a narrative that Drudge and some other media outlets have attempted to construct—and conservative politicians like Rudy Giuliani have encouraged—in which Clinton is physically unfit for the presidency,” Hamblin wrote.
Hamblin even went so far as to write, “If there were reason to discuss Clinton’s cough, it would traditionally be as a story of resolution and determination—a public servant who refuses to be sidelined by some infirmity.”
By Sunday, however, Clinton’s medical episode dominated the media’s election coverage.
As for Drudge, Clinton’s health continued to be front and center. The Drudge Report’s banner Sunday afternoon linked to a Politico story on Clinton’s pneumonia diagnosis.
The caption, in Drudge’s typical all-caps style, read: “DOCTOR ADMITS: SHE’S SICK.”
Follow Hasson on Twitter @PeterJHasson