During events to commemorate the September 11, 2001 attacks, Democratic Party Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton was taken unwell and had to be helped into her Security Service vehicle. In the hours following this event, the media divided into two parts: that part wanting to be certain they had the right information on Hill’s condition before rushing to publish, and the rest, for whom speculation was just part of the game.
(c) Doc Hackenbush 2014
To no surprise at all, the former included most of the broadcast media, the mainstream press, and those online news sources that are prepared to engage brain before mouth. The latter included Fox News Channel (fair and balanced my arse), the Drudge Report, and the Murdoch-bankrolled website Heat Street, where (thankfully) former Tory MP Louise Mensch was exhibiting what looked like rank paranoia.
Because Ms Mensch saw a conspiracy at work, which called for, er, speculation and ranting, of course: “EXCLUSIVE: Hillary Clinton MUST come clean with the American people about her health”. And your nationality and voter status is what, exactly? But do go on. “Heat Street staffers have ROLLING UPDATES on our story at this link - just read her staff's excuse!” More speculation. More hyperbolic froth.
Besides, nobody who matters is going to read Heat Street. Ms Mensch has an answer to that - invent someone: “Liberals are VERY upset that we are reporting on Hillary Clinton's health deception in this race”. Very upset they stumbled on a shite website by mistake, more like. Go on. “Whether Trump or Hillary supporters like it or not. And it's a FACT: Hillary is sick and hiding that from America”. Nobody is hiding anything.
Then she started to lose it: “the concern is she's lying to the American people about her health and that is a moral issue”. How can she be “lying” when she hasn’t said anything? But then came the paranoia: “How the BBC covers up for Hillary vs how we @HeatStreet tell you the truth”. What truth? You’ve no idea what Hill’s condition is. It’s just rank speculation, then calling out reputable news sources for not going along with it.
You think “paranoia” is overdoing it? Think again: “This is what a cover-up looks like folks - MSNBC do not post updates they remove ‘Health Episode’ tweet”. MSNBC wanting to be certain they are telling the right story is now a “cover-up”. And it gets worse: “BREAKING: Story updated with ALARMING VIDEO and MSNBC cover-up”. Wibble.
And worse: “Twitter is censoring all trends relating to #HillaryFaints, the alarming video right here and the cover-up”. Yes, the conspiracy now includes Twitter censorship! But enough: Hill has been diagnosed with a mild bout of pneumonia, and perhaps shouldn’t have tried to do the 9/11 event yesterday. End of speculation.
Louise Mensch said on BBC Question Time four years ago that “It’s something that I regret incredibly in my youth, that I messed with my brain … It’s caused me to be more anxious than I need to be ... I did serious drugs and it messed with my head”. That mess has now been projected into the Murdoch-bankrolled Heat Street.
And remember, folks, they allowed her to become an MP.