The Media Has a Very Different Attitude Toward Donald Trump's Health Than Hillary Clinton's

January 18, 2018

The media appears to have a very different attitude toward President Donald Trump's health than it once did toward former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's health.

During the 2016 campaign, there were a number of rumors and stories speculating that Clinton's health was failing. But reporters at major news networks and publications brushed aside questions about her health, describing them as conspiracy theories pushed by conservative media and the Trump campaign.

"It's really a cue to his voters, to his supporters to think, 'Oh, maybe she does have that secret illness that I've heard on talk radio,'" CNN senior media correspondent Brian Stelter said, referring to Trump questioning Clinton's stamina.

CNN reporter Jim Acosta called questions about Clinton's health "bogus."

Only when Clinton collapsed at a 9/11 memorial event did reporters begin asking questions about Clinton's health.

"Hillary Clinton's health just became a real issue in the presidential campaign," the Washington Post wrote after Clinton's health scare. Other news outlets also began to question Clinton's health status—with the exception of MSNBC, which tried to defend Clinton's fainting spell.

When it comes to Trump's health and fitness for office, reporters appear to have a different standard.

MSNBC host Joe Scarborough mocked Fox News host Sean Hannity for questioning Clinton's mental fitness during the campaign, but he recently questioned whether Trump has dementia. He even complained that the Washington Post would not let him mention the possibility that Trump has dementia in his columns.

Stelter now thinks reporters are right to question Trump's health and fitness for office.

"The tip-toeing is over. The whispers are turning into shouts. President Trump's fitness for office is now the top story in the country," Stelter said.

A number of journalists have reported about a group of psychiatrists, who have never personally examined Trump, warning of the danger that the president poses and his deteriorating mental capacity.

Discussions of Trump's health came to the forefront this week after White House physician Dr. Ronny Jackson stood at the press briefing podium for more than 50 minutes on Tuesday. Jackson praised Trump's stamina and called his overall health "excellent," stipulating that the president is overweight and needs to eat better. The doctor also revealed that Trump requested that he take a cognitive test and performed well on it, saying that he has "no concerns" about Trump's mental state.

During the press conference, reporters asked Jackson about Trump's weight, his life expectancy, and whether he has a drug addiction.

The flurry of questions left one to wonder: Would the White House press corps ask Clinton about her weight or if she was addicted to drugs if she was president?