Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!

Of course, we all remember this famous line from the Wizard of Oz right? When I started to see media reports about Hillary’s illness on Sunday and the way much of the media seemed to jump all over her and her campaign for not disclosing it sooner, the sort of over the top fear of ‘’lions and tigers and bears’’ (especially from a lion) in the Wizard of Oz is what immediately came to mind. I know, it’s not exactly a straight line from A to B but whatever.

Yes, the campaign could’ve let us all know sooner. However, the quickness with which the media (both mainstream, left and right) seems to want to see something that isn’t really there -like not mentioning it sooner is evidence of the campaign trying to cover it up- was nothing short of ridiculous.

First of all, don’t candidates get sick all the time? How is it even newsworthy that Hillary got sick? Second, it’s a very common illness and she was attempting to work through it — like most of us. Third, I can imagine if the campaign came out and said she was ill but she’s going to try and maintain her schedule, the media would paint it as Hillary just trying to look tough and trying to dispel Trump’s claims that she’s not up to the ‘’rigors’’ of the job. This really is a lose-lose situation.

The Clinton conspiracy non-sense plays well in the media. It’s a tried and true formula. Her illness is only a ‘’story’’ because they didn’t mention it sooner and the ‘’cover up’’ fits neatly into an already existing narrative of the Clintons. I don’t recall John McCain’s fitness being really brought into question in 2008 and he was 71 at the time and had many reasons (like five years at the Hanoi Hilton) for us to question his health.

I agree candidate health is important and Clinton and Trump should be required to let us know about their health, BEFORE the first debate!! There should be as complete transparency on this issue as is reasonably possible. But a relatively minor illness for an otherwise largely fit 68 year old, does not warrant the attention it’s been getting the past few days.

Here’s a crazy thought. How about one day outlining in detail how trade wars don’t create jobs or simply asking Trump to tell us exactly how he’ll ‘’make America great?’’

For a great conversation about the health question, listen to today’s Five Thirty Eight podcast here.

What do you think?