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US Podcast: Hillary’s Pneumonia Shows Up Media’s Campaign Failure

US Podcast: Hillary’s Pneumonia Shows Up Media’s Campaign Failure
September 17
11:03 2016

PHOTO: Hillary Clinton at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute’s 39th Annual Gala Dinner on Thursday


The furor over Hillary Clinton’s pneumonia has come and gone, with the Democratic nominee for the US Presidency back on the campaign trail. The media have jumped to new provocative headlines, such as Republican candidate Donald Trump’s refusal to state that President Obama was born in the US and his insinuations about Clinton’s assassination.

But the pneumonia affair has pointed to wider concerns about both the campaign and the coverage. In the era of social media, outlets are jumping from one whipped-up drama — usually started by the latest provocative declaration of Trump — to the next. Meanwhile, little attention is paid to the significant political, economic, and social issues.

Christina Okello of Radio France International talks to analysts — including EA’s Scott Lucas — in her podcast and summary, “Hillary Clinton Pneumonia Coverage Misses Big Picture”.

Listen to podcast

It took one stumble, captured on camera at the 9/11 memorial ceremony in New York on Sunday, to trigger an avalanche of reactions over the state of Hillary Clinton’s health.

“When Clinton coughs, we get a cold”, Scott Lucas, a professor at Birmingham Universiy, told RFI.

Media across the political and geographical spectrum, seized on the episode to question whether or not Clinton will survive.

The Democratic presidential nominee was filmed losing her footing and being assisted into a waiting van after leaving early from a memorial for 9/11 victims.

She’d been diagnosed with pneumonia two days earlier.

“Can you think of a single in-depth story about the issue of health care in the 2016 campaign?” asks Lucas.

“We’re only one or two years removed from perhaps one of the most comprehensive reforms of the American health care system in history —- ObamaCare,” instead the media are talking about Clinton’s health problems, he complains.

Kinda Kanbar, a Washington correspondent for Arab newspaper Alarab shares similar concerns: “As journalists, we feel like we’re in a trap, that we’re following the nonsense that is appearing on social media.”

Nonsense for some, but for others the health of US presidents and future leaders is paramount.

“The question is always asked,” says France 24 correspondent Philip Crowther, “and it is an awkward one: is the person running for President, fit enough to be President and to stay in office without any health trouble for the next four and potentially eight years?”

“It is very very hard for the Washington correspondents or the reporters on the election trail to be able to define a story now,” reckons Lucas.

“There just simply isn’t the time and space because before you know it your readers have already gone elsewhere.”

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About Author

Scott Lucas

Scott Lucas

Scott Lucas is Professor of International Politics at the University of Birmingham and editor-in-chief of EA WorldView. He is a specialist in US and British foreign policy and international relations, especially the Middle East and Iran. Formerly he worked as a journalist in the US, writing for newspapers including the Guardian and The Independent and was an essayist for The New Statesman before he founded EA WorldView in November 2008.

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13 Comments

  1. Mike
    Mike September 17, 19:37

    If Trump “wins” the first debate he’s most likely the POTUS. Americans are ready for a change.
    .
    And keep in mind, Hillary has a lot of skeletons in her closet.
    .
    What does Hillary have against Trump?…………. birther? Not so much now with Asher exposing Blumenthal.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Mike
    Mike September 17, 20:42

    I live in the Peach State. Easy win for Trump. Don’t believe the polls showing otherwise.

    Reply to this comment
  3. Mike
    Mike September 17, 20:43

    Hillary can not hide from her deplorable past.

    Reply to this comment
  4. Deplorable Bill Anderson
    Deplorable Bill Anderson September 17, 22:00

    Latest Reuters poll show Trump and crooked Hillary tied in popular vote and with crooked Hillary ahead slightly by 18 electorial votes.

    Reply to this comment
  5. Mike
    Mike September 17, 22:45

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x5IS6Ya005E

    WOW! US media won’t show this.

    Reply to this comment
  6. RedTornadoes
    RedTornadoes September 18, 00:56

    TRUMP & GOP SNEER AT CLIMATE CHANGE & STOMP ON MINORITIES
    https://www.yahoo.com/news/m/553e4a3c-a2ad-34d5-99fd-c5034280f306/california%26%2339%3Bs-devastating.html

    New study says California’s devastating drought could last for hundreds of years. Republicans always block addressing problems in return for short term political benefits. For decades up to 1964, when faced with the inevitable, the GOP helped Dixiecrats (southern Dems) continue segregation. When George Wallace came along, the GOP introduced a southern strategy to capture his constituency–a strategy enhanced further by Reagan’s chief of staff. Only as demographic tendencies and outrage from California farmers and coastal homeowners grows will the GOP change its anti-progress positions. When that happensc(not for moral reasons) the GOOP will demand “credit” for having undertaken reforms it should have supported long before. Meanwhile the damage done may be irreversible.

    Reply to this comment
  7. RedTornadoes
    RedTornadoes September 18, 01:27

    Ex-Pentagon chief Gates: Trump is ‘unfit,’ ‘beyond repair’
    https://www.yahoo.com/news/ex-pentagon-chief-gates-trump-unfit-beyond-repair-182042389.html

    Reply to this comment
  8. RedTornadoes
    RedTornadoes September 18, 01:30

    Putin offers tacit support for ‘pro-Russia’ US candidate
    .
    https://www.yahoo.com/news/putin-offers-tacit-support-pro-russia-us-candidate-132225490.html

    Reply to this comment
  9. Mike
    Mike September 19, 00:18

    Wow. Jake Tapper edited Clinton referring to a bomb, then confronted Trump’s referring to it as a bomb. Can’t get any better proof that media is pro Clinton.

    Reply to this comment

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