Monday was Labor Day, a time to rest, toss a ball around, let those steaks on the grill develop an optimal char, and whatever else people do on the last (symbolically speaking) day of summer. But not everyone. For some, Labor Day was just another work day on the campaign trail, another day for speeches, another day to report on those speeches, another day for a conspiracy theory to go mainstream media, via an NBC News item headlined “Hillary Clinton Fights Back Coughing Attack.”
Case in point:
— Lou Dobbs (@LouDobbs) September 6, 2016
2 major coughing fits in 1 day: one at a rally, one with reporters. RT “Hillary Clinton Fights Back Coughing Attack” https://t.co/E0jVchN91e
— Monica Crowley (@MonicaCrowley) September 5, 2016
— Tony A. Phyrillas (@TonyPhyrillas) September 6, 2016
As everyone who is not a doctor and likes to use common conditions as proof of some grave underlying illness knows, coughing is really dangerous, especially if you do it more than once in your life and someone puts it into a Brady Bunch-style collage. I mean, how serious and incontrovertible does this Drudge Report collection look?
NBC’s brief little piece is accompanied by a 38-second video of Clinton coughing. Riveting stuff, really.
“The former secretary of state has suffered from coughing fits at times throughout the Democratic presidential primary,” we are helpfully informed.
But this cough was different from the others, which apparently have been monitored so this comparison could be made. “However the frog in Clinton’s throat on Monday was one of the most aggressive she’s had during her 2016 run and left her almost unable to finish her remarks.”
NBC News Alert
Hillary has Consumption
— southpaw (@nycsouthpaw) September 6, 2016
Media outlets doing this “coughing” thing know exactly what they’re playing to – NBC said it – and that makes it so much worse.
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) September 6, 2016
They seriously ran this story? https://t.co/9UtBg7LV6W
— Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias) September 6, 2016
A person coughed. It’s news only bc of a context of rumor, which NBC is indulging. This is how institutions fail. https://t.co/Dtt3FPzNbF
— James Poniewozik (@poniewozik) September 6, 2016
And note that NBC “News” chose to write a story about this. Really, NBC, really? Jeesh. You know what you’re doing. https://t.co/DmRdOl8V5m
— Jeff Jarvis (@jeffjarvis) September 6, 2016
— Jonathan Alter (@jonathanalter) September 6, 2016
Srsly, NBC? You literally reported on a *coughing fit*? What will the follow-up be … sniffing? https://t.co/c5MldfylT8
— Emily Willingham (@ejwillingham) September 6, 2016
— Dan Telfer (@dantelfer) September 6, 2016
— Mark Lazerus (@MarkLazerus) September 6, 2016
— Kai Ryssdal (@kairyssdal) September 6, 2016
We have just one question: Why? And we don’t mean it rhetorically.