Culture

CNN’s Brian Stelter Criticizes The ‘Weak’ Stereotype Surrounding Scrutiny Of Clinton’s Health

On Sunday, a 9/11 Ground Zero ceremony was nearly overshadowed by an “overheated” Hillary Clinton, who abruptly left the tribute. Some eyebrow-raising video footage, which showed her stumbling and almost needing to be lifted, fueled existing speculation. Clinton soon emerged from daughter Chelsea’s apartment and claimed to feel “great,” but her doctor later revealed a pneumonia diagnosis. Early on, however, no one knew what the hell was going on. This led to a CNN panel scolding Fox News over what the former believed to be irresponsible coverage by the latter.

Brian Stelter led the charge in the scolding discussion, and he covered the story all day in a few more clips shown here. The above video shows him following up with what he sees as double standards surrounding Clinton’s health with fellow CNN host Poppy Harlow. Stelter believes there’s a “subtext” to the scrutiny that many people are overlooking. He explains his view that, as a woman, Clinton’s being seen as “weaker” than her male opponent, Donald Trump, and he thinks she could be overcompensating:

“We’re talking about the first female nominee of a major political party in American history. We’re talking about a campaign that’s been predicated on strength: Donald Trump trying to show his strength, Hillary Clinton also trying to show her strength. If she had pneumonia and she went to the 9/11 ceremony this morning, that’s a very strong, bold thing to do … We should be honest about the double standards that women sometimes face with regards to their health. With the idea that women are portrayed as weaker than men, how they have to work harder to show they are as strong as men.”

Indeed, some may question Clinton’s decision to appear at the 9/11 ceremony at all, but imagine what would have happened if she’d skipped out. There would have been cries that she didn’t care about the victims (which isn’t true, especially considering all she did after the terror attack). The Alt-Right could have fueled more theories even worse than a stumble, although granted, it’s hard to imagine a more awkward situation than the resulting video footage.

Ultimately, Stelter points out how the media and the public can “rightly scrutinize” Clinton’s health to a degree, but there’s still plenty of subtext to be found. The sad thing here is that Clinton probably showed up at the ceremony to avoid the scrutiny she’s enduring now, especially after — as Harlow points out — Trump and his supporters have railed about how she “lacks stamina” to lead the country.

In this followup video, Stelter admits that the Clinton video is a “scary thing to see,” but that “candidates are allowed to get sick.” He expects an upcoming push for Clinton and Trump to both release detailed medical health records, but he rails against the higher standards women are held to in both business and politics.

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