August 10, 2016

Fox 'News' crack team of physicians joined Sean Hannity to natter about Hillary Clinton's health and whether the right-wing crazies who claim her health is bad were onto anything.

This is your daily reminder of the Fox Effect. It begins on the wingnut sites and social media, when someone dredges up something from the past and makes it look terrible, makes a lot of noise about it, and advances it up the food chain to that bastion of objectivity, Fox News.

They brought in Dr. Marc Siegel, a completely unbiased, totally scientific guy who once proclaimed that President Obama was the "wrong Commander-in-Chief" to wage a war on cancer. Siegel also believes we have "too much health insurance," and claims that worrying about the safety of cops "imperils our health."

Erik Wemple of the Washington Post points out that Dr. Siegel has a decent resumé, at least until he makes an appearance on Fox News.

Which is to say, the guy has bona fides, except when he’s on Fox News and saying precisely the stuff that his handlers want him to say. This is common practice. Journalists frequently lace their work with the words of experts who sense why they’re being consulted. Want a climate-change skeptic? There are plenty of those at the ready with well-honed talking points. A climate-change alarmist? Same thing. To journalists, experts are commonly not experts at all, just channelers of the prejudices of the reporters they’re talking to.

So with that in mind, here are Siegel's pronouncements. It's almost as if Hannity wrote them for him, via Real Clear Politics.

"I think the public has a right to know," Seigel said. "We're talking in 2008, Sean, I looked over a thousand pages of John McCain's records because of a melanoma he had 10 years ago. What about Hillary? In 2009, a severe fall. She breaks her elbow. In 2011, she boards a plane, falls. In 2012 she has a severe concussion which Bill Clinton says took her six months to recover from.

"Then she ends up with a blood-clot in the brain and a lifetime of blood thinners," Seigel said. "Just that point alone -- if she's prone to falling, you can see from that picture up there that it looked like she can barely get upstairs without two people carrying her. Guess what if she falls and hits her head? She'll get a blood-clot."

"I want to know what her neurological records show," he added.

"The picture going up the stairs speaks a million words," Dr. David Samadi said. "Is she fatigued? Is she dehydrated? One of the main reasons she fell in 2012 and had the concussions was severe dehydration. They're holding her and going up the stairs. So she may be really dehydrated, she may have arthritis, she may have back pain, she may have fallen again. We don't know. There are questions that are unanswered. What we know today is she's on thyroid medication, she suffers from hypothyroid, low thyroid, that can cause fatigue and gaining weight and all of that."

"I think a traumatic brain injury with symptoms down the road is very, very likely here especially since she had a blood-clot on her brain. As David mentioned that could lead to a seizure problem. Someone is carrying a [diazepam] pen that you'd use in case of a seizure, a Valium pen, that makes me wonder about that," Dr. Seigel said.

Here's a newsflash for Hannity and his gang of sycophants: Hillary Clinton has her sanity AND her health, which is more than their guy can say. They'd be better off putting Keith Ablow on to discuss Donald Trump's obvious personality disorders. It would at least be credited as public service.

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