Remember the time in 2015 when the press declared that Hillary Clinton was absolutely, super-for-sure probably maybe dying? For those who don’t recall, during the 2016 campaign, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton had a bout of pneumonia. The incident, which might have passed unnoticed, gained significant attention after Clinton stumbled and hit her head. This led the press to speculate that she was on the brink of death, with rumors of the Democratic Party scrambling for a replacement candidate. It was a game of telephone, where each media outlet amplified the drama to keep the election cycle thrilling. But then the pneumonia subsided, and Clinton recovered. The press, however, quickly shifted to a new narrative: her emails, driving that story into the ground while ignoring similar actions by the Trump administration.

Fast forward to today, and we find ourselves in a familiar situation with Joe Biden, who at 81 years old, has had his share of health-related speculation. Following a less-than-stellar debate performance, there have been rampant rumors about his mental fitness. The press has latched onto a handful of debate responses to question Biden’s coherence, despite a lack of substantial evidence. Biden has continued his campaign trail appearances without any notable issues of incoherence, yet the media persists in sensationalizing these stories.

What’s striking is the double standard in how these narratives are handled. The press, which was quick to undermine Clinton with speculative health concerns, seems equally ready to question Biden’s fitness based on flimsy evidence. Meanwhile, Donald Trump’s numerous public missteps and legal troubles receive comparatively less scrutiny. The focus remains skewed, reflecting a pattern where media sensationalism often overshadows substantive reporting.

This concern over Biden’s health appears manufactured, lacking concrete evidence. Biden, a known stutterer, was reportedly under the weather during the debated night. Fatigue and illness can exacerbate stuttering, leading to speech patterns that might be mistaken for incoherence. Yet, Biden’s subsequent public appearances have shown no signs of the alleged mental decline, highlighting the inconsistency in the media’s narrative.

The underlying issue is the media’s role in shaping public perception through sensationalism. Stories questioning Biden’s health fill the front pages, while more critical issues, such as Trump’s alleged misuse of private emails and legal indiscretions, receive less attention. This skewed coverage raises concerns about journalistic integrity and the impact of media narratives on democratic processes.

In the end, if either candidate becomes incapacitated, historical precedents guide how to proceed. Both Biden and Trump are of similar age, and health concerns are valid. However, the media’s selective reporting and dramatization create a distorted picture, often overshadowing critical issues that deserve public scrutiny.

The free press, ideally a bastion of unbiased reporting, seems caught in a cycle of salacious and dishonest yellow journalism. As the election approaches, the need for objective and thorough reporting becomes ever more crucial to ensure informed and fair democratic processes.



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