Hillary stumbles, Rams fumble. That was the week that was.
News: Hillary Clinton leaves a 9/11 memorial service because she becomes “overheated.”
Views. It turns out she had pneumonia. And pneumonia is a serious disease. For U.S. adults, it is the most common cause of hospital admissions other than women giving birth. About 1 million adults in the U.S. are hospitalized with pneumonia every year, and about 50,000 die from this disease.
So when a major presidential candidate is stricken, and has kept her condition a secret, it is big news.
Fortunately in the case of Hillary Clinton, the medical prognosis is good. Unfortunately, her illness has provided misguided credibility to rumormongers who would have us believe she is at death’s door.
The following “facts,” mostly reported by conservative media, have been making the rounds on the internet for months:
That leaked medical records document that Hillary Clinton exhibits signs of dementia and serious illness. The doctor whose name was attached to these reports said that “These documents are false, were not written by me and are not based on any medical facts.”
That she is prone to seizures (based on a photo of her making a face) and/or she is suffering from Parkinson's disease. The latter diagnosis was made by a Dr. Ted Noel who is an anesthesiologist, not a neurologist, and admits, “ I am a medical doctor with 36 years of experience, but I am not Hillary Clinton's treating physician, so I can't claim that what I'm about to tell you is a conclusive diagnosis.”
That a video reportedly showing what looked to be a tubular metallic object plopping out of her right pants leg onto the ground proves that she wears leg or hip braces or that the object in question was an ostomy bag clip, a catheter, a mind control receiver or a crack pipe.
That she has in fact died and has been replaced by a body double.
In the meantime, Mrs. Clinton’s personal physician has released a statement attesting to her good health.
But when all is said and done, her health really isn’t the major issue here. It’s her credibility. After all, nobody expects a 68-year-old woman to go out swimming with the Navy Seals.
She has damaged her reputation by keeping her medical condition secret until it was played out in public before a national audience. Now, to many, every goofy internet posting just might be true.
And what would have happened if she announced she had a mild case of pneumonia and was taking few days off to recover? Oh, sure, the Trump people would have accused her of lacking stamina. But that could have been spun as misogyny, not unknown in Trump circles. And the political damage would have been minimal.
Now, her campaign is on the defensive. And while defense might win football games, it’s a lousy way to win an election.
She has not only played into the hands of her detractors but the media will be all eyes and ears every time she so much as sneezes on the campaign trail.
Every misstep or cough or crooked smile will be reported in tones usually reserved for the death of a pope.
Mrs. Clinton will survive pneumonia. But healing her broken reputation will be the biggest challenge she’ll have to overcome.
News: Rams lose opening game, 28-0.
Views: I was a Ram fan from childhood to adulthood and was angry and frustrated when they left town.
I was delighted when I heard they were returning. But even more than that, I was amazed at their public relations acumen.
They blew into town with banners unfurled. They announced plans for a $3 billion dollar stadium in Inglewood which would feature a venue of up to 100,240 seats (including standing room only seats) while reconfiguring the previously approved Hollywood Park plan for up to 890,000 square feet of retail, 780,000 square feet of office space, 2,500 new residential units, a 300-room hotel and 25 acres of public parks, playgrounds, open space and pedestrian and bicycle access.
Then they engineered a blockbuster trade to acquire the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft which they used to select Cal quarterback Jared Goff.
Keeping up the momentum, they secured the starring role in “Hard Knocks,” a popular HBO series that documents NFL training camps.
Not done, they scheduled their first exhibition game at the Coliseum versus the Dallas Cowboys who like to call themselves “America’s team.” It drew an astounding 90,000 fans.
Their first regular season game was against long-time rivals, the San Francisco 49ers on the iconic Monday Night Football broadcast. Their first home game is against the Seattle Seahawks, coached by Pete Carroll who led USC to numerous championships at the Coliseum.
But in the midst of this public outreach, someone forgot to assemble a competitive team. Goff has so far been a bust, relegated to the sidelines in civilian clothes.
Their opening game performance was so abysmal I thought Donald Sterling was running the show.
Public relations, no matter how well executed, can’t mask a poor product. And while the Rams may turn it around, they may soon find that this town only supports a winner.
Lose a few more games and their fans will be spending the day at the beach.