Soon after the State Department announced that Secretary Hillary Clinton had suffered a concussion, a conservative meme began: Clinton was totally faking it in order to avoid testifying about the September attacks in Benghazi, Libya. The Daily Caller demanded a medical report. Conservative commentator Richard Grenell accused Clinton of lying. Multiple Fox News personalities joked and bantered on-air about her condition. The New York Post called the incident a "head fake." A representative Instapundit headline went: "HELP, I’VE FALLEN AND I CAN’T TESTIFY ABOUT BENGHAZI!" So it was fascinating to watch how the same individuals reacted (or didn't react) to the news late Sunday night that Clinton had been hospitalized for a blood clot related to her concussion.
Some, like GOP consultant Matt Mackowiak, acknowledged that he and his peers had piled on too quickly, and were swift to expression contrition:
Some of us had some fun w/ Hillary's concussion & postponing of Hill testimony.Clearly a serious situation.Apologies & prayers in order.— Matt Mackowiak (@MattMackowiak) December 31, 2012
The Daily Caller's Jim Treacher, however, refused to stand down:
Treacher also shot back at BuzzFeed's Andrew Kaczynski, who collated a list of notable conservatives (including Treacher) who mocked Clinton's concussion:
On that note, some want to compare Hillary's ordeal to that one time George W. Bush choked on a pretzel in 2002:
Seems to me a lot of people acting offended about concusssiongate thought it hilarious when Dubya nearly choked to death on a pretzel.— Kyle Smith (@rkylesmith) December 31, 2012
(Bush was not hospitalized for the pretzel incident.)
And Grenell, the former Romney advisor who is usually quite active on Twitter, where he likes to call out reporters for falling short of his idea of reporting (and compare Rachel Maddow to Justin Bieber), has been silent since Sunday night, but that hasn't tamped down the backlash to his own comments:
The Post, meanwhile, decided to soberly report Clinton's hospitalization on their cover today (above), complete with unacknowledged coverage of their own mockery of the concussion that caused it:
Cynics in the media and in Congress sneered that Clinton was faking the concussion to avoid testimony about the attack, which killed US Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.