Benghazi fever: A rush by pundits to judge Clinton is laid bare
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Last month, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton fainted and hit her head while recovering from a stomach virus. Because she suffered a concussion, doctors ordered her to rest. Consequently, she didn't testify before a congressional panel probing the deaths of four U.S. diplomatic staff members in Benghazi, Libya.
Ms. Clinton's critics wasted no time insinuating she was faking illness. The suspicion was that she was trying to duck responsibility for not moving quickly enough to improve security for State Department personnel.
Some pundits, especially those with prominent platforms at Fox News, smelled a rat. Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer accused Ms. Clinton of suffering from "acute Benghazi allergy." Greg Gutfeld, the co-host of Fox's "The Five," wondered aloud how she could "get a concussion when she's ducking everything."
The headline of the New York Post, a corporate sibling of Fox News, shouted: "Hillary's Head Fake." Fox analyst Laura Ingraham said Ms. Clinton was suffering from an "immaculate concussion."
No one was more obnoxious than former U.N. ambassador turned Fox News contributor John Bolton. He speculated that Ms. Clinton was suffering from "a diplomatic illness," a condition he insists afflicts foreign service officers trying to avoid meetings they don't want to attend.
Now that Secretary Clinton has been hospitalized following the discovery of a concussion-related blood clot, the cynics have an opportunity to set the record straight. Media watchdog groups report that the on-air skepticism has stopped, but that Mr. Bolton and his ilk show no signs of apologizing for what they've already said.
Perhaps they're suffering from a bout of Benghazi Shamelessness.
First Published January 3, 2013 12:00 am