As we’ve previously reported, CNN’s editor-at-large Chris Cillizza is not exactly the sharpest tool in the shed.
In April, he tried to make a successful argument against Ivanka Trump’s “discretionary travels” in the midst of a pandemic but it did not go well. Before that, he attempted a dunk on a Trump “This is why we need borders!” tweet by stating “Viruses don’t, uh, recognize borders”, but got shut down by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX).
The latest instance of Cillizza making himself look foolish happened earlier this week, when he joined the media bandwagon in questioning President Trump’s health after video circulated of him walking slowly and carefully down a ramp after the commencement speech he gave at West Point Saturday. Here’s the video for anyone who missed it:
Watch: Lara Trump slams mainstream media’s coverage of President Trump’s West Point visit for focussing on fake ‘health concerns’ after his slow walk: “This was a ramp that had no steps, no handrails. The President had on leather shoes. Of course he’s going to take his time.” pic.twitter.com/ABcrXc7HsV
— TV News HQ (@TVNewsHQ) June 15, 2020
Cillizza, of course, couldn’t resist getting in on the action, writing up a full report on Monday inform us as to “why the ramp story actually matters.”
The first two reasons he listed were Trump’s age (74) and because Trump’s medical history is allegedly “a total mystery.” But it was the third reason he posted that gave up the game. I’ll explain why in just a minute:
Trump makes his opponents’ health a major issue: On Monday morning, Trump sent a tweet attacking former Vice President Joe Biden, who is 77 years old, as “weak & shot.” That’s part of a deliberate strategy on behalf of the President who has repeatedly suggested that Biden is losing or has lost his mental capacity.
And Trump did the exact same thing during the 2016 campaign against Hillary Clinton, particularly after she fell ill while attending a September 11 memorial service.
This is a what’s-good-for-the-goose-is-good-for-the-gander situation. If Trump can openly question the physical and mental fitness of his Democratic opponents, then when there is a moment where he looks frail, it is absolutely fair game to ask questions about his own well-being — particularly given his age and how little we know about his medical past.
So yes, of course, the President’s tentative and slow walk down a ramp is a story. Donald Trump made it one.
Here’s what Cillizza is saying in a nutshell: If Trump is going to go after Democrats over their alleged health issues, then it’s “fair game” for anyone including media outlets like CNN to go after him over his alleged health issues. That’s a pretty stunning thing for a supposedly impartial member of the media to admit to, especially considering how CNN and other media outlets have routinely declared that questions about Biden’s health should be off limits and have slammed Trump every time he’s tweeted about it.
Just to reemphasize: Cillizza didn’t say that if Trump was going to engage in this tactic, then Democrats naturally would (which would make more sense), too. He said it was “fair game” across the board, no qualifiers. Big difference.
He said as much during an interview he did on CNN Monday afternoon, too:
Me. Ramp. TV. pic.twitter.com/7yste6ZLla
— Chris Cillizza (@CillizzaCNN) June 15, 2020
And him blaming Trump for the media turning the ramp walk into a story was both laughable and absurd. Trump specifically tweeted about the ramp walk because the media had already started speculating about it right after leftist Vox.com hack Aaron Rupar (who is frequently RT’d by journalists including Cillizza) posted the video clip to Twitter (Cillizza, by the way, referenced Rupar’s tweet in his write-up).
Also, there was Cillizza’s position on questioning a candidate’s health in 2016, which was completely different than what it is now because of course it is:
Cillizza gonna Cillizza… pic.twitter.com/4NWy2kwQVc
— Steve Krakauer (@SteveKrak) June 18, 2020
Just as a reminder, Cillizza once infamously tweeted that reporters don’t root for a side:
Wait but… pic.twitter.com/0g2NXLHGo6
— Jill ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (@BellaLolaGirl) June 18, 2020
What were you saying about the alleged objectivity of reporters again, Chris?