Clarence Page Likens Anti-Hillary Benghazi, Health Criticisms to ‘Birtherism’

There seems to be a concentrated effort on MSNBC lately to dismiss certain legitimate concerns raised by Republican political figures as loony or unworthy of serious consideration. On Wednesday’s edition of PoliticsNation, Clarence Page of the Chicago Tribune killed two birds with one stone by simultaneously linking concerns over Benghazi and Hillary Clinton’s health to the “birther” conspiracy theories.

Host Al Sharpton played a clip in which Comedy Central host Jon Stewart mocked Karl Rove’s question about the health of Hillary Clinton’s brain. Stewart dubbed the concern “Brainghazi,” and Page loved the term:

 

You know, this is – that's an appropriate comparison, because this is a lot like birtherism. No matter how many answers you provide, the question keeps coming back, that why aren't you telling the whole truth?
 

Why did Page drag birtherism into the mix? It was probably his way of marginalizing the concerns over Benghazi and Mrs. Clinton by grouping them with crazy conspiracy theories over President Obama’s birthplace. Page continued his comparison:
 

That's the same thing with Benghazi. After over half a dozen hearings, they’re still saying, ‘We want to get to the truth.’ You know, the fact is, they just don't like the truth that they’re hearing, and that's the case with Hillary Clinton.
 

This exchange came only a day after MSNBC’s Chris Hayes linked global warming skepticism and opposition to gay marriage to another ubiquitous conspiracy theory, the so-called 9/11 Truth movement.

Below is a transcript of the Wednesday PoliticsNation segment:

 

AL SHARPTON: You know, Clarence, Michelle mentioned Karl Rove going over the line. Well, Jon Stewart got a hold of it, and he got the Jon Stewart treatment, and it was funny. Watch this.

KARL ROVE: On the 30th of December she goes in and turns out to have had a blood clot. They won't say where.

JON STEWART: Unanswered questions, an attempted coverup. My god –  it's brainghazi! How many -- how many synapses? When did you start caring so much about the brain fitness of those who have to hold the oval office? I assume it was right after your boss fell and banged his head after losing the battle with a pretzel.

SHARPTON: Brainghazi, Clarence.

CLARENCE PAGE, The Chicago Tribune: Brainghazi. I love it. You know, this is – that's an appropriate comparison, because this is a lot like birtherism. No matter how many answers you provide, the question keeps coming back, that why aren't you telling the whole truth? That's the same thing with Benghazi. After over half a dozen hearings, they’re still saying, ‘We want to get to the truth.’ You know, the fact is, they just don't like the truth that they’re hearing, and that's the case with Hillary Clinton, that people who don't want her to run, don't want her to be president, don't like the truth that they’re hearing.

Paul Bremmer
Paul Bremmer is a Media Research Center News Analysis Division intern.