Mark Twain once said, "If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything." Like most chestnuts that sound simplistic, that one also happens to be true. Indeed, if you tell the truth, if you have a core set of principles, if your beliefs are based on a consistent set of values and ethics, you don't need a good memory to stay out of trouble. This is a lesson the Washington Post's Chris Cillizza has yet to learn.
Over the last few days Cillizza's lies, mixed with a bad memory, have seen whatever credibility he once had blow spectacularly up in his face.
It all started where most things start at the Washington Post, with a coordinated cover-up organized to protect a Democrat. Although Hillary Clinton is almost certainly quite ill, our corrupt media knows such a thing could be a disqualifier, and it is Donald Trump the media wants disqualified.
And so it began…
After two brutal coughing fits on Tuesday (that the settled science tells us is a symptom, among many, of something terribly wrong with Clinton), it was WaPo to the rescue via Cillizza. For those of you who might not know him, Cillizza disguises himself as an objective reporter when in reality he is a left-wing extremist who delights in shutting down political debate.
Mistake Number One
Terribly concerned the public coughing fits would explode into a devastating media narrative against Clinton, Cillizza abused his perch at the WaPo vertical "The Fix" to declare (in the headline) that all "questions about Hillary's health are absurd."
Obviously, because Cillizza is not a doctor, the headline was an objective lie.
Moreover, his screed contained zero journalism to back up the headline. Although 71% of doctors believe Hillary's symptoms are disturbing, Cillizza's only medical source is, you guessed it, Hillary's doctor.
The First Rule of Holes
The blowback on Twitter against "Doctor" Cillizza was immediate. The apparent result was that either he or an editor changed the headline (and did so unethically, without noting the change).
The new headline would prove to be even more disastrous for Cillizza's credibility, for it now reads, "Can we just stop talking about Hillary Clinton’s health?"
Basically, using junk science, non sequiturs about Vince Foster, and outright lies ("The simple fact is that there is zero evidence that anything is seriously wrong with Clinton."), Cillizza declares Hillary's health not only a non-issue but nothing more than a conspiracy theory. This, despite all evidence to the contrary:
1. Hillary's serial coughing fits are not normal.
2. She has an admitted thyroid problem that causes exhaustion.
3. She has fallen twice and injured herself. As no less than the Center for Disease Control makes clear, this is not even close to normal for a healthy 67-year-old woman.
4. She suffers from blood clots.
5. She suffered a concussion so bad it caused numerous memory blackouts.
Nevertheless, Cillizza declared the health of this presidential candidate completely off limits.
And he did so because he is an objective journalist, right?, with a consistent set of unbiased and objective ethics, right?
To Save Hillary, Cillizza's Credibility Falls On Grenade #1
Because Cillizza is a left-wing liar with a bad memory, in his strident desire to protect Hillary, he obviously forgot about this:
"McCain's Health: What It Means" -- By Chris Cillizza
Yes, when McCain was running against Barry in 2008, Cillizza was eager to raise all kinds of questions about the health of a Republican presidential candidate. And in 2008 Cillizza was right. Like Hillary, McCain had suffered serious health problems. The public had a right to know the full truth, and to his credit, while under unrelenting pressure from the media, McCain (unlike Hillary) did give the media access to his full medical record.
Because the Internet is forever and Twitter is glorious, Cillizza was immediately confronted by his ethical double standard…
…And then this happened:
To Save Hillary, Cillizza's Credibility Falls On Grenade #2
The McCain bust was so clean, Cillizza felt he had to take to the pages of the Washington Post to try and dig his way out.
In a lengthy, defensive piece written Wednesday and titled "Why I wrote about John McCain’s health in 2008 (and don’t think we should write about Hillary’s health now)," Cillizza plays the victim and boils his own credibility alive in this stew of lies:
The point is that I wrote about McCain's health as a real issue in 2008 and insisted Clinton's health isn't an issue this time around. Hypocrite! Hack! Biased! Liberal!
Here's the thing: We are talking about — and I am/was writing about — apples and oranges. Sure, it's easy to ascribe the difference in coverage to personal bias. Easy — and wrong.
Rewind back to the 2008 presidential campaign. And remember that McCain, if elected, would have been 72 years old — the oldest person ever to be elected president. Had he served two terms, McCain would have left office at 80.
You see, McCain would have been 72 when elected.
Hillary will be ONLY 69.
So, despite the coughing fits, blackouts, a concussion, two falls, blood clots, and a thyroid problem, she's gunna be just fine y'all!
Quite impossibly, things would only get worse for Cillizza.
Like a George Costanza subplot in a classic "Seinfeld" episode, Cillizza's credibility implosion had only just begun.
Before I get to our glorious climax, let's review Cillizza's unbiased, objective journalistic ethics:
Questions about Democrat Hillary's health are absurd because the Democrat is perfectly healthy so we need to stop asking questions about the Democrat's health because the Democrat is only 69 years old!
Because here we go….
In 2012, Republican Michele Bachmann ran for president.
In 2012, Republican Michele Bachmann was just 56 years-old.
In 2012, the only issue surrounding Republican Michele Bachmann's health was the occasional headache.
"Michele Bachmann’s headaches" - By Chris Cillizza
The first issue is obvious. Fitness for office — essentially “Can this person do the job for which they are running?” — is a basic building block of any campaign, particularly with a candidate like Bachmann who remains very much an unknown commodity for voters. …
There’s little question that the migraine story — and the questions it raises about both Bachmann’s fitness for office and what role her former staff will play in the presidential race — is the first major bump in what has been a quick ascent in national politics for the Minnesota Republican to date.
But wait, there's more!
"Do Michele Bachmann’s migraines matter?" -- By Chris Cillizza
No, no! There's even more!
"Doctor: Bachmann in 'good general health'" -- By Chris Cillizza
Cillizza Is Now In Hiding
As of this writing, Cillizza has not tried to explain away his fascination with Republican Bachmann's health and utter lack of curiosity regarding Democrat Hillary's.
My emails and tweets to Cillizza requesting comment were not returned.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC