The Media’s Hypocritical ‘Concern’ for Trump’s Health

It’s sweet, really. USA Today’s healthcare policy reporter Jayne O’Donnell is very concerned about President Donald Trump’s wellbeing. In an article entitled, “Will Trump’s Exercise and Eating Habits Catch Up to Him as Stress Mounts,” she writes:

He’s 71, holds down an incredibly stressful job, and is overweight. He doesn’t exercise. His eating habits are less than ideal. And to top it all off, he doesn’t get enough sleep.

O’Donnell even went to the trouble of interviewing a number of concerned medical experts on the president’s apparent sleep deprivation (on this she seems particularly focused), stress level, and eating habits, concluding, “Trump’s approach to food and fitness are frightening for 71-year-old man under his amount of stress.” She also reminded readers of that critically important national security story that explained one of Trump’s recent meals included “two scoops of ice cream with pie for him, one for everyone else and a fruit plate for Vice President Pence. Trump also got an extra side of sauce for his chicken.”

An extra side of sauce! The horror.

This sort of turns that whole “the mainstream press hates Trump” on its head, right? I mean, they—at least O’Donnell—must really love and feel concern for President Trump to scrutinize so fully his everyday habits.

And conversely, the press seems utterly indifferent to Hillary Clinton’s welfare. After all, during the campaign nary a mention was made of Clinton’s age—seventy, for those who forgot or who never knew because, well, no one in the press talked about it. The press never seemed concerned that “for her age” she too held an “incredibly stressful job” as a gaffe-prone and perpetually confused Secretary of State and as the equally gaffe-prone and perpetually coughing Democratic nominee for a rather stress-inducing job of leader of the free world.

Unlike today’s laser focus on Trump’s waistline, not much was said during the campaign about the fact that Hillary has struggled with her own weight, nor did anyone focus on the fact that Hillary never really demonstrated an interest or love of exercise or physical exertion of any sort (Shut up! Elder yoga does not count!).

During the campaign, the press never focused on Clinton’s eating habits, nor did they seem to care at all about her sleep habits—not even when she collapsed at a September 11th memorial event from a serious case of pneumonia and had to be thrown side-of-beef-style into a waiting vehicle with tinted windows. Nope, that was just a natural byproduct of campaigning, said a chorus of fawning media types.

But at least this USA Today reporter cares enough about Trump to write an insulting, fat-shaming, and ageist story about his normal-to-all-of-America-except-elitist-reporters love of pizza and fast food and dislike of boring treadmill-like exercise. That’s heartwarming.

One certainly can understand the general disinterest in Clinton’s health. Clinton doesn’t exactly endear people to her. Yet, it is undeniably odd that the press was similarly disinterested in President Barack Obama’s health, a politician who enjoyed unprecedented popularity with the press and public. Where was the concern for Obama, who for years and while in the White House, maintained a smoking habit?

And where was the grave concern for former First Lady Michelle Obama, who, while campaigning to remove salt and butter from school lunch corn and peas, could often be found treating herself to 1,500-plus calorie meals at Washington’s finer restaurants? I guess high calorie, high fat, high salt and generally unhealthy eating is okeydokey when it’s done with proper linens, silverware, wine, waiters and a three to four figure bill at the end of the night.

As for Trump’s exercise, or lack thereof, O’Donnell does at least acknowledge that Trump plays golf—an activity generally associated with good health. Despite this, O’Donnell still calls him “no fan of fitness.”

Of course, in this area, Trump once again understands the American public and realizes that most people aren’t huge fans of fitness. Really…does anyone look forward to the pain, sweating and agonizing soreness that follows a rigorous exercise routine? Well, sure. Some do but are they relatable? No—to most normal Americans. And who wouldn’t prefer to roam the golf course with friends rather than engage in a solitary hour on the treadmill?

It is indeed thoughtful of O’Donnell to take such an interest in Trump’s welfare, but something tells me Trump is just fine with his occasional meal of fried chicken, fast food burgers, and pizza (eaten with a fork) and his late night, sleep-deprived tweets about covfefe.

What I do worry about is O’Donnell’s stress level. She seems overly concerned for the president’s pretty normal workload and eating habits. To quote Bill Murray, “Lighten up, Francis,” Trump’s fine.

Image: Twitter

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  • Alicia Westberry

    The difference between Clinton and Trump is that he actually is President. As for the difference between Obama and Trump; there is a twenty-year age difference. Maybe Trump is healthy. I hope he is. Either way, I hardly think it’s a huge shock that Trump’s health is a topic of conversation. Having a sitting President die while on the job is a bad thing.