Why is Melania's health more important than Hillary's?

First Lady Melania Trump had a hospital-based kidney procedure last month, described as "[a]n embolization procedure to treat a benign kidney condition."  Embolization is a minimally invasive surgical technique that deliberately creates a blood vessel blockage in order to choke off the blood supply to a tumor, either benign or malignant.

Reports are that Mrs. Trump had a benign condition and remained in the hospital for four days.  Some patients are discharged from the hospital sooner, and some are not, depending on each individual situation.  Some total hip or knee replacement patients are sent home the same day of surgery, while others spend a few days in the hospital.

This variability was enough for the journalistic sleuths at CNN to ask, "Why is Melania Trump still in the hospital?"  It's as if CNN felt slighted that it was not part of Mrs. Trump's medical team with medical power of attorney to call the shots in her medical care.

Once out of the hospital, she recuperated in the White House, making no public appearances during her convalescence.  So what?  Maybe she suffered a complication or was fatigued from the anesthesia or procedure.  Maybe her doctors placed her at bed rest to prevent bleeding.  Maybe, maybe, maybe.  And none of our or the media's business.

She is the first lady, not the President.  According to the U.S. Constitution, a document most journalists are not familiar with, she is not in the succession line to the presidency.  She is also not one election away from the presidency, like another woman who had health issues, which the media were noticeably incurious about.

The media, after questioning her four-day hospital stay, then wondered why she hadn't made any public appearances in 20 days.  Did the media wonder why Bill Clinton made few, if any, public appearances from when the Harvey Weinstein story broke until a few days ago, when he started his book tour?

The media couldn't resist creating fantasies about Melania's Trump's absence from the public eye.  Jamil Smith, senior writer at Rolling Stone, tweeted his theory that the president had beaten up his wife, and her three-week absence was to conceal signs of abuse. 

The President responded as he is prone to do, punching back hard when anyone takes a swing at him or his family, tweeting about some of the absurd theories tossed out by the media.  CNN's priggish reporter Brian Stelter tried to defend the media, blaming the conspiracy theories on Twitter bots and not the media, except that Rolling Stone is considered by some a member of the media.

The only theory missing is that Mrs. Trump was secretly in Russia, meeting with Vladimir Putin, planning how to steal the 2018 midterm elections for Republicans.

The same media are incurious about the myriad health issues of Hillary Clinton – not as first lady, but as a presidential candidate, who, by all accounts, was going to win the election and be America's 45th president.  This was with her concussion, falls, collapsing, seizure-like speech tics, coughing spasms, and long absences from the campaign trail.

There were no stories speculating that her numerous days away from campaigning were due to Bill beating her up and telling her to "put some ice on it," staying undercover until the bruising went away.  Instead, the media defended her campaign absences, excoriating Donald Trump for "mocking" her for taking a day off.

The media downplayed her absences, saying, "She attended a campaign event in Philadelphia Monday and has one scheduled in Florida Wednesday – though she has no events scheduled for Thursday or Friday."  Do the math: two appearances in five days.  Unlike her campaign opponent, who the media acknowledged was far busier and more energetic, "[h]er campaign nixed a planned fundraiser in North Carolina Tuesday, even as Trump attended two rallies." 

Melania Trump was not elected to anything.  She has no constitutional responsibility, and if she takes some time off after surgery, it's no business of the media, and certainly no reason to fabricate nonsensical and mean-spirited explanations for her absence.

That's quite a departure from their coverage of the "almost" president of the United States.  I say "almost" because she was assumed to be the winner until about 9 P.M. on election night.  If Mrs. Clinton was unwell as president, she would be leaving the country in the hands of her finger-wagging husband, hanging out in his favorite room, serving as a surrogate president when not busy with beret-wearing Rubenesque White House interns.

Covering up Mrs. Clinton's health issues would be easy enough to do with a willing and compliant media providing the same cover the Soviet media gave to the string of general secretaries on life support, trotted out only for the May Day parade.

The media beclown themselves by subjecting the first lady to health scrutiny far more than they ever did to the presumed next president of the United States.  Is anyone surprised?

Brian C Joondeph, M.D., MPS is a Denver-based physician and writer.  Follow him on Facebook,  LinkedIn and Twitter.

First Lady Melania Trump had a hospital-based kidney procedure last month, described as "[a]n embolization procedure to treat a benign kidney condition."  Embolization is a minimally invasive surgical technique that deliberately creates a blood vessel blockage in order to choke off the blood supply to a tumor, either benign or malignant.

Reports are that Mrs. Trump had a benign condition and remained in the hospital for four days.  Some patients are discharged from the hospital sooner, and some are not, depending on each individual situation.  Some total hip or knee replacement patients are sent home the same day of surgery, while others spend a few days in the hospital.

This variability was enough for the journalistic sleuths at CNN to ask, "Why is Melania Trump still in the hospital?"  It's as if CNN felt slighted that it was not part of Mrs. Trump's medical team with medical power of attorney to call the shots in her medical care.

Once out of the hospital, she recuperated in the White House, making no public appearances during her convalescence.  So what?  Maybe she suffered a complication or was fatigued from the anesthesia or procedure.  Maybe her doctors placed her at bed rest to prevent bleeding.  Maybe, maybe, maybe.  And none of our or the media's business.

She is the first lady, not the President.  According to the U.S. Constitution, a document most journalists are not familiar with, she is not in the succession line to the presidency.  She is also not one election away from the presidency, like another woman who had health issues, which the media were noticeably incurious about.

The media, after questioning her four-day hospital stay, then wondered why she hadn't made any public appearances in 20 days.  Did the media wonder why Bill Clinton made few, if any, public appearances from when the Harvey Weinstein story broke until a few days ago, when he started his book tour?

The media couldn't resist creating fantasies about Melania's Trump's absence from the public eye.  Jamil Smith, senior writer at Rolling Stone, tweeted his theory that the president had beaten up his wife, and her three-week absence was to conceal signs of abuse. 

The President responded as he is prone to do, punching back hard when anyone takes a swing at him or his family, tweeting about some of the absurd theories tossed out by the media.  CNN's priggish reporter Brian Stelter tried to defend the media, blaming the conspiracy theories on Twitter bots and not the media, except that Rolling Stone is considered by some a member of the media.

The only theory missing is that Mrs. Trump was secretly in Russia, meeting with Vladimir Putin, planning how to steal the 2018 midterm elections for Republicans.

The same media are incurious about the myriad health issues of Hillary Clinton – not as first lady, but as a presidential candidate, who, by all accounts, was going to win the election and be America's 45th president.  This was with her concussion, falls, collapsing, seizure-like speech tics, coughing spasms, and long absences from the campaign trail.

There were no stories speculating that her numerous days away from campaigning were due to Bill beating her up and telling her to "put some ice on it," staying undercover until the bruising went away.  Instead, the media defended her campaign absences, excoriating Donald Trump for "mocking" her for taking a day off.

The media downplayed her absences, saying, "She attended a campaign event in Philadelphia Monday and has one scheduled in Florida Wednesday – though she has no events scheduled for Thursday or Friday."  Do the math: two appearances in five days.  Unlike her campaign opponent, who the media acknowledged was far busier and more energetic, "[h]er campaign nixed a planned fundraiser in North Carolina Tuesday, even as Trump attended two rallies." 

Melania Trump was not elected to anything.  She has no constitutional responsibility, and if she takes some time off after surgery, it's no business of the media, and certainly no reason to fabricate nonsensical and mean-spirited explanations for her absence.

That's quite a departure from their coverage of the "almost" president of the United States.  I say "almost" because she was assumed to be the winner until about 9 P.M. on election night.  If Mrs. Clinton was unwell as president, she would be leaving the country in the hands of her finger-wagging husband, hanging out in his favorite room, serving as a surrogate president when not busy with beret-wearing Rubenesque White House interns.

Covering up Mrs. Clinton's health issues would be easy enough to do with a willing and compliant media providing the same cover the Soviet media gave to the string of general secretaries on life support, trotted out only for the May Day parade.

The media beclown themselves by subjecting the first lady to health scrutiny far more than they ever did to the presumed next president of the United States.  Is anyone surprised?

Brian C Joondeph, M.D., MPS is a Denver-based physician and writer.  Follow him on Facebook,  LinkedIn and Twitter.