Thursday, September 15, 2016

Dr. Oz takes on the 2016 Presidential Election

By: Ann Jacob

Donald Trump may not be releasing his tax returns any time soon but he is giving the public something else to dig into - his medical records.

Every week, there is a new topic that news outlets focus on. This week? Candidates medical statuses.

Donald Trump

Yesterday, all the major news outlets, including CBS reported on Trump's appearance on the "The Dr. Oz Show." CBS also dug up a memo from Trump's doctor, written in December. In it, Dr. Harold Bornstein, M.D. writes that Trump would be "the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency." CNN was the only other outlet that addressed Bornstein's comment in connection with Trump's TV appearance. Uniquely, CBS took a look at the other presidents that were likely more healthy than the 70 year old Republican.

Hillary Clinton

Clinton leaves 9/11 memorial service
early due to sickness. Credit: AP
On the other side, CBS also took a look at Hillary Clinton. The piece, titles, "Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton locked in tight race nationally-CBS/NYT poll" dealt with many issues including Clinton's health. In the wake of her 9/11 pneumonia announcement, more than half of the voters polled don't think each presidential candidate should release more of their medical records. Interesting, this poll was taken before either candidate's recent release of medical records. That makes the next piece of information all the more intriguing. Pollsters found that a little more than 40% of people thought that the candidates have released enough information medically.

The Real Losers

So if people don't care about the health of their next leader, why is health making such huge headlines this week?

In comparison to the other major networks, CBS has seems to have the least coverage. Although CBS isn't covering the medical side every hour (or so it seems) like CNN or NBC, this could be a positive move. Why? David Gergen, CNN's Senior Political Analyst put it best. "The losers are very clearly the American voters. We're getting a run around from both camps at the moment and until they get serious and really give us hard evidence, we can't really make judgements about either candidate's health," he said. Ultimately, ripping these medical records apart with different analysts every hour doesn't change the fact that there is no new information.

3rd Party Coverage

One has to wonder, why is no outlet asking for Gary Johnson's medical records?

While CBS didn't cover Johnson's (or Jill Stein's) health, the outlet is continuing efforts to give the third party candidate coverage. CBS reports in "N.H. paper bucks 100-year tradition, backs Gary Johnson over Donald Trump" that for the "first time in a century" the paper chose not to endorse the Republican nominee.

Gary Johnson and Bill Weld on CBS This Morning.
Credit: CBS News
Union Leader publisher Joe McQuaid wrote in an editorial Wednesday, "the man [Trump] is a liar, a bully, a buffoon," and  that "in today's dark times, they [Johnson and VP, Weld] are a bright light of hope and reason."

CNN and the Washington Post were the only other major outlets to cover this story. News outlets ultimately need to answer to the public of why when so many news outlets gather polls on American's dissatisfaction with the two major candidates, do they not provide more content on third party options.

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