CNN: Dr. Drew is Out
It was recently announced that CNN and Dr. Drew Pinsky will part ways. The network has canceled Pinsky’s popular show, Dr. Drew on Call. Its final episode will air on September 22, 2016.
So . . . what happened?
Pinsky is beyond popular. Years ago, he made a name for himself on the syndicated radio call-in program Loveline. For the most part, the show addressed issues of relationships, love, sex, and sexual dysfunction. In the process, though, Pinsky shined a light on, and opened up honest and frank discussion of, such topics as sexually transmitted diseases including HIV/AIDS. This was at a time when those subjects were being ignored by much of the media, leaving their victims to live lives of silent shame and disgrace. For many, Pinsky changed that. It made him a sort of radio hero.
Some years later, Pinsky starred in the popular VH1 reality television show Celebrity Rehab. Eventually, he would come under harsh criticism after a number of celebrities who appeared on the show died of drug overdoses.
Most recently, Pinsky made Dr. Drew on Call a popular offering in the HLN lineup. As the parent company of HLN, CNN is in charge of on-air talent and content.
Most of what Pinsky touched did well. He broke down barriers, blasted medical and social stigmas, and was a commercial success. Much of that could be attributed to Pinsky’s demeanor, which is sort of a mashup of friend, confidant, therapist, pastor, and stern disciplinarian. Dr. Drew’s demeanor, at least on air, is frank but easygoing and kind. Though he is tough when he needs to be, he really does seem to care.
That success made Pinsky wealthy—a multimillionaire, in fact. So don’t worry too much. I’m sure he will come out on top.
Even so, what the heck happened?
Asking All the Right—or Wrong—Questions
According to multiple media outlets, it all happened during an August 17 appearance by Pinsky on KABC’s popular radio show “McIntyre in the Morning.” Addressing Hillary Clinton’s recent health care issues, Pinsky stated, on air, that he is “gravely concerned not just about her health, but her health care.” He added that he had consulted with another physician who shared his views.
Pinsky went on to say:
“What is going on with her health care? It’s bizarre. I got to tell you. Maybe they have reasons, but at a distance, it looks bizarre. There ought to be some sort of standard for people that are going to lead the country or are going to [be] making these important decisions. Again, Hillary may be fine with all of this. I mean, it’s dangerous and it’s concerning, but you can see— . . .”
“. . .and by the way, there were two other things that gravely concerned us. When she hit her head, she had to wear these prism glasses when she came out. . . . That is brain damage, and it’s affecting her balance. Now clearly, it hasn’t affected her cognition, but tell us a little more about that. That’s profound. And then number two, when they screened her for heart disease, again, they did an old-fashioned screen. It just seems like she’s getting care from somebody that she met in Arkansas when she was a kid, and you’ve got to wonder. You’ve got to wonder. It’s not so much that her health is a grave concern. It’s that the care she’s getting could make it a concern.”
It should be noted that Pinsky does not treat Clinton. Nor has he ever examined her. Rather, he was basing his opinions upon information—of which there has been a lot—leaked to the public. He was also basing it upon the same photos, videos, and other documentation of her recent struggles that we have all by now seen. Finally, as noted above, he claims to have consulted with another physician who shares his concerns.
A Swift Network Response
Exactly eight days later, on August 25, CNN summarily announced the cancellation of Pinsky’s hit show. No explanation was provided.
Questions were bound to be asked, and they were. Often.
And everyone, it seems, has sources.
While I have no way of verifying this, it just came out that sources close to Pinsky recently reported that upon being made aware of Pinsky’s on-air comments, the CNN brass confronted Pinsky and demanded that he retract his comments. He refused to do so. What followed was a “series of nasty phone calls and e-mails” that the source characterized as “downright scary and creepy.”
And then Pinsky was fired. Without any explanation. Hmmm . . .
Even so, Pinsky’s own representative, Valerie Allen, was evasive when recently questioned about the series of events leading to the cancellation of Pinsky’s show. Allen denied that the two events were related, explaining that the show’s cancellation had been decided “weeks before Pinsky’s comments as part of an overall HLN revamp that includes the end of Nancy Grace’s show.”
Right. Only they apparently forgot to announce it. You know—weeks ago. Like they announced the end of Grace’s show—months ago.
And one more thing: The end of Nancy Grace’s show was publicly announced as soon as the decision was made on June 30.
According to CNN and Allen, the decision was made to end Pinsky’s show “weeks ago,” yet they failed to announce it for . . . what? Weeks? Even worse, they would now have us believe that they only remembered to announce it eight days after Pinsky happened to comment upon Clinton’s health on-air.
And one more thing: The decision to end Nancy Grace’s show was made and announced on June 30. Her last show is in October. In contrast, the decision to end Pinsky’s show was announced on August 25. His last show is September 22.
Oops. Rather than Pinsky’s firing having nothing to do with his on-air speculation regarding Clinton’s health, Pinsky’s firing and the ending of Nancy Grace’s show are the two things that seem completely unrelated.
No, judging from appearances, Pinsky’s firing seems to have everything to do with his on-air comments about Clinton’s health, and nothing to do with the cancellation of Grace’s show.
Addressing this telling fact, Pinsky’s rep Allen held firm: “I know the timing is suspicious, and I know it’s hard to believe, but the two things had nothing to do with each other.”
Right. That’s convincing.
Seems the Pinsky camp and the Clinton camp have more than a little in common.
Res Ipsa Loquitur: “The Thing Speaks for Itself”
CNN, Allen, and anyone else can spin the dissolution of the CNN/Pinsky relationship however they wish. Clearly, Pinsky was fired because he dared to speak out publicly against the presumptive (goodness knows why) president of the liberal democratic left and, by extension, CNN.
I am reminded of the Latin legal phrase res ipsa loquitur, which means “the thing speaks for itself.” In law, it is used to mean a harm for which the blame is so patently obvious that the injured party need not go to the trouble of proving it. The responsibility of the accused for the injury is a given.
The fact that CNN fired Pinsky for speaking out about Hillary Clinton’s health is so obvious as to make further proof unnecessary.
Once Again, the Media Gets It Wrong
Almost immediately after the announcement was made, multiple media outlets criticized Pinsky for publicly opining about the health of a presidential candidate whom he has never personally examined. Never mind that the entire point of Pinsky’s show—and place in the CNN/HLN lineup—was to give him a platform for opining about the health of any number of Americans from a distance and on air. The hypocrisy and double standard of their firing him for doing just that, all because he was speaking about their gal, is hard to miss.
Hypocrisy and a double standard from CNN? Surely not.
Yep. It’s all true.
My point is this: Regardless of how you feel about the propriety of Pinsky’s on-air statements, as they usually do, the media missed the real point—and the real story. This is because whether intentionally or not, they have gotten one very important piece of the story wrong.
In the days since CNN announced the cancellation of Pinsky’s show, I have watched as reporter after reporter has criticized Pinsky for opining, on air, regarding the health of a potential future President of the United States whom he has not personally examined. Some have even gone back into Pinsky’s past and dug up instances where he was accused of wrongdoing, though none of the instances reported is remotely related to his on-air comments about Clinton.
It has resulted in the dissemination of typical media fare by journalists who are anything but.
It also goes to show that once a story is repeated often enough, it becomes the truth. Even to those who made the story up in the first place. Never underestimate the capacity of human beings for self-delusion. This is particularly a talent of the liberal progressive left. But that’s just my opinion.
Other things, thankfully, are not just my opinion. They are not just Pinsky’s opinion. They are the opinion of the entire American medical community. Those are the opinions that I will share with you.
Since neither the media nor the actors have told you the truth, and because they will not do so, I will tell you that story.
The Truth About the “Clinton-Pinsky Affair”
While Pinsky was fired by CNN for opining about Clinton’s health on-air, he was not fired for that reason alone. Nor was he fired, as many have opined, for criticizing Clinton’s medical care as outdated and nonsensical.
No. Pinsky was fired because by initiating a serious discussion about Clinton’s health, he got too close to the truth.
Keep in mind that despite his celebrity status and reputation as a “TV doctor,” Pinsky is a trained internal medicine physician. While he has made his fortune over the past couple of decades by treating more patients in front of television cameras, over radio microphones, and in podcasts than in the treatment rooms of a hospital or clinic, he is traditionally trained in the art and science of classic modern medicine. That is what makes him infinitely dangerous to the Clinton camp.
In other words, Pinsky knows a bogus medical history when he hears one. So do I.
And Hillary Clinton’s medical history is as bogus as they come.
Though Pinsky did not come out and say that on air, he had to have been thinking it. In fact, he stopped just short of saying it by comparing her care to that of physicians from her childhood—which would have been the 1950s, give or take. In other words, Clinton’s symptoms do not match her diagnoses. Her diagnoses, in turn, do not match the medications that she supposedly is taking.
In other words, Hillary Clinton’s medical story is not that of outdated medicine. Rather, it is that of made-up medicine.
The Trouble with Hillary
Here is a partial list of Clinton’s more notorious recent public medical meltdowns:
1.) In 1998 and again in 2009, Clinton suffered a clot, most likely in her leg, commonly known as a deep venous thrombosis (DVT).
2.) In 2009, Clinton ostensibly fell, shattering her elbow.
3.) In 2012, Clinton supposedly caught a “stomach bug,” which for some reason caused her to “faint,” at which time she fell and hit her head, suffering a “mild concussion.” She was hospitalized and eventually discharged.
Just so you know: It would actually be quite difficult to fall from a standing or sitting position and give yourself a concussion. In fact, the only way you could do that is if you happened to fall directly onto your head or on the way down, you hit another object, like a porcelain bathtub or sink or the corner of a table. Even then, you would be much more likely to suffer bleeding in or around the brain—commonly known as an epidural or subdural hematoma—than a concussion, which requires more generalized forces. That is why football players suffer concussions (generalized force to the brain during a tackle), while those who fall tend to suffer hematomas (discreet force to the brain when a fall results in the head striking an object) (for example, the actress Natasha Richards tragically died from an unrecognized hematoma sustained when she fell skiing).
4.) Within weeks, Clinton was again hospitalized after doctors supposedly discovered a “blood clot in her brain” that they referred to as a “cerebral venous thrombosis.” Only recently, in response to inquiries over Clinton’s health, did Lisa R. Bardack, MD, an internist and one of Clinton’s physicians, finally provide the specific clinical name for Clinton’s disorder: transverse sinus venous thrombosis.
At the time, Dr. Brian D. Greenwald, Medical Director of the JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Center for Head Injuries, explained that had the clot not been detected in time, it could have impeded blood flow to Clinton’s brain and “could have caused stroke or hemorrhage”—if it had not been caught in time. Which it was. Caught in time, that is.
Right. No reason to suspect a stroke here. Nothing to see. Move on.
Perhaps the esteemed Dr. Greenwald sees it differently. To us in the emergency rooms spanning the great state of Georgia and, I would guess, this great nation, we call transverse sinus venous thrombosis a stroke. It is a stroke that is both occlusive and hemorrhagic. It is occlusive in the first instance due to the blood clot blocking the flow of blood around the posterior, or back, part of the brain. With time, as the pressure builds in front of the immovable blockage (the clot), blood seeps out into the brain tissue. This causes a hemorrhagic stroke. In the area of the brain that processes vision. Thus, Clinton’s thick glasses at the Benghazi hearings.
Speaking of the Benghazi hearings:
5.) In January, 2013, Clinton famously testified before the Senate and House Foreign Affairs Committees regarding the recent terrorist attack at the Libyan embassy in Benghazi that claimed the lives of four Americans, including the American Ambassador to Libya. During her interviews, Clinton famously—and uncharacteristically—blurted out in anger: “What difference, at this point, does it make?”
Talk about giving your political opponents the best. Footage. Ever.
Also uncharacteristically, at the time, Clinton was wearing thick glasses immediately identified as special glasses commonly worn by patients who have suffered significant traumatic brain injury, most commonly stroke. The special glasses contain a Fresnel Prism specifically designed to correct trauma-induced double vision. Clinton’s physician Bardack confirmed that Clinton was wearing the glasses for that purpose and as a result of her previous “brain trauma.”
Hey, Dr. Bardack! I thought you said she only had a “blood clot!”
. . . Anyway, where were we?
Needless to say, among physicians, “brain trauma” in this context means stroke. Period.
6.) In 2014, Bill Clinton was asked about his wife’s health. Ever the helpful spouse, Bill explained that it had taken Hillary “six months” to recover from her previous “brain injury.”
There’s that phrase again: “brain injury.” Not “blood clot.” “Brain injury.” Hmmm . . .
7.) Very recently, Clinton, cornered by her own lies and incompetence in the ongoing email and Clinton Foundation scandals, has taken to claiming that she “does not remember” significant events as well as her own actions and inactions as a result of her 2012 brain trauma.
Just so you know: While a “mild concussion” can lead to momentary memory loss, that memory loss is usually limited to the actual moment of impact. At the most, it encompasses the moment of impact and the moments just before or after impact. It does not involve chronic or long-term memory loss. Certainly, it does not excuse chronic misbehavior and poor judgment as Clinton now claims.
It is also important to note that in the case of a mild concussion, memory loss and other symptoms lasting longer than 24, and certainly 48, hours would be highly unusual. Symptoms being present for one month, much less six months, is simply inconsistent with mild concussion.
8.) Washington, D.C. insider Edward Klein, in his book Unlikeable: The Problem with Hillary, reveals that Clinton suffers from a number of chronic medical conditions, including depression, migraine headaches, and insomnia.
9.) Clinton has long been known to take a number of chronic medications, including blood thinners, thyroid hormone replacement, antihistamines, and vitamin B12.
10.) In recent months alone, the American public has observed Hillary Clinton suffer the following difficulties in public and on the campaign trail:
• Multiple episodes of difficulty standing, walking, and ascending steps. We have personally seen Clinton fall while stepping up into an airplane and almost fall while ascending the steps to a front porch, at which time her Secret Service agents appeared to steady her and actually lift her the rest of the way up—a completely normal set of front steps.
• Multiple fits of uncontrollable coughing, in the absence of other cold symptoms, that are unrelieved with water and lozenges. Some of the fits have been so severe and violent that they have abruptly ended interviews with the presidential candidate.
• Multiple spontaneous facial expressions and physical reactions that, quite frankly, are more consistent with dementia, seizures, or other neurologic problems than with normal human expression.
• Instances of uncharacteristic verbal outbursts, such as her self-defeating outburst in the Benghazi hearings referenced above and one particularly unflattering moment when she allowed herself to be filmed barking like a dog. (And too convincingly for comfort, I might add.)
• Several episodes of spontaneous, uncontrollable head bobbing that are inconsistent with normal human behavior and communication. For the seconds during which they occur, these episodes give Clinton the appearance of the popular “bobble-head” doll found on car dashboards across the country. This is consistent with a number of known medical disorders, all of which are both serious and progressive. Those include seizures, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and any number of other progressive neurologic disorders.
The list is fairly short. It does not include anything routine, minor, or temporary. None of the entries on the list is consistent with its sufferer serving as President of the United States.
• Several episodes on the campaign trail where, as Clinton was speaking, her “Secret Service” agents have rushed the stage, though there was no perceptible disturbance coming from the crowd or threatening Clinton. Invariably, in that moment, Clinton is noted to be dazed, confused, and momentarily unable to speak.
Eventually, folks noticed that there is one man who is always the first to reach Clinton’s side, who invariably holds her up and tells her to “be calm,” that “everything is okay,” and to “keep talking.” That gentleman has now been identified. He is not, as he appears, a Secret Service agent. Rather, he is Clinton’s personal physician.
Right. Don’t we all travel with our personal physician ready to leap upon the stage at a second’s notice?
Um, no. Not even Donald Trump does that. Because he—unlike Clinton—is not ill.
On one particularly noteworthy occasion, cameras captured the fact that as Clinton’s personal physician rushed to her side and steadied her with his right arm, all the while telling her that everything was okay and to “keep talking,” he held something in his left hand.
Photographs from the crowd don’t lie. They can also be magnified. Almost immediately, it was reported that he was holding an object very low—and, he mistakenly thought, behind the podium—and very near Clinton’s left thigh. I have seen the photos. He was holding what was clearly a device used to automatically inject a drug.
My educated guess regarding the contents of the spring-loaded syringe? You guessed it: an anti-seizure medication.
No doubt, their plan was as follows:
Were an on-stage, mid-speech seizure to last too long or make it obvious that Clinton is seriously ill, the good doctor would secretly inject the drug into her thigh while, he thought, no one was looking. Undoubtedly, the medication, if injected, would within seconds have rendered Clinton drowsy if not unconscious. No doubt, the good doctor would have caught Clinton, as he was already positioned to do, in a dramatic show of happening to be in the right place at the right time.
After all, better that you have to explain that your presidential candidate “fainted from exhaustion” than that she in fact suffers from a chronic and progressive seizure disorder.
As with everything the Clintons do, they again chose to tell a lie about Hillary fainting rather than the truth: That she suffers from a number of serious and progressive illnesses, including chronic seizures.
Fortunately, at the event in question, Clinton regained her composure within a seconds, allowing the good doctor to take his medication off the stage with him as Clinton finished her speech.
Just so you know: Clinton’s ability to remain at the podium, and even keep talking coherently, during a brief seizure is not unusual. Though the brain is seizing, the body is capable of continuing with rote tasks, including standing, walking, and continuing to speak and even deliver a previously memorized speech. This is akin to the person who is in the process of fainting yet is still capable, for a time, of speaking and even standing, walking, or sitting upright. These are deeply ingrained, highly reflexive, rote behaviors that also satisfy the patient’s subconscious desire, in the moment, to press on and not draw attention to themselves. Particularly in public, on some level, they are desperately hoping to “overcome” the seizure or blackout. Again, it is a reflexive act.
This is why Clinton’s doctor told her to “keep talking.” He knew that she could.
One other important medical point needs to be made: Many of us envision seizures as involving the violent writhing, gesturing, and tongue-biting that commonly occur with a classic, or “grand mal,” seizure. There is also, however, a common variant known as “absence seizures.” They are so named because the seizing patient simply stares into space, and thus appears to be “absent” from the situation. Most such seizures last a few seconds at the most, and most patients and their families learn, with time, to simply ensure that the seizing person is safe from falling or otherwise injuring themselves as they wait for the seizure to pass. The patient usually comes out of the seizure with an intact memory of everything leading up to and following the seizure. The only gap in their memory involves the few seconds when the seizure was actually taking place.
Some patients naturally have “absence” rather than “grand mal” seizures. For others, chronic seizure medications successfully “downgrade” grand mal seizures to absence seizures, in which case the risk of seizure-related injury and death are greatly reduced. I had an uncle in that latter category. From time to time, I observed him have absence seizures. For the most part, they were non-events. In fact, you had to be looking directly at him, or talking directly to him, to even notice. Even then, the only perceptible change was that he appeared to stare off into space for a few seconds. Once the momentary seizure was over, he would then pick up the conversation where you left off without missing a beat. Oftentimes, his seizures went unnoticed. Even more often, they came and went without much discussion, at least within our family that knew what they were.
The actual medicine of seizures, of course, is quite a bit more complex. These, however, are the basics most relevant to Clinton’s situation.
All aboard! . . . Before Clinton, that is.
More recently, the Clinton camp has gone to even greater extremes to shield Clinton from inquiring eyes.
Recently, a reporter tweeted out that when the press flies with Clinton, Clinton staff members will not allow anyone to observe, photograph, or film Clinton either walking from her car to the airplane or boarding the plane. All members of the press are required to be seated on the plane before Clinton gets out of her car.
I think by now we all know why that is.
A Vexing Problem
I guess Clinton’s staff’s directive to the media makes sense given Clinton’s growing tendency to shake, bobble, trip, and fall, and most particularly while walking, standing, ascending steps, and boarding a plane.
And then there is her obsession with being elected president.
Obviously, for the aging Clinton, there is a vexing clash between her reality of the unforgiving, progressive onslaught of physical illness and her enduring dream of being president. Just like Bill. And she’s rapidly running out of time.
It’s a good thing that the United States President doesn’t need to walk. Or climb stairs. Or board planes. Or speak to voters. Or give speeches. Or be, well, healthy. Or alive. For years to come. Or . . .
Wait a minute!
Right! There’s a reason why we require that presidential candidates submit physician statements of physical and mental fitness for the job!
There’s always a reason . . .
There is also a reason why Clinton’s symptoms do not make sense. There is a reason why her symptoms do not match her claimed diagnoses. There is a reason why her medications, in turn, match neither her symptoms nor her diagnoses. There is a reason why to Pinsky looking on as a trained internal medicine physician, Clinton’s medical care appears both outdated and nonsensical.
It is because they are lying. They are lying about it all.
It is because Clinton’s medical history is being written not by physicians, but rather by campaign staffers. And handlers. And political operatives. And pundits. And a media that we now know is untruthful, unethical, ideological, biased, and painfully desperate for a Clinton presidency—which, of course, would be a third, if not a third and fourth, Obama term.
In fact, those who currently control American politics from the left would be perfectly happy to elect Clinton president even if she were brain-dead. Actually, she might hold even more appeal for them in that case. After all, she could hardly oppose their wishes, as the presidential string-pullers, if she were completely incapacitated. All they would need to do is parade her out every now and then in highly controlled conditions so as to reassure the nation—falsely—that she was in control. Which she would not be.
Sort of like now, on the campaign trail. Clinton only appears infrequently and under highly controlled conditions. And this is while she is still running for the presidency. What is to stop them from hiding her away in the White House if she wins?
It reminds me of the 1993 comedy starring Kevin Kline entitled Dave. In the movie, Kline plays a presidential impersonator who is persuaded by the real president’s team to double as the president in public. He is first asked to do so in a ruse designed to cover up the president’s extramarital affair. In the process, however, the president suffers a massive stroke, leaving Kline’s character, Dave, holding the bag—and occupying the Oval Office.
I know . . . it’s all a bit, well, eery given Clinton’s conditions. Talk about life imitating art.
Since the movie is a comedy, all’s well that ends well. Something tells me that Clinton’s story—and ours—would not end so well were she elected as an ailing president.
The Bottom Line
Because I am neither famous nor a celebrity like Pinsky, and because he cannot, I will tell you what we are both thinking.
First, a necessary caveat: Like Pinsky, I do not know Clinton personally. (Actually, I have no desire to know her.) I have never examined her.
Even so, I can tell you this: Clinton suffers from some combination of the following illnesses: stroke disorder, seizure disorder, another progressive neurological disorder such a multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s disease, and/or early dementia.
None of those conditions is mild. None is temporary. All are potentially life-ending. All are most certainly ability-limiting, sooner rather than later. We are already seeing that in Clinton’s performance on the presidential campaign trail.
None of these conditions is consistent with being elected to the highest office in the land. None is consistent with serving as the nation’s commander in chief.
I feel compelled to say that Clinton’s health is certainly not the only thing making her unfit to hold the nation’s highest office. Certainly, we need someone healthy. Clinton is seriously ill. But we also need someone who is honest, trustworthy, and principled. Clinton is none of those things. We need a leader. Clinton is not that either. We need someone who is capable. Clinton is as incapable as they come.
In fact, given Clinton’s recent scandals and her many contortions to evade responsibility for her actions, Clinton has painted herself into that most inhospitable of corners: American voters must now choose whether to believe that Clinton is: (1) a corrupt, crooked liar, or (2) grossly incompetent. Those are the only two options. And either alone—much less both together—should disqualify her from the presidency.
Now we can add her physical unfitness to that list.
Pinsky knows this. On that fateful morning radio show, he simply got too close to the truth. And that scares the you-know-what out of the Clinton camp and their well-heeled cronies, including those who regularly polish their brass knuckles at CNN.
That, in the end, is why Pinsky was fired. He was fired for being the serious physician that no doubt still lingers underneath his celebrity status and star-studded reputation as a sex therapist, drug rehabilitation counselor, and entertainment personality.
Welcome to the real world of real medicine, Dr. Drew. It’s good to have you back.
Those are my thoughts. Please let me know yours.