Fox News criticised for starting rumours about Joe Biden's health

Two Fox News presenters have speculated on air on at least four different occasions that the Democratic frontrunner is dealing with health issues

Stephanie Fillion
New York
Wednesday 12 June 2019 10:28 BST
(Getty Images)

Fox News has been criticised for pushing unfounded rumours that Joe Biden is in poor health.

A month after the 2020 Democratic candidate, who is 76, launched his presidential campaign, the news channel has started speculating about Mr Biden's health in a similar manner it did about Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Two Fox News presenters, Lisa Kennedy and Sean Hannity, have speculated on air on at least four different occasions that the frontrunner is dealing with health issues.

Kennedy drew a link between Bernie Sanders' comments about the lack of enthusiasm around his candidacy to his health situation: "You go, ‘You know we haven’t seen Joe a lot, maybe he has hidden health issues, is always wearing an overcoat,’” Kennedy said on Fox.

Hannity, who also spread rumours about Hillary Clinton's health in the 2016 election campaign, claimed that the Democratic party was "hiding" Mr Biden.

Mr Biden's campaign dismissed the rumours, calling them "baseless lies meant to stoke fear”.

CNN's politics reporter and editor-at-large Chris Cillizza wrote an analysis on Tuesday accusing Fox News of "crossing the line" by raising unfounded questions about Mr Biden's health.

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However in August 2017, CNN's Reliable Sources host Brian Stelter opened up his show echoing similar questions about Donald Trump's health situation. "Questions that feel out of bounds, off limits, too hot for TV. Questions like these: Is the President of the United States a racist? Is he suffering from some kind of illness? Is he fit for office? And if he’s unfit, then what?"

This was months before Mr Trump underwent his official health checkup in January 2018. Meanwhile CNN's White House chief correspondent Jim Acosta said Mr Trump was "crazy like a fox" on Reliable Sources earlier this week.

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