Hoax reports by multiple right-wing conspiracy theory blogs that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has died went viral online late last night (September 12), with the search terms “Hillary Clinton Death” rising briefly on Google Trends. According to the hoax reports, Clinton’s death was announced on WABC-TV Channel 7’s Eyewitness News at 11 p.m. EST on September 11, with anchorman Joe Torre allegedly saying, “More on Hillary Clinton’s death.”
An alleged recording of the ABC News segment showing Joe Torre saying “more on Hillary Death” was uploaded to several YouTube channels on September 12. The Alex Jones YouTube channel also uploaded a copy of the suspiciously poor quality clip late on September 12, and it went viral immediately.
Infowars said its reporter Own Shroyer contacted ABC News about the unlikely video clip, but the news station apparently ignored the inquiry.
“Was this a prank in the office, a mistake made by someone on the teleprompter, or perhaps a report that wasn’t yet supposed to be released?”
The right-wing blog Conservative Daily Post also participated in the Clinton death hoax, with a report titled “ABC News Just Confirmed Hillary Dead At Local Hospital.”
According to the blog, “Based on rogue reports, it is now our understanding that Hillary Rodham Clinton may in fact be dead.”
The website’s right-wing readers were clearly delighted about the supposed news that Clinton had died in a “local hospital.”
Hal Turner’s notorious right-wing conspiracy theory blog Super Station 95 published a report titled “WABC-TV Ch. 7 in NYC Reports ‘Hillary Clinton’s Death.'”
The blog claimed that Clinton died on September 11 after she left Ground Zero, but the Clinton campaign was concealing the information. The blog also claimed it was a “body double” that was seen leaving Chelsea’s East 26th apartment in New York a few hours later.
“Did Hillary die after leaving the 9-11 Ceremony in New York… and the information is being concealed?”
— Beverly Simcic (@BeverlySimcic) September 13, 2016
However, some blog reports admitted that the poor quality ABC News video clip may have been a hoax or that the reporter had only appeared to say, “More on Hillary Clinton’s Death.”
According to the blog Earn the Necklace, anchorman Joe Torre “wrongly reported” that Clinton had died during WABC-TV Channel 7 New York’s Eyewitness News broadcast.
The hoax reports sparked searches on Google for news about the Democratic presidential candidate’s alleged death, with the terms “Hillary Clinton death” surging briefly on Google Trends. Several social media users uploaded the alleged recording of the news segment that appeared to show Torre talking about the death of the former secretary of state.
Remonstrations that the report was false sparked an immediate backlash, with conspiracy theory allegations that the Clinton campaign was hiding information about the death of the presidential candidate.
The latest death hoax comes after reports that the 68-year-old former secretary of state suffered a medical episode during a Sunday memorial at the World Trade Center in Manhattan to mark the 15th anniversary of the September 11 attacks.
The Inquisitr reported that Clinton left the memorial ceremony abruptly at about 9:30 a.m. after feeling weak and that she stumbled, her knees buckled, and she appeared to faint as aides led her into a van.
Footage uploaded to Twitter showing Clinton stumbling and appearing to slump as she was led into a van went viral online and reignited old conspiracy theory rumors about her health.
Hillary Clinton 9/11 NYC pic.twitter.com/q9YnsjTxss
— Zdenek Gazda (@zgazda66) September 11, 2016
.@trump2016fan Why did ABC in NY on local News and on web say Hillary died at Montefiore Medical Hospital then blank it off the air?
— Deplorable Suzanne (@suzost) September 12, 2016
Hours later, at about 11 a.m., Clinton spokesperson Nick Merrill told media reporters that Clinton left the venue of the memorial abruptly after feeling overheated. She was seen later at about 11:45 a.m. leaving her daughter’s New York apartment, waving, smiling, and saying she was “feeling great.”
Here is Hillary Clinton leaving Chelsea's apartment. (A little girl came up to give her a hug) pic.twitter.com/VreSXmT1Yh
— Liz Kreutz (@ABCLiz) September 11, 2016
The incident sparked speculation about Clinton’s health and medical fitness to run for president. The speculation intensified after her doctor Lisa R. Bardack said in a statement that she had been diagnosed with pneumonia on Friday. Bardack explained that Clinton had suffered from overheating and dehydration, but she was recovering after treatment with antibiotics.
However, Clinton kept the diagnosis secret, choosing to tell only family and close aides, the Hill reports. She reportedly kept the news private out of fear that it could be exploited by her political opponents.
She reportedly ignored her doctor’s advice to break her campaign schedule and rest five days because she was set on attending the September 11 memorial events. She told CNN on Monday that she had kept the information private because she “didn’t think it was going to be that big a deal.”
[Photo by Craig Ruttle/AP Images]