Last week, Dr. Drew Pinsky made a real splash in the Clinton health truther community by declaring on a radio show that he was “gravely” concerned for Hillary Clinton’s health. On Thursday, HLN announced that his HLN show Dr. Drew On Call would be cancelled. Whoops!
In a statement, CNN (HLN’s sister network) characterized the cancellation as a “mutual” decision, and as a part of broader changes across the network (Nancy Grace’s show, which has much higher ratings than Dr. Drew On Call, will be ending this fall as well). In 2013, Dr. Drew ended another heavily criticized show, Celebrity Rehab, because he was “tired of taking all the heat” for the deaths of five former cast members.
“It has been a privilege working at HLN,” Dr. Drew said in a statement. “My executive producer Burt Dubrow and our outstanding staff and contributors were consistently exceptional. I am very excited to stay within the CNN Worldwide family as a contributor.”
On August 17, the good doctor went on KABC’s “McIntyre in the Morning” to join the chorus of conservatives who are screeching that Clinton is mentally and physically unfit for the presidency. Among other things, Pinsky claimed—based on this letter from Clinton’s New York-based doctor, which notes hypothyroidism, seasonal allergies and a resolved concussion, and declares Clinton in “excellent physical condition”—that Clinton has suffered from “brain damage” and that her care is “old-fashioned” and “bizarre.” The segment fueled conspiracy theories, including a segment on Fox and Friends.
In a strange turn, it was Newt Gingrich (Newt??) who most effectively slapped down this conversation, calling Dr. Drew’s comments “kind of junk medicine” on Fox and Friends and declaring himself “dubious” of doctors giving a “complicated, fancy-sounding analysis” without knowing the patient.
No official connection has been made between the cancellation and the Clinton health gaffe, although this is not the first time it’s happened—the Washington Post notes that in January, Dr. Drew suggested on his show that Clinton’s late return to the debate stage was a result of brain damage (she was using the restroom); he later issued an apology.
For whatever reason, Dr. Drew’s own brain did not appear to perceive that this conspiracy is really fucking stupid.