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Report: CNN Pressured Dr. Drew ‘Like the Mafia’ to Retract Clinton Health Comments

When HLN cancelled Dr. Drew in August, the network said the decision was “mutually agreed” upon by both network executives and the show’s host, Dr. Drew Pinsky — but according to a report, executives at CNN (HLN’s sister network) pressured Pinsky to retract comments he made about Hillary Clinton’s health before the show was cancelled a few days later.

“CNN is so supportive of Clinton, network honchos acted like the Mafia when confronting Drew,” a source close to Pinsky told the New York Post‘s Page Six. “First, they demanded he retract his comments, but he wouldn’t.”

During a radio interview with John McIntyre on August 16, Dr. Pinsky commented on the release of the Democratic presidential candidate’s medical records, saying that based upon the information he had reviewed with another doctor, he was “gravely concerned not just about her health, but her health care.”

“Both of us concluded that if we were providing the care she was receiving, we would be ashamed to show up in a doctors’ lounge,” Dr. Pinsky concluded. “We would be laughed out. She’s receiving sort of 1950s level care by our evaluation.”

Eight days later, CNN executive vice president Ken Jautz announced that the last episode of Dr. Drew would air September 22.

“Dr. Drew and his team have delivered more than five years of creative shows and I want to thank them for their hard work and distinctive programming,” Jautz said in a statement announcing the show’s cancellation. “Their audience-driven shows, in particular, were innovative and memorable TV. And Dr. Drew has been an authoritative voice on addiction and on many other topical issues facing America today.”

The cancellation was framed as part of a broader shakeup at HLN, including the end of Nancy Grace’s long-running show on the network.

But a source close to Dr. Pinsky told Page Six that the host’s comments on Clinton’s health led to a series of “nasty” phone calls and emails from network executives that were “downright scary and creepy.”

A representative for CNN did not immediately return Breitbart News’ request for comment.

Dr. Pinsky had previously commented on questions surrounding Clinton’s health, which has become an issue in the 2016 race as critics attempt to show she is physically unfit for the presidency. During a radio interview in January, Dr. Pinsky said he was concerned with the “quality of the overall care” Clinton was receiving. He also discussed Clinton’s health during a January 19 episode of his HLN show, and later apologized for violating HLN and CNN editorial standards by citing an “unsubstantiated report.”

Meanwhile, questions about Clinton’s health have continued to dog the candidate with just two months left until Election Day. On Friday, the FBI released documents that revealed that Clinton told Bureau investigators during a July 2 interview that she could not recall all of the briefings she had been given on handling sensitive information due to a concussion she sustained in 2012.

“Based on her doctor’s advice, she could only work at State for a few hours a day and could not recall every briefing she received,” the FBI documents stated.

 

Follow Daniel Nussbaum on Twitter: @dznussbaum

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