New York Times Alters Hillary Clinton Quote on Increasing ‘Antihistamine Load’

Democratic presidential nominee former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks to members of the media aboard her campaign plane while traveling to Tampa, Florida on September 6, 2016 in White Plains, New York. Hillary Clinton is campaigning in Florida.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

A Tuesday article by the New York Times‘ Amy Chozick alters a quote from Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton discussing the aftermath of a four-minute coughing fit on the campaign trail.

The text of the Chozick’s piece quotes Clinton as saying, “I just upped my antihistamine to try to break through” an allergy flareup — her explanation of the coughing episode. However, Clinton used the phrase “antihistamine load.” Chozick, part of Clinton’s traveling press corps, was on the plane with her as she made the statement.

Kyle Olson at The American Mirror first pointed out the bizarre omission:

Hillary Clinton says she is working to combat coughing fits like the two that occurred yesterday by increasing her antihistamine intake.

Clinton was addressing reporters aboard her campaign plane today when she said [sic] used the “allergies” defense, and said they flare up in the spring and fall.

“Are you on any meds or anything like that?” she was asked.

“I just upped my antihistamine load to try to break through it,” she responded, according to the New York Times. (The Times omitted “load” from its quotation, but she clearly says it in the video.) [emphasis added]

The Drudge Report prominently featured Olson’s post Wednesday night, but the Times article still displays the inaccurate transcription as of Thursday afternoon — while an auto-play video of the statement is embedded at the top of the post.

Chozick did not respond to a request for an explanation.

This change does not dramatically affect the meaning of Clinton’s sentence, but it does somewhat soften how she describes the scale of her medical regimen. If the omission is intentional, it reinforces concerns about the non-confrontational style of Clinton’s traveling press corps and the protective stance that establishment news organizations have taken toward her.

Chozick’s softening of this Clinton quote — intentional or not — follows a plea from NYT tech reporter Farhad Manjoo to suppress Google search rankings for articles questioning Clinton’s health. As the Times reinforces the perception that it would like this narrative to go away, veteran reporters such as Carl Bernstein are calling for more transparency from the Democratic nominee. “I would suggest that she open up, that she starts holding press conferences, release her medical records, and spend an hour with the press talking about her health,” the reporter, famous for covering Richard Nixon’s Watergate scandal at the Washington Post, said Thursday on CNN’s New Day.


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