Flash photography was banned at the second presidential debate because it would interfere with the live televised event and could cause distractions, the debate commission said Tuesday, contrary to a PIX11 News reporter’s erroneous speculation that concerns over Hillary Clinton’s health prompted the ban.
On Monday’s “PIX11 Morning News,” reporter Kirstin Cole stated that fears that flashing cameras may “inspire” Hillary Clinton’s “seizure disorder” prompted the Secret Service to prohibit flash photography.
Both her comments about the photography ban and Clinton’s health were not based on fact but on speculation. PIX11 regrets the error.
The comments were made during an unscripted exchange, which has circulated online since it aired, featuring Cole and news anchors discussing the ban on flash photography at the debate.
A senior official with the Commission on Presidential Debates explained to PIX11 News Tuesday why flash photography was banned.
“The Commission on Presidential Debates has always banned flash photography during the debates,” the statement read. “Flash photography during a live televised debate creates interference and distraction for everyone involved.”
Further, the Secret Service had no role in the decision.
PIX11 News reached out to Clinton’s campaign for comment, and had not heard back by the time of publication.
There is no evidence to support claims that Clinton suffers from seizures.
Clinton’s Republican rival, Donald Trump, and his top surrogates have routinely questioned the state of her health during this campaign.
CNN reported in August that pro-Trump bloggers have used “selectively edited videos of public events to advance claims she’s suffered seizures.”
In September, Clinton’s personal doctor said the Democratic presidential nominee’s complete physical exam was “normal” and she is in “excellent mental condition.”
Her doctor, Lisa Bardack, made the comments after Clinton became overheated, dehydrated and felt dizzy – a result of pneumonia – at the 9/11 memorial ceremony at the World Trade Center and left the event early.