Fake Baby?!

04.22.14

Chelsea Clinton’s Pregnancy Is ‘Staged,’ if You’re a Conspiracy Theorist

"Chelsea's faking her pregnancy!" "No, it's all a scheme to boost her mother's approval ratings!" For crackpots, the Clinton baby news is just the latest Clinton conspiracy.

Chelsea Clinton, once-and-perhaps-future First Daughter, is expecting a baby with Marc Mezvinsky, her husband of four years. Or not, depending on how tight your tin-foil hat is. “When I say [the pregnancy is] staged I have to believe she’s pregnant, if she says she’s pregnant,” said Newsmax’s Steve Malzberg.

Fortunately, unlike rumors about nano-thermite at ground zero and long-form birth certificates, this one is easily debunked: We’ve only got to wait nine months to prove it wrong. If Chelsea Clinton were faking a pregnancy to boost her mother’s potential presidential campaign, it would possibly be the most poorly thought-out conspiracy in political history. Well, almost.

Lauren Ashburn, a media analyst on Fox News, is slightly more generous to the Clinton clan: Chelsea is pregnant, no doubt, but the pregnancy is obviously a ploy to fuel support for the former secretary of state’s bid for the White House. “You’ve been in this town for how many years, and you don’t have a cynical bone in your body? I think a lot of reporters think maybe this was planned,” Ashburn said.

Newsmax’s Malzberg, in the apparent belief that Chelsea is in possession of Schrödinger’s uterus—capable of simultaneously holding a baby and holding no baby—echoed Ashburn. “What great timing!” he said on his Steve Malzberg Show. “God answered Hillary Clinton’s prayers and she’s going to have the prop of being a new grandma while she runs for president.”

Even The New York Times’ Andrew Ross Sorkin couldn’t avoid the suggestion that Bill Clinton ordered his daughter to conceive a child to help him move back into the White House: On MSNBC’s Morning Joe, he floated that very idea: “I’m not suggesting that anyone’s having a baby for election purposes, but…”

Of course, conspiracy theorists have always tended to destroy that which they love most: the subjects of their insane passions. Moving from “coverup” to “coverup,” they latch on to new controversies with unmatched fervor until the object of their suspicions evaporates in the heat of their own stupidity. The resources for their paranoia exhausted, they rise and move on to the next story, and the cycle repeats itself: 9/11 Truthers begat Barack Obama birthers; Sandy Hook “crisis actors” became Boston Marathon bombing hoaxers.

Even the idiocy of shoe trutherism pales in comparison to the latest so-insane-it’s-funny accusation against the former First Family.

Some subjects, however, prove too rich for the conspiracists and crackpots to resist double dipping. Over the years, the Clinton family has had its share of obsessives dedicated to uncovering malfeasance, real or imagined—21 years later, typing “Vince Foster” into Google pulls up “Vince Foster death,” “Vince Foster Hillary Clinton,” and “Vince Foster cover up.” Even Hillary Clinton’s recent run-in with an airborne shoe is subject to suspicion: Rush Limbaugh, for one, thinks the entire saga was staged. But even the idiocy of shoe trutherism pales in comparison to the latest so-insane-it’s-funny accusation against the former First Family. In essence, Chelsea Clinton is being accused of possessing a Schrödinger's Uterus, capable of containing a baby and containing nothing simultaneously.

The most obvious root of this Rosemary’s Baby-esque speculation is the idea that Clinton couldn’t possibly be both a grandmother and a leader of the free world. The Christian Science Monitor dedicated an entire ponderous piece to the question of whether her daughter’s pregnancy would prevent Clinton from effectively running the country. But through each of the Clintonian conspiracies runs an identical thread: The family will conspire, cover up, kill, and conceive anything to get ahead. Even a baby.