An anonymous WorldNetDaily reporter wrote in a Sept. 6 article:
After Democratic Party nominee Hillary Clinton suffered the worst coughing fit of her campaign Monday, a mysterious man seen by her side for many months on the campaign trail suddenly appeared on her plane.
As WND reported, Clinton suffered two coughing fits on Labor Day – one during a speech in Cleveland, Ohio, and a second one during a press conference on her plane.
In the past, the same man has been spotted helping Clinton up stairs and holding what appears to be a Diazepam pen. Some observers have referred to the man as Hillary’s “mysterious handler.”
Jim Hoft of the Gateway Pundit noted that the man is sometimes dressed like a Secret Service agent, “but his actions prove otherwise.”
At an earlier campaign appearance, the same man was reportedly seen carrying a long object that resembled a Diazepam pen.
Yes, this anonymous WND reporter is citing the Dumbest Man on the Internet to back up its speculation.
And that's all it is -- speculation dressed up as "reporting." The fact that the WND writer won't put his/her name to it is one big clue about the shoddy, dubious nature of this.
Another big clue: This "mystery man" is no mystery at all. A month ago -- a month ago! -- the Washington Post's David Weigel identified the man as Todd Madison, Secret Service assistant special agent in charge.
Further, Snopes pointed out -- also a month ago -- that while the object in Madison's hand that WND claims is a "Diazepam pen" is probably something else, since "a video of the agent using the above-pictured object shows that it is being used like a flashlight and not a Diazepam pen."
In short: The only way WND can treat this story as fact is by ignoring all the established evidence that it's not.
And the fact that the story isn't true didn't keep WND from rehashing the story (the reporter remaining anonymous, natch) two days later:
America wants to know: Who is the “mystery man” attached at Hillary Clinton’s hip while she campaigns for the White House?
He’s been on the stage, in her plane, by her side and following her everywhere she goes.
He touches her frequently, wrapping his arm around her or helping her up stairs, and responds immediately when Clinton has one of her coughing fits.
Some speculate he could be a physician on hand in case Clinton experiences a health emergency, a possibility considering nearly 71 percent of physicians informally surveyed by the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons said concerns about Clinton’s health are “serious” and “could be disqualifying for the position of president of the U.S.”
Ah, yes, the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons -- the far-right-fringe "medical" org headed by medical troll Jane Orient. Given that those likely to respond to an AAPS "informal internet survey" (read: not a scientific poll) are as right-wing as Orient, the survey has no credibility whatsoever (you know, just like WND).
WND tries to perpetuate the nonexistent mystery:
In fact, the man has been apparently tailing the Clintons since at least January of 2013 – more than two years before Hillary announced her run for president. He was reportedly spotted in a vehicle with former President Bill Clinton three years ago, according to London’s Daily Express. A photo caption said the two were leaving the New York Presbyterian Hospital after visiting Hillary, who was receiving treatment for a blood clot in her head that was discovered following a concussion.
As WND reported, after Clinton suffered the worst coughing fit of her campaign Monday, the “mystery man” suddenly appeared on her plane.
Radio host Tammy Bruce made an appearance Wednesday on Fox Business’ “Varney & Co.” in which she discussed Clinton’s “mystery man.”
“He actually moves other Secret Service agents off the stage,” Bruce noted. “We have not been informed who he is so we have to guess, in some way, who he is. But he seems to be playing a very personal role. He appears when she seems to be in trouble, either with the coughing or with some health issue or … in her own personal reaction to what was a heckler … It’s troubling because you’ve got a man who is also doing something that the Secret Service wouldn’t do. He’s very physical with her. He touches her. He has his arm around her. … It’s a legitimate question. Her health is legitimate.”
Bruce is a Hillary-hater from a while back -- a year ago she was predicting the demise of Hillary's campaign -- so her uninformed speculation should not be taken seriously.
Our anonymous WND reporter waited until the 10th paragraph to mention in passing that "others argue" the item in the man's hand "actually resembles a mini flashlight." It links to an Aug. 22 New York Times article -- yes, from two weeks ago -- but doesn't mention the date or the fact that the Times reporter solved the mystery through "a simple call to the Secret Service spokeswoman Nicole Mainor," something WND couldn't be bothered to do.
And our anonymous writer waits until the second-to-last paragraph of the 22-paragraph article -- after numerous inserted videos, photos and grainy Photoshop collages -- to admit that "The Washington Post’s David Weigel identified the 'mystery man' as Secret Service Assistant Special Agent in Charge Todd Madison."
WND didn't mention Weigel's article was published a month ago.
Basically, WND is admitting it published an article based on a lie, something it knows is a lie, and that it's trying to con its readers into believing that lie.
No wonder WND is in deep financial trouble. Why would any (remaining) self-respecting reader trust WND after this stunt?