ConWebWatch home
ConWebBlog: the weblog of ConWebWatch
Search and browse through the ConWebWatch archive
About ConWebWatch
Who's behind the news sites that ConWebWatch watches?
Letters to and from ConWebWatch
ConWebWatch Links
Buy books and more through ConWebWatch

WND Goes Birther on Hillary's Health

Hillary Clinton's purported health issues are the new Obama birth certificate at WorldNetDaily -- and as with its birther rants, WND won't admit they've been discredited.

By Terry Krepel
Posted 8/25/2016

WorldNetDaily made it clear months ago that it would engage in whatever means necessary to keep Hillary Clinton from being elected president.

In December 2015, WND announced the creation of something called the "Hillary Clinton Investigative Justice Project," the goal of which was to "expose Hillary Clinton’s criminal actions and prosecute her at the state level." The centerpiece of the project was to be Jerome Corsi's then-upcoming book on Hillary.

Yes, WND thinks that despite its complete loss of credibility caused in no small part to years of promoting an utterly discredited conspiracy theory about Barack Obama's eligibility to be president -- a loss of credibility that has helped drive it into such deep financial trouble that WND editor Joseph Farah begged his readers for money to keep the lights on -- it can be considered a trusted source in an attempt to personally destroy Clinton the way it tried -- and failed -- to personally destroy Obama.

Among those no-holds-barred methods of personal destruction was to raise issues about Hillary Clinton's health as a way to impede her presidential campaign.

Corsi laid the groundwork for this at the start of 2016 with an obsession over Clinton's use of an anticoagulant called warfarin, also sold under the brand name Coumadin. In a Jan. 27 article, Corsi expressed concern that warfarin "may have side effects that are hazardous to her health, according to medical literature." Corsi displayed his medical ignorance by referring to the drug as "Coumadin – also called Warfarin." Warfarin is not a brand name; it's the generic name of the drug. (Remember, Corsi is not a medical doctor; his Ph.D. is in history.)

Indeed, most people take warfarin as a generic, as the Coumadin patent expired a couple decades ago. And despite Corsi's suggestion that warfarin is some kind of secret nefarious drug, it's very popular; by one count, there are more than 25 million prescriptions written for it every year in the U.S., and by another count, 2 million people taking it at any given time.

Corsi ratcheted things up in a Jan. 31 article touting how "A California physician who had his license to practice medicine revoked in the state because he refused to administer the anticoagulant medication Coumadin, believes Hillary Clinton’s use of the drug could be more life-threatening to her than the possibility of a recurring blood clot."

Corsi then rushed to defend his doctor source, David K. Cundiff, over the 1998 incident that led to the revocation of his medical license, asserting that "Cundiff stopped administering Coumadin to the patient, who had an alcohol problem the doctor believed could trigger internal bleeding." In fact, according to the California appeals court that upheld the denial of reinstatement of his license -- after "accusations of gross negligence and incompetence were sustained against him" -- Cundiff made the decision to stop treating the patient with warfarin unilaterally, failing to consult with other doctors, to alert the patient or his family, or to provide any alternative treatment. The court further noted that the standard of care for a patient with a blood clot in the vein in which the patient had one is anticoagulants. The court also noted that Cundiff failed to read the patient's chart completely and relied entirely on verbal representations of his interns and residents for information vital to the patient's care and treatment.

The court pointed out that since his license was revoked, "Cundiff appears to have devoted the vast majority of his professional efforts to research and writing aimed largely at establishing that his actions in 1998 were within the standard of care, or that the standard of care has changed since then (or must change). What he fails, and has repeatedly failed, to understand is that the only relevant medical standard at issue in these proceedings was that which was extant in February 1998."

Not only has Cundiff never seen Clinton as a patient, he's clear he has no business seeing anyone. Corsi, of course, relies on the incompetent and deceitful likes of Joel Gilbert, so it's not surprising he'd take the word of a doctor stripped of his medical license.

Unencumbered by the facts, Corsi penned a third article on the subject on Feb. 1, in which he highlights the fact that "The blood-thinning medication Hillary Clinton has been taking for years under the pharmaceutical brand name Coumadin was initially introduced and marketed in 1948 as a pesticide designed to kill rats and mice." Interesting as that may be, it's irrelevant to the issue. Still, WND hammered that talking point home with the original headline on Corsi's article, "Doctor: Hillary taking rat poison for blood clots," which remains in the article's URL; WND didn't explain why the headline was changed.

But even Corsi had to concede that according to the guy who brought up the stuff about it starting as rat poison, "Despite the severe risks of taking Coumadin ... it may be the better alternative for some patients."

Meanwhile, Corsi was on the hunt for another doctor to engage in baseless speculation about Hillary's health, and he wrote about it in a Feb. 2 article:

Hillary Clinton’s underactive hypothyroid condition complicates the medical treatment she is receiving for her genetic propensity to form blood clots, warns a prominent New York physician.

“Hillary’s hypothyroid condition can lead to hypercoagulability, a tendency toward excessive blood clotting, that makes more complicated the use of the blood-thinning medicines she needs to control what appears to be a possibly genetic tendency of her body to produce blood clots,” Dr. Ronald Hoffman told WND in a telephone interview.


“The medical literature cautions that patients on Armour Thyroid may need to reduce the amount of Coumadin they are taking, and this requires constant blood testing to make sure the mixture of Armour Thyroid and Coumadin are adjusted just right,” Hoffman said.

“Too much Coumadin could result in Hillary experiencing potentially fatal hemorrhaging from even minor injuries, and too little Coumadin could cause her to form a potentially fatal blood clot.”

Again, Hoffman, like Corsi, has never examined Clinton, so anything either of them have to say is nothing but speculation.

Back to Hillary to distract from Trump

By contrast, questions about Donald Trump's mental health caused WND writers to go, well, crazy.

For instance, WND managing editor David Kupelian refused to engage in the speculation he was pushing about Hillary's health. Instead, he used an Aug. 2 column to desperately change the subject to talk about anything else. At no point in his column did Kupelian even try to defend Trump -- it's all the projection he claims liberals engage in. So far in denial is Kupelian that he writes this:

Ironically – almost comically – the most oft-cited armchair diagnosis of Donald Trump is narcissism. Really? After eight years of Barack Obama, whose behavior as president matches perfectly the clinical symptoms of “narcissistic personality disorder,” now his die-hard supporters are going to try to make that stick to Trump?

Evidence is not Kupelian's point; distraction is.

Other WND writers quickly joined the distraction brigade, like Kent Bailey and Gina Loudon. A few days later, WND pulled out the ultimate distraction: bringing up Hillary's health. After all, the whole Hillary-is-a-criminal thing isn't really working out for WND.

At a time when three anti-Hillary books are at the top of the New York Times' nonfiction bestseller list, WND's flagship attempt to play to the anti-Hillary crowd and the crown jewel of its "Hilary for Prosecution, Not President" witch hunt, Jerome Corsi's "Partners in Crime," is a flop -- ranking a dismal No. 14,306 at Amazon as of this writing, a terrible showing for a book out just a few weeks on a candidate for president in a hotly contested election year. Perhaps Corsi's abysmal track record and the fact that the book is dedicated to convicted criminal Dinesh D'Sousa has something to do with its poor showing.

Obsessing about Hillary Clinton's purported health issues, however, is apparently drawing enough eyeballs to the website -so WND is doubling down.

An unbylined Aug. 7 article regurgitated dubious speculation by other dubious right-wing websites about Clinton "apparently getting help in climbing up some stairs" in a phot from February.

Of course, a six-month-old of Hillary being helped up stairs proves absolutely nothing -- not that WND will ever admit it, of course. As the Washington Post's David Weigel pointed out, this barrage was part of how "the Drudge Report, WorldNetDaily and a small army of would-be Twitter sleuths tried to build the case that the Democratic nominee for president has serious health issues and only they had noticed."

Weigel went on to further bust WND:

Indeed, for other websites critical of Clinton, the "stairs" photo was just one part of a #HillarysHealth mosaic. It gave WorldNetDaily a hook to resurrect "a July 21 video posted on YouTube [which] shows Clinton’s head suddenly turning and shaking vigorously for several seconds." That video, titled "Hillary Clinton has seizure/convulsions - tries to play it off making fun of seizures," was also robbed of its context. Two clips of Clinton bobbing her head had been looped and slowed down, as ominous music and voice-overs played behind them — a combination that helped the clip score 1.4 million views.

The clip wasn't from July 21, and (as the scrum of media should have indicated) it wasn't rescued from pro-Clinton censors. It was from June 10, when Clinton, fresh off a series of wins that effectively locked up the Democratic nomination, held a few events ahead of the District of Columbia's primary. Beat reporters followed Clinton to a coffee shop in the Shaw neighborhood; CNN's Dan Merica, to her left, asked her about the breaking news of President Obama's official endorsement. Then, to her right, the Associated Press's Lisa Lerer asked a question about Elizabeth Warren, whom Clinton had met with as vice presidential speculation swirled.

The reporters, who had covered Clinton for a year, interpreted her exaggerated head-bobbing as a joke at how she'd been suddenly surrounded — and as a successful attempt at ending the scrum. It did not occur to them that it would become seen as evidence of a "seizure," as people suffering from seizures do not typically laugh and continue to hold cups of coffee.

In WorldNetDaily's coverage, the evidence that Clinton's bobble-head moment resembled a seizure is that bloggers said it did.

WND's article, meanwhile, devolved into a rehash of its earlier attempt to avoid talking about Trump's mental health issues by trying to raise questions about Clinton's mental health -- which is lazy padding and, frankly, rather sad.

A couple days later, Bob Unruh did the stenography job, regurgitating what he saw on Fox News:

Appearing on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show, Dr. Marc Seigel and Dr. David Samadi both insisted Clinton’s health is a campaign issue.


“The picture going up the stairs speaks a million words,” Samadi told Hannity. “Is she fatigued? Is she dehydrated? One of the main reasons she fell in 2012 and had the concussions was severe dehydration. They’re holding her and going up the stairs. So she may be really dehydrated, she may have arthritis, she may have back pain, she may have fallen again. We don’t know. There are questions that are unanswered. What we know today is she’s on thyroid medication, she suffers from hypothyroid, low thyroid, that can cause fatigue and gaining weight and all of that.”

Needless to say, Unruh doesn't mention that Samadi is a urologist who specializes in prostate surgery, so he cannot possibly add anything relevant about Hillary's health to the discussion.

Unruh filled out the rest of his article with the armchair analyses of right-wing conspiracy theorists and alleged professionals, none of whom have never examined Clinton.

Unruh followed that with another article breathlessly declaring that "Fresh questions are being raised about Hillary Clinton’s health, including her mental well-being, after a new photo emerged that appears to show an aide holding her up at a campaign event." Like the right-wing blogger from whom he lifted the information, Unruh offers no context for the months-old photo but insisted that the image "suggest[ed] a physical problem."

WND also published a column by right-wing doctor and misinformer Jane Orient, who goes full conspiracy theory:

While we don’t have Mrs. Clinton’s medical records, it is widely stated that she experienced a fall that caused a concussion. Since then, she is sometimes seen wearing eyeglasses with prisms, as are used to correct double vision.

Concussions often cause traumatic brain injury, which might not be visualized on a standard CT or MRI. Many of our veterans who experienced blast injury from improvised explosive devices suffer from it. These are some symptoms: difficulty thinking, attention deficits, confusion, memory problems, frustration, mood swings, emotional outbursts, agitation, headaches, difficulties with balance and coordination, and seizures. Many veterans with such an injury cannot hold a job or interact normally with their families.

Obviously, it would be very dangerous for a person subject to symptoms like this to be dealing with foreign leaders or making critical decisions. The president of the United States may have to make world-changing decisions on a moment’s notice. For example, should we launch nuclear-armed missiles? And if the commander in chief is confused, who will make the call?


Is it conceivable that Hillary supporters would really be voting for Huma Abedin, Clinton’s top aide, or for the first first-man president, Bill Clinton? The American people are entitled to know the objective medical facts about Secretary Clinton.

Orient, like the others, has never examined Clinton.

For an Aug. 16 article, Unruh found another doctor, Gerard Gianoli -- like Orient, affiliated with the far-right-fringe Association of American Physicians and Surgeons -- to engage in more wild speculation, declaring that "Mrs. Clinton has had multiple problems – some she has revealed and some that she has not revealed.” Unruh also gave Orient a platform to respond to critics who frown upon physicians speculating about the health of patients they've never examined:

When blasted by critics for raising questions, Orient was unfazed, telling WND: “Right, I just have questions – and so should all Americans. There will be no answers without complete medical records and an independent assessment – which would include EEG (electroencephalogram): drug levels; evaluation of memory, executive and cognitive function; and an MRI with DTI (diffusion tensor imaging), which can reveal evidence of traumatic brain injury missed on standard MRI.”

She continued: “I am not speculating about psychiatric diagnoses. The findings and suggested differential diagnoses are neurologic, and related to risk factors we know she has (concussion and thrombotic problems).”

On Aug. 19, Unruh seemed upset that the Clinton campaign was allowed to respond to all the health speculation -- not that he was moved to seek comment from the campaign before this -- grumbling that "a report in Politico allows Clinton surrogates to explain that all away."

But, hey, when as WND ever been bound by fairness -- or even the facts? Unruh returned with an Aug. 23 article to engage in baseless speculation about a memo found in Hillary's server cache showed "one of her top aides extensively researched a drug used to treat Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases." Never mind that the memo does not mention Clinton at all; Unruh is only interested in peddling smears.

Hilariously, Unruh went on to rant about a CNN report that debunked all the smears he's been peddling, whining that "According to CNN, if you do have those questions, you’re a 'conspiracy theorist.' And a 'healther.'" Funny, WND used to be proud to be both of those things.

Unruh also complained that CNN "posed a long list of questions about Donald Trump’s health" but he didn't admit the obvious: that neither he nor WND have any interest in delving into Trump's health because it doesn't suit their right-wing agenda.

Unruh didn't tell readers the details of CNN's report, presumably because he would then have to concede that his own reporting has been discredited. All he cares about is that "Questions have been raised about her health for years"; he cares not one whit that those questions are false or politically motivated.

WND spent years chasing the bogus birther chimera while pretending it was the biggest story ever. The only people fooled with diehard Obama-haters. Now it's trying to make Hillary's health the new Obama birth certificate -- which, in turn, was for WND the new Vince Foster.

Even fewer people will be fooled this time around, but WND can't see it. Apparently, Farah and his crew haven't figured out WND has no credibility whatsoever to push the issue.

Being reduced to begging for money hasn't taught Farah anything, it seems.

Send this page to:

Bookmark and Share
The latest from

In Association with
Support This Site

home | letters | archive | about | primer | links | shop
This site © Copyright 2000-2016 Terry Krepel