Did Michelle Obama's doctor go on the record about the former first lady using a urinal during the 2008 presidential campaign, thereby proving that she is a man? No, that's not true: The article making this claim originated in 2017 on a now-defunct satirical website called America's Last Line of Defense. Clearly marked disclaimers on the original website, run by a self-professed liberal troll, stated that everything on the site was a satirical work of fiction. Copies of the article later appeared on clickbait websites without this disclaimer.
The article, titled, "Breaking: Michelle Obama's Doctor Goes On Record: 'I Know What I Saw,'" was originally published on thelastlineofdefense.org (archived here) on September 19, 2017. This headline, with the same article copied word for word, reappeared on November 27, 2022, in a video posted on the Facebook page for user John Filax Fan.
The video post was captioned:
Is Michelle Obama a Man-
The video begins with the narrator saying that the article, published by the We the [One] People website, is not his opinion. At 0:40 seconds, he reads:
Dr. Rafael Espinanzo, who was entrusted with former First Lady Michelle Obama's care during the 2008 presidential election, is speaking out about something he feels the public needs a definitive answer on. With all the talk about Mrs. Obama once being a man, Espinanzo felt he couldn't keep his mouth shut any longer: 'I Know what I saw. Michelle Obama is not a woman who used to be a man. Michelle Obama is just a man with breast implants and a huge shaving bill.'
The archived version of the America's Last Line of Defense website contains many signs that it is intended to be a joke, including the pen name, Flagg Eagleton, used by the site's creator, Christopher Blair. A large letter S for "Satire Rated" appears at the bottom of the home page along with this disclaimer:
In a cynical world where the news of the day often seems fake, The Last Line of Defense offers today's busy conservative a place to go to read things they'll enjoy and congregate with a bunch of people they agree with. So while everything on this site is a satirical work of fiction, we are proud to present it to those who will have called it real anyway.
(Source: Archived version of thelastlineofdefense.org, September 22, 2017)
Blair is a self-professed Maine-based liberal who for years has run networks of websites set up to troll conservatives with made-up news items in order to get these conservatives to share his posts. Blair often goes by the nickname "Busta Troll." A 2018 BBC profile called Blair "the Godfather of fake news" and "one of the world's most prolific writers of disinformation."
Blair's websites usually have multiple disclaimers about their satirical content. They also can feature nonsensical category names, like "Have A Scone They're Delicious" on the archived America's Last Line of Defense website.
The stories themselves often contain hints that they are not real, such as links to "sources" that instead go to funny or offensive images. Another telltale sign is the name "Art Tubolls" (anagram for "Busta Troll") for characters in these stories.
But as the 2017 story about Michelle Obama's doctors has been shared, other sites that have picked it up have dispensed with the disclaimers and any reference to the article's satirical origins. The video posted on Facebook, for instance, displays a screenshot of an October 28, 2017, article from the website wetheonepeople.com (archived here) on the same topic. That article credits the British website M2 Voice (archived here), which, in turn, credits a defunct website called libertyinfo.net.
Blair's stories also have been widely copied by foreign website networks trying to make a buck by spamming American conservatives with clickbait headlines.
Here you can find some of the many stories from Blair's websites that Lead Stories has debunked over the years.
Lead Stories also has debunked a variety of baseless claims about Michelle Obama, including that she had registered to vote as a man. Two other claims involved photos that had been edited to add masculine attributes to her appearance (here and here).