The Daily Beast took a fair amount of heat over the weekend after doxxing a black forklift operator from New York over the fake “drunk Pelosi” video that circulated on social media.
The article, written by Kevin Poulsen, claimed to reveal the identity of the man who doctored the video of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and was published on Saturday. (RELATED: Liberals Pounce After Facebook Execs Explain Why Doctored Pelosi Video Is Staying Up)
NEW: I went looking for the Russian troll behind the ‘Drunk Pelosi’ viral video hoax. Turns out he’s an itinerant forklift operator from the Bronx who’s been secretly running hard-right “news” outlets across social media for years. Also, not Russian. https://t.co/mChiyVqy0B
— Kevin Poulsen (@kpoulsen) June 1, 2019
Shawn Brooks, the man identified by Poulsen as the culprit, admitted that he is an admin for several political Facebook pages that shared the doctored video but claims that he did not create the video and that the article got a number of other things wrong. He also suggested that the media latched onto him as a convenient “fall guy” because he’s a black conservative with a criminal record.
The criticisms from others immediately began pouring in as well.
*Daily Beast editorial meeting*
“what average citizen can we dox to ruin their life because they lean conservative?”
“well, there’s this guy who drives a fork lift during the day and makes memes at night.”
“fuck him up, fam”
— Caleb Hull (@CalebJHull) June 2, 2019
This met @dailybeast editorial standards?!
— Matt Whitlock (@mattdizwhitlock) June 2, 2019
So you harassed a black man because you didn’t like that he spoke out about politics. I dunno man, seems kind of racist.
— Dan O’Donnell (@DanODonnellShow) June 2, 2019
You doxed a black guy in NYC who wanted to remain anonymous bc he was afraid if people knew he was conservative it would hurt him
You outed him anyway
He posted a doctored video of Pelosi
Will you do the same for the thousands of libs who post doctored videos of Trump?
— SETH WEATHERS (@sethweathers) June 2, 2019
Great work. You guys went and doxxed an African American blue collar worker and posted his picture on your website because he made an internet video you didn’t like. Way to lean into that whole enemy label https://t.co/ZPDBNh148a
— Stephen Miller (@redsteeze) June 2, 2019
The justifications being offered by rank-closing journalists to justify a major media outlet having investigated, doxxed and exposed an anonymous day labourer for the crime of posting a mocking video of Nancy Pelosi are almost more repugnant than the journalistic bullying itself.
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) June 2, 2019
I love how the Daily Beast literally harassed a guy and doxxed him over a stupid meme video.
These people are psychopathic vultures who never learned what the fuck ‘minimize harm’ means.
Publishing a private citizen’s personal information does nothing for the story pic.twitter.com/RoPDNDiAnP
— Tim Pool (@Timcast) June 2, 2019
EXCLUSIVE MUST CREDIT DAILY BEAST WE ARE THE JERKS WHO DOXXED SOME RANDO FOR CLICK$
— Jay Cost (@JayCostTWS) June 2, 2019
Ironically enough, that Daily Beast doxxing piece was written by a person who is *actually* a convicted federal felon (for hacking, no less) but neither he nor the Daily Beast seemed eager to point that out, say in his byline. What, because it’s not relevant?
— Esoteric Jeff (@EsotericCD) June 2, 2019
A handful of journalists closed ranks, defending the Daily Beast and claiming that because Brooks had allegedly posted the video to pages that were labeled as news aggregators it was reasonable to expect that his name and information would be made public.
Look, if someone who runs multiple news sites speaks on the record to a news organization about a video he created that sparked a national discussion, he is not an innocent victim who was doxxed
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) June 2, 2019
Can’t believe some people don’t think it’s news to discover the actual identity of the guy behind the doctored Pelosi video. It’s not just that he runs partisan news site+ posted the video to make money. It’s that this story shows disinformation isn’t the purview of Russia alone
— Sam Stein (@samstein) June 2, 2019
“he had it coming!” cried the self-declared guardians of the republic. pic.twitter.com/DsD9iMku61
— T. Becket Adams (@BecketAdams) June 2, 2019
But Chad Felix Greene raised an interesting point, saying, “By arguing the man they doxxed is a journalist, and therefore ok to target, they undermine their arguments that journalists deserve special protections.”
By arguing the man they doxxed is a journalist, and therefore ok to target, they undermine their arguments that journalists deserve special protections. ????♂️
— Chad Felix Greene (@chadfelixg) June 2, 2019