Daily Beast Editor-in-Chief Noah Shachtman appeared on CNN to defend his outlet’s article which doxed a working class supporter of President Donald Trump for creating a viral video of Nancy Pelosi.
The article, by Kevin Poulsen, claimed that he was looking for the “Russian troll behind the ‘Drunk Pelosi’ viral video.” Instead, he found a blue-collar black Trump supporter — but decided to run a story outing his identity anyways.
“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,” Poulsen tweeted.
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
— kpoulsen (@kpoulsen) June 1, 2019
The most shocking part, perhaps, was that Facebook assisted Poulsen in doxing the private citizen.
The attack on the man by the Daily Beast, with the assistance of Facebook, caused prompt backlash against the outlet and the reporter.
On Sunday, Shachtman appeared on CNN to defend their reporting, and claim that it was “right on the money,” naturally without pushback from Reliable Sources host Brian Stelter.
.@NoahShachtman defends the Daily Beast story that identified the man behind the Pelosi video, saying he outed himself by attaching his name to several fake news sites and by speaking to their reporter: "But I think our actions in this case were right on the money." pic.twitter.com/ITH8fgQIAV
— Julio Rosas (@Julio_Rosas11) June 2, 2019
Stelter pointed to the small amount of money that the person may have made from the meme-video’s traffic, $1,000, and asserted that “there’s a profit motive here.” Assigning nefarious motives to someone having fun on the internet, because it was at his party’s expense.
At this point Shachtman chimed in and asserted that “it might have been a lot of money to him, but I don’t think it was a pure profit motive. I think for him it was a matter of ideology. It was, you know, he’s a big Trump supporter.”
“One of the most interesting things about this story, to me, was that you don’t need some sophisticated operation in order to publish fake news, or publish a hoax that will grab the country’s attention,” Shachtman said, while essentially campaigning against memes.
Stelter, ironically, chimed in saying, “it doesn’t take a Russian bot farm.” The left is apparently so inept at memes that they can barely comprehend the fact that they are incredibly simple to create.
The man has now launched a fundraiser to take legal action against the Daily Beast. The campaign had already raised nearly $5,000 in less than a day.