Here’s what happened. Last week a guy posted a thing making fun of Nancy Pelosi. Specifically, a video in which Pelosi appeared intoxicated beyond slurred words. I didn’t see the video, but I heard rumblings about the video on Twitter because certain people on Twitter were quick to debunk the video as fake. Remember that, it’s an important detail for later. But, having worked in the conservative blogosphere for coming up on four years, I know even a sober Pelosi is still a confusing Pelosi. She did, after all, call Syria “cereal” and didn’t bother to correct herself. This is the same glittering gem of intellect who called MS-13 children of God, and most famously said if we want to know what’s in Obamacare we must pass it first. Not, like, read it or anything. Don’t put crazy ideas into her peanut-packed head. ANYWAY, the media wasn’t fond of Madam Pelosi being mocked on the social medias, so they dispatched a reporter to do some digging.
Meet Kevin Poulsen of The Daily Beast, here to basically dox the person behind the “drunk Pelosi” viral video hoax.
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
Set aside this video was of Pelosi. She doesn’t actually matter here because you can swap her for any politician. One of the nice things about Murica is our right to mock the people we elect to power. In fact, our right and ability to exercise that right to point and laugh at politicians, with fake videos, caricatures, political cartoons, or crappy art courtesy of has-been actors with funny faces, is one glowing aspect of America. The governors act on behalf and at the consent of the governed. We, the people, are the employers of those the elected. Capisce?
But I’m not sure I’m comfortable with a private citizen being doxed over what is basically a meme of a politician who’s borderline a walking meme already, simply because the politician mocked had a D following her name. Are you?
Also, just because why not, here’s more information on Kevin Poulsen, writer of that article linked above:
Hold up. If Wikipedia is to be believed, you are a felon & were the first person in America to not be allowed to use the internet after being released from jail & now you’re shaming other people who do stuff on the internet b/c you don’t like their politics? Do I have that right? pic.twitter.com/aKNInOl4Bw
— LB (@beyondreasdoubt) June 2, 2019
The stuff from Wikipedia, yes. After that, not so much
— Kevin Poulsen (@kpoulsen) June 2, 2019
So that’s Kevin.
Let’s zoom out for a second. Sure, Pelosi got mocked in a video. Sure, it sounds like the original video was doctored to make Pelosi look loonier than she already is sober. Yes, Democrats are upset they can’t meme so they take it out on those who can. Push all that to the side for a teeny tiny second. Has anyone else noticed that when it comes to their beloved elected gods getting poked with the mockery stick, all of a sudden the investigative journalism gloves come off?
Some rando cut a video of Pelosi and we know who he is, where he works, how much he made on the video, and that he’s on probation.
I don’t remember this kind of investigative vigor following the Covington Catholic video release. Do you? I don’t remember this kind of investigative vigor into the video maker of the Mitt Romney “the other 47%” video, do you? I don’t remember this kind of investigative vigor of Jussie Smollett, or any number of liberal-perpetuated hoaxes. Do you?
Oh, Courtney, this is shameless whataboutism! Is it, though? We have a media which apparently does have the ability to investigate that which they find worthy of investigation. But they pick and choose when to fire off their focused lasers, and it’s not always into areas of great concern, but often aimed at people who support the guy with an R after his name. Even if all that person did was make a meme. Or get that meme retweeted by The Donald himself. This isn’t the first instance of a lowly memer getting doxxed. Read CNN Threatens to ‘Dox’ Anonymous Trump/WWE GIF Creator. Americans Backlash Begins and Ted Cruz Says CNN’s Threats Against Gif-Maker Maybe Illegal.
But don’t take my word for it, watch this Brian Stelter panel talking about a FAKE VIDEO ABOUT A POLITICIAN:
.@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
The message sent is obvious: mock one of our beloved politicians — you random little nobody — and we will find you, expose you, and possibly ruin your life. Also, Brian Stelter may talk about you unironically if not throw bodily fluids in your general digital direction. Yes, that’s kind of a gay slight. I’m not going to apologize.
More to the point, it’s not that reporters, journalists and newspeople lack the ability to put on their investigative caps. It’s that they’d rather use their powers of investigation to out people they don’t like.
Tell me again about how the fake news media isn’t the “enemy of the people.” It’s such a cute story.