Media

Daily Beast Outs ‘Culprit’ Behind Infamous Drunk Pelosi Video: A Black Forklift Operator From New York

(Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Virginia Kruta Associate Editor

The Daily Beast outed Shawn Brooks Saturday, claiming that he was responsible for posting the fake “drunk Pelosi” video that caused a furor among media outlets.

The video artificially slowed the speech and mannerisms of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. It was identified as a fake, but not before it had been shared across multiple social media platforms. (RELATED: Pelosi Says She Will ‘Pray For Trump’ After Surprise Presser Blasting Democrats)

Brooks, a black 34-year-old day laborer from New York, became the media’s white whale the minute the Pelosi video was labeled “fake news.” Politicians, pundits and activists alike called for social media outlets to remove the video from circulation — and while YouTube complied with such requests, Facebook opted to simply label the video as “fake.”

The original, unaltered video of Pelosi was shared by Brooks.

Thirteen minutes later, as the Daily Beast noted, an edited version of the video was shared by the Politics WatchDog Facebook page. Facebook and the Daily Beast confirmed that Brooks was an admin on that page as well as AllNews 24/7, where the doctored video — minus the Politics WatchDog watermark — appeared just 15 minutes later.

During a phone interview, Brooks said that he was not responsible for creating the altered video and told the Daily Beast that there were other admins on the Facebook pages who could have posted it.

According to the Daily Beast, Facebook confirmed the existence of six other admins on the page. But they also reportedly deleted those accounts under their “real name” policy last week after determining all six accounts were controlled by Brooks.

Brooks responded late Saturday night by posting what he said was a current screenshot of the page’s admins, showing that there were a number of other admins still active.

Brooks, who is currently on probation after pleading guilty to domestic battery, argued that the media chose him as the “fall guy” because of his background.

Part of the “background” Brooks cited was his turn to conservatism after losing his job to illegal immigrants during the presidency of Barack Obama. After several years of driving a forklift at a warehouse in Queens, Brooks told the Daily Beast that the higher-ups started bringing in illegal immigrants who could do the same work for less money.

“I was working there four or five years and I was being paid pretty well,” he explained. “And then they started bringing these guys in vans through the side door. This was going on for months. Then all of a sudden they told me, ‘We can’t pay you anymore.'”

The Daily Beast went on to claim that Brooks admitted to earning $1,000 in ad revenue from the video before Facebook tagged it as a fake, at which point the revenue was stopped.

Since the publication of the article, Brooks has fired back on Twitter, refuting a number of the claims.

Brooks also dispute quotes from an unnamed woman the Daily Beast claimed was his ex-girlfriend, arguing that he was not from the Bronx and said that the article was a combination of cherry-picked comments and outright fabrications.

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