At 12:22 a.m. this morning something happened. A video was released on Twitter by a random account with only a few hundred followers. Within a matter of hours, that video was viewed over 500,000 times and was the subject of half a dozen alt-right conservative media reports.
That video? A clip of myself allegedly talking to a random individual at what appears to be a house party. In the video, seen below, I’m heard saying:
“Of course there are higher ups that are paying us. They want us to help sow the division and to take over Trump’s Twitter feed. When [Trump] makes a post they want our tweets to be up there.”
Brian @krassenstein admits to being paid for anti-Trump tweets in secret recording.
“Of course there are higher ups that are paying us. They want us to help sow the division and to take over Trump’s Twitter feed. When [Trump] makes a post they want our tweets to be up there.” pic.twitter.com/qPIaktaqCV
— Currie Dobson (@Ventuckyspaz) September 25, 2018
By 8:00 a.m., what started off as a trickle turned into a deluge of tweets. There were more than 100k views of this video clip before I was even able to wake up and respond.
By 8:40 a.m. Paul Joseph Watson from Infowars made his first tweet to his 918,000 followers and published an article about the video on Infowars titled “TOP ‘RESISTANCE’ MEMBER ADMITS HE GETS PAID BY “HIGHER UPS” TO “SOW THE DIVISION”.
Even though Watson claimed to have contacted me for comment before publishing his defamatory article to his legion of conspiracy theorists, I was never actually contacted by him.
By 8:50 a.m. this article was featured at the very top of the Drudge Report, and the video officially went viral. At this point, I had just become aware of what was going on, and knowing the truth, I proceeded with caution. Yes, my name was being slandered and I was being called a liar, fraud, and much worse, but I asked myself, “What would happen if I held off for a few hours until I returned to my office so that I could take this on with my undivided attention and also observe just how fake news spreads virally?”
That’s what I did.
By 8:55 a.m. the hate really began to surface on multiple social media platforms like Twitter, Reddit, Facebook, and even 4chan. This hate turned into blatant antisemitism by some people. Here is just a handful of examples:
“HOLY FUCKING SHIT.
this is like a nuclear weapon grade massacre. His life is finished after this”
I already downloaded the video and will be uploading it to multiple other sites. I suggest others do the same before they try to Shoah it…except its too late.
This jews life is fucking over after such a fuckig blatant admission to sowing division for shekels. Fuck I bet IDF kill him for letting something like that slip from the mouth of a (((stein)) on fucking camera. This rat failed JEW101
“Is there a bigger jew than this faggot?
“GAS THE KIKES”
“I bet he loses his fucking businesses from this. This video will probably lead to his suicide.”
Next Came the Threats:
The deluge of private messages I received on Twitter was staggering. Most were just random people cursing me out, but others were threatening as well:
Others threatened to dox me and my brother Ed Krassenstein and give away our personal information, which is already easily accessible on the internet:
And then the former Grand Wizard of the KKK, David Duke, decided to Retweet the video to his unstable followers:
Brian Krassenstein admits to being paid for making anti-Trump tweets in secret Recording.~watch~ pic.twitter.com/XxFddQFUZW
— MrSandberg (@Mr_sandman88) September 25, 2018
By 9 a.m. multiple other alt-right publications began covering the story, namely Cassandra Fairbanks and The Gateway Pundit. The title of their article, “’Resistance’ Hero Brian Krassenstein Admits to Being Paid for Hijacking Trump’s Twitter Feed in Secret Recording,” claimed that the recording was “secret” yet they didn’t bother to actually prove that this was the case, nor did they bother to contact me for comment.
Also at 9 a.m. Russia’s State-run media organization, RT.com reached out to me with the following email:
Hey, at least they actually asked for comment before publishing a story, right? Yes, Russian state-run media seems to have more journalistic integrity than Infowars, The Gateway Pundit, and numerous other far-right organizations that reported on the video.
By 9:20 a.m. the video had a combined viewership of over 200,000 people as hundreds of conservative users within the Twittersphere began going nuts.
By 9:30 a.m. the video began to trend on the alt-right Donald Trump conspiracy subreddit, The_Donald, with users jumping all over one another to post about this latest conspiracy to hit the internet.
By 9:45 a.m. another alt-right conservative news organization, True Pundit, published a story regarding this video, and in the headline, they claimed that “Dem Leaders” were paying us, despite the fact that the video clip never mentions a political party or any individuals for that matter. Throughout the article, the writer tries to suggest that we are part of a deep-state conspiracy involving former FBI agents James Comey and Andrew McCabe and that we are in essence working for them.
By 10 a.m Infowars’ Paul Joseph Watson had made his fifth feverish tweet about the video, this time calling out CNN for not reporting on it. Of course, CNN isn’t going to report on a video that they can’t verify, you idiot (sorry I don’t like him very much)!
Hi @CNN – you constantly accuse of Trump of causing “division”.
Here’s a top member of the anti-Trump resistance admitting he is paid to “sow division”.
I look forward to your report on this.https://t.co/i47p6W2Can
— Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) September 25, 2018
By 10:05 a.m. a hacker comes forward to show that he had hacked my twitter account, claiming to have additional evidence that I was actually being paid by individuals to tweet. This tweet has since been removed but not before I did a screen capture:
By 10:42 a.m. another large Twitter account from known conspiracy theorist Jack Posibiec tweeted the video out to his 340,000+ conservative followers. As you can see, most of his followers ate it up:
— Jack Posobiec ?? (@JackPosobiec) September 25, 2018
By 11 a.m. we decided to give in and finally make a public statement. My brother Ed Krassenstein made the following tweet, which I quickly retweeted:
NO, WE ARE NOT PAID TO TWEET!!!
— Ed Krassenstein (@EdKrassen) September 25, 2018
By 12:00 p.m. Twitter had removed the original video clip after I contacted them with details, surely sparking even more of a conspiracy theory in many of the alt-rights minds.
So what really happened here?
The video is actually 100% authentic. I really am saying these things as the video depicts, but the context is what matters.
The video was created a few weeks back as a parody for a podcast we are planning to launch later this year. It was never published, but somehow someone got ahold of it. The problem is that the video clip that was tweeted this morning is just a 1:10 segment from the original full 2-minute clip that we recorded.
The man interviewing me is not some random dude at a party as most of the conspiracy theorists alleged. It’s actually my twin brother Ed Krassenstein. The brown liquid in my glass is not actually alcohol, and who the heck wears gym shorts and flip-flops to a party, right? The voice Ed is using is purposefully skewed to the extreme and my comments are scripted to make it clear that this was a parody (or at least we thought).
The full video, which you can see below shows me clearly stating that “I’m kidding,” but of course whoever got ahold of the clip didn’t want the full thing to be shown, as it would have squashed their narrative.
Fake news can spread in a variety of ways. The lack of forethought and the irrationality of the media, when using anonymous video clips can be incredibly dangerous. If I was not quick to figure out what had occurred or if I hadn’t happened to have access to the full video clip, my name, my business, and my integrity could have been forever destroyed.
There were numerous individuals who pointed out the fact that the video clip seemed ‘fake’, but the narrative that it gave to individuals on the far-right was too powerful for most of them to exercise patience.
Not a single one of the news organizations I mentioned above, who wrote about the video, even reached out to me for a comment. Instead, they ran with a narrative that would surely rile up their viewers at the expense of myself, my family and my business.
Remember this next time you watch a video by Project Veritas, which appears to depict something that someone within the liberal media or the U.S. government states. You may not be seeing or hearing the entire story.
Credit Where Credit is Deserved:
I would like to give credit to a few news organizations which did reach out to me and Ed Krassenstein for verification. Along with RT, William Sommer of TheDailyBeast reached out for a comment, admitting that it sounded like a “fake video”. Additionally, K.T. Nelson of Vice News also reached out for comment.