Friday, March 23, 2018

Politico just ruined all the conspiracy theories surrounding Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel

Posted By on Fri, Mar 23, 2018 at 12:12 PM

click to enlarge SCREEN GRAB VIA FACEBOOK.COM/SCOTTISRAEL
  • Screen grab via Facebook.com/scottisrael
A political hoax, in which three old YouTube videos claim Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel is everything from a “rapist” to a crooked cop, have been proven to be fake – thanks to Politico Florida’s Marc Caputo.

In one of the videos, a mystery woman accuses Israel of having impregnated her when she was 17 and forcing her to get an abortion. Since the Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, the videos have been viewed almost 130,000 times.

Still, that doesn’t make the clips any less of a lie, according to the woman – who remained anonymous in the report – and her attorney, Yechezkel Rodal.

“I was paid to say these things. I didn’t even know what I was saying,” the woman told Politico. “I’m sorry ... It’s fake.”

From Politico:
The revelation comes amid growing concerns about the spate of conspiracy theories and “false flag” attacks surrounding recent mass shootings — especially in Florida — that are surfacing on right-wing and fringe media sites. The videos were initially posted at the tail end of the bare-knuckle 2012 campaign when Israel defeated Republican incumbent Al Lamberti.

Now living in New York, the woman said she was 17 at the time and didn’t know Israel when an unknown person paid her $25 per video through the website www.fiverr.com, where she was hired by different companies to cut “thousands” of video testimonials for various products ranging from cell phone plans to diet programs. She expressed shock when informed Israel was sheriff and that the videos have become part of a smear campaign after the shooting.

...

Sheriff Israel ... was targeted in a Feb. 19 Gateway Pundit piece that promoted one of the phony videos in a story headlined “Broward County Sheriff Accused of Having Affair With 17-Year-Old Girl, Forcing Her to Get Abortion.”

The article, which referenced but didn’t link to a rebuttal video from Israel’s wife, explained that the “video was unearthed as Sheriff Israel has began [sic] using his position to lobby for Democratic policies in the wake of last week’s deadly school shooting.”

The story linked to the phony videos was largely ignored by the mainstream news media. But it took off on Twitter. Nearly all of the videos’ roughly 129,000 page views happened after the shooting. Of the 560 comments cumulatively attached to the three YouTube videos, only 12 were made before the shooting.

Amy Rose, Israel’s campaign manager in 2012 and 2016, said Israel and his staff were surprised at the return of the videos and the volume of vitriol in the comments on YouTube. She said they tried to have the videos removed in 2012, when they were pseudonymously posted by a "Barry Israel" in late October 2012.

"Now that these bogus, fake videos have been debunked we would ask that YouTube comply with our previous request (going back to 2012) and take them down!” she said in a written statement to POLITICO. “It's too bad that the young woman who was paid to repeat these lies can't identify the person who paid her to do so."

Thanks for keeping the Internet honest, Caputo, or at least just a little more honest. For the full story, click here.

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