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Associated Press, Variety falsely claim Dave Chappelle supporter screamed profanities, was aggressor at Netflix walkout — and both outlets issue retractions

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Image source: Twitter video screenshot via @johnschreiber

If you spent any time perusing Thursday's story in TheBlaze about the Dave Chapelle supporter who hilariously succeeded in exercising his free speech in the face of hostile, left-wing Netflix protesters, you watched the video of the mob members destroying his sign, bumping him backward, and screaming profanities in his face.

Image source: Twitter video screenshot via @johnschreiber

The guy didn't lay a hand on anyone — and, in fact, he made his hands visible as he spread them wide in a preacher-like, profanity-free pronouncement: "I'm just here to say that jokes are funny, people! Dave Chappelle is a funny guy! I love Dave! I don't know why all the violence! I don't know why all the hate! I just love Dave Chappelle! Dave Chappelle! Wooo!"

Image source: Twitter video screenshot via @johnschreiber

Here's the clip. Content warning: Profanity:

Yet, the Associated Press got the idea that the Chappelle supporter was the one screaming profanities — and Variety managed to call him the aggressor.

What are the details?

Turns out the Chappelle supporter — Vito Gesualdi — is a comedian as well, which makes sense since given how humorously he handled the naked hostility all around him.

And Gesualdi posted a ton of tweets in the last couple of days detailing what happened to him as he subverted the Netflix walkout — and what the media did to him as well.

First up is what Variety tweeted out:

The magazine got roundly torched for using a photo of Gesualdi with the mob in his face and adding that "counter protesters pushed against trans speakers."

Soon enough Variety walked it all back: "The photo attached to an earlier version of the above tweet did not accurately illustrate the reporting from our story. We apologize for any confusion."

"Well the damage has been done," one commenter wrote to Variety. "You slander a poor gentlemen who everyone saw was not the aggressor. You can't lie about what you wrote and stated."

The magazine left up the text of the original tweet but switched out the photo of Gesualdi.

In addition, the Associated Press made a false claim about Gesualdi, saying in a photo caption that he shouted profanities at the "peaceful" Netflix protesters:

Gesualdi added in a subsequent tweet that "those 'peaceful protesters' broke my s**t and tackled my buddy to the concrete. What a load of s**t." He also pointed out that the AP's false caption became "stock" and that the "lie is on dozens of news sites now. Any lawyers in the house? This is BS."

The only profanities being uttered at the moment — well, screamed — came courtesy of a protester banging a tambourine at Gesualdi and repeatedly ordering him to "repent motherf***er!"

Image source: Twitter video screenshot via @johnschreiber

How the photographer in question — standing directly behind the "repent motherf***er" protester when the photo was taken — thought Gesualdi was the one cursing is anybody's guess.

But after some detective work — courtesy of writer Jesse Singal, who broke down the false caption using photographic facts based on the video of the incident — the AP changed its caption. However, Gesualdi was still displeased with how things were shaking out, quite understandably:

The last laugh?

It's fitting that Gesualdi very well may have elicited the last laugh (for now, at least) in the whole debacle. He took to Twitter on Friday to convince his adversaries that he's not a threat, and they can stop doxxing him at any time — and then hit 'em with the following sign off: "And to be clear: I love trans people! But my trans friends all have a sense of humor."

(H/T: Hot Air)

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