It’s almost like our collective “fake news” freakout never happened.
This morning, “YouTube celebrity” Adam Saleh tweeted video showing him being kicked off a Delta flight purportedly for speaking to his mother over the phone in Arabic, and it’s gone viral: 385,000 retweets and counting, and “#BoycottDelta” is the top-trending hashtag on Twitter. There’s nary a skeptic in sight.
According to CBS News:
Saleh said when he was speaking to [his mother], a woman in the seat in front of him turned around and told him he ought to speak English. Saleh said he told her he can speak whatever language he likes, and her husband responded by standing up and screaming at him.
Then about 20 people allegedly said they were uncomfortable with Saleh and his Arabic-speaking companion. The pair were approached by the captain, who Saleh said “seemed ashamed and embarassed” when he asked them to leave the plane because of the other passengers’ complaints.
The video — filmed by Saleh — doesn’t show the alleged incident, but it catches the aftermath: Saleh standing in the aisle, outraged, yelling about “six white people against us bearded men.” Here’s the footage:
— Adam Saleh (@omgAdamSaleh) December 21, 2016
Since the details are not clear yet (Delta is investigating), let’s acknowledge that it’s possible that the situation unfolded exactly as Saleh alleges.
But it’s pretty darn convenient that it happened to a self-styled “prankster” with 2.3 million YouTube followers.
And it must be just a coincidence that the same guy has posted videos such as:
- “5 Year Old Muslim Girl CRIES When TRUMP Becomes President!!”
- “DONALD TRUMP VOTER ATTACKS ME!! (THEN FLIRTS WITH ME)”
- “RACIST GUY TELLS ME TO GO BACK TO MY COUNTRY!!”
And it must also be a coincidence that Saleh posted a video almost exactly three years ago in which he speaks Arabic on a plane, and his friend on the flight tells him to stop before he “gets in trouble.” (He doesn’t).
And it must also be a coincidence that in 2014 Saleh was forced to admit that a viral video purporting to show him being racially profiled by the NYPD was faked. (You can still find the video on YouTube, though, being passed off as real.)
Oh, and this happened last week:
But other than that, the source seems credible.