Right before Christmas, a heart-warming video by YouTube prankster Josh Paler took the internet by storm. In it, a big hearted homeless man was given $100 and he used it to buy groceries for some down-on-their luck people at a nearby park. Here’s the video in case you haven’t seen it:
I didn’t use that video for my Saturday Movie Matinee, last week, because as adorable as it was – my BS meter was spinning all over the place.
My instincts have been proven right:
“The whole thing is bullshit”
The purveyors of the website Vocativ were suspicious, too, and said so: Did Josh Paler Lin Stage His Viral Video About Helping the Homeless?
A California man who watched the event as it was being staged, says a significant portion of the video has been faked.
As of Tuesday morning, the video had racked up more than 27 million views on YouTube and inspired more than 150 glowing news articles from around the world. Following its success, Lin launched an Indiegogo fundraising campaign to “help Thomas get a fresh start,” which has netted more than $127,000 in well-meaning donations from the public.
But now a nursing student from Anaheim has come forward to say there’s no way Thomas could have been secretly filmed—because he and Lin arrived at the liquor store in the same car. “The whole thing is bullshit,” says Taugan Tan Kadalim, who claims that on Dec. 20 he was outside the Euclid Liquor & Market, where the video’s pivotal scene is set. “Thomas knew he was being followed.”
The 26-year-old says he stopped at the store to buy a lottery ticket before picking up his girlfriend, who lives in an apartment complex directly across the street. As he was walking out of the liquor store, Kadalim says he spotted Lin sitting in the driver’s seat of a nearby vehicle and recognized him immediately from his previous prank videos. “I was like, ‘Oh my God, it’s him,” says Kadalim, adding that he subscribed to Lin’s YouTube channel. “I couldn’t believe it.”
Read the rest at Vocativ.
What a fitting end to 2014 — the year of Ben Trovato, eh?
An Ace commenter (I’m guessing) found an stunningly similar video from November 2013. This time, it’s a homeless vet who immediately starts giving away the money.
Linked by AoSHQ, thanks!