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Former Vox journalist mocked for claiming to be victim of ‘stolen valor’ in Twitter spat

Former Vox journalist Aaron Rupar was mocked on Twitter Thursday after he compared not getting credit for videos he tweeted to “stolen valor.” 

According to the military website Home of Heroes, “’Stolen Valor’ is a term applied to the phenomenon of people falsely claiming military awards or medals they did not earn, service they did not perform, Prisoner of War experiences that never happened, and other tales of military actions that exist only in their minds.” 

Rupar, now an independent journalist, responded angrily when Mike Sington, a former senior executive at NBCUniversal, tweeted video from a Herschel Walker campaign speech. 

Rupar pointed out Sington’s tweet and said, “This guy loves posting the exact same videos others have already posted without any attribution. pretty sleazy and i’m not the only one who has noticed it.” 

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Sington responded that the slight wasn’t intentional and wondered how he could make it right: “Aaron, not trying to be sleazy. I thought the clip was from OAN, their logo is on it. Willing to learn, what should I have done differently?” 

Rupar wasn’t assuaged and accused Sington of ripping off his video “for stolen valor.”

 He replied, “RT mine? i actually watched the speech, you lazily saw my video go viral and decided to rip it off for stolen valor. you do this all the time and people notice. give people credit for their work when it is due.” 

Rupar’s comparison earned him a “Community Note” from Twitter. This is a form of reader-generated fact checking. The note clarified, “‘Stolen valor’ is a phrase that specifically refers to people pretending to be veterans to claim social benefits…. While potentially in poor taste, reposting news clips from a third party is qualitatively different.” 

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Conservatives on Twitter mocked the comparison. 

Spectator contributing editor Stephen Miller wrote, “Aaron Rupar compares sharing publicly edited video clips to ‘stolen valor.’”

“Thank you for your service of….watching cable TV,” tweeted U.S. Marine and Townhall writer Julio Rosas. 

Digital strategist Greg Price joked, “As somebody who also tweets clips, I completely agree with you. It is unpatriotic to post a clip after we already posted it. We bravely get up in the morning, leave our families behind, and enter the trenches to post things we see on TV on social media and it must be respected.” 

Washington Examiner columnist T. Becket Adams wrote, “An amazing exchange. honestly can’t tell if it’s a bit or if Aaron genuinely believes it’s a form of ‘stolen valor’ to share videos clipped from a public address.” 

“What defending democracy looks like, FOLKS,” Federalist columnist Eddie Scarry wrote.

“Every day this dude wakes up and makes the conscientious decision to be the worst person on Twitter. He never falls short,” The Lafayette Co. president Ellen Carmichael said..

He added a joking image of Vietnam War vet Lieutenant Dan (Gary Sinise) from the movie “Forrest Gump,” with the caption “lost my legs clipping Newsmax interviews back in ’16.”

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