Andrew Kaczynski

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Andrew Kaczynski
Andrew Kaczynski.jpg
Andrew Kaczynski in 2017
Born (1989-11-30) November 30, 1989 (age 27)
Nationality United States of America
  • Reporter
Spouse(s) Rachel Louise Ensign (m. 2017)

Andrew Kaczynski (November 30, 1989[1]) is an American journalist and a political reporter for CNN.[2] He became well known in 2011 by posting old video clips of politicians, often of them making statements contrary to their current political positions, to YouTube.[3] He was described as "the [2012] Republican primaries' most influential amateur opposition researcher".[4]

He was hired by BuzzFeed in December 2011.[5] He has appeared on MSNBC, Fox News, CNN, NPR, PBS, and C-SPAN.[6] On October 3, 2016 Kaczynski announced he was leaving BuzzFeed and joining CNN.[7]

Early life[edit]

At 19, Kaczynski had a bout of pancreatitis leading him to eschew smoking and alcohol.[8]

He has worked as an intern for the Republican National Committee[9] and was an intern in 2011 in the office of Congressman Bob Turner.[4]

Kaczynski attended college at Ohio University, but got involved with political reporting and then transferred to St. Johns University[10] to study early American history. He enrolled in online courses to meet his degree requirement but did not eventually graduate.[11][12][13]

Kaczynski got his start by emailing reporters' tip boxes with clips he found of politicians contradicting themselves.[14][15]

Personal life[edit]

He was described as a moderate Republican in a New York Magazine profile. It was later revealed Kaczynski was misquoted and called himself "a political moderate."[3][16]

Kaczynski married Rachel Louise Ensign, a reporter for The Wall Street Journal, in May 2017.[17]

Reporting history[edit]


In 2012, Kaczynski uncovered numerous clips of Mitt Romney supporting an individual mandate, contradicting his then-current campaign position. He also uncovered a clip of Barack Obama protesting at Harvard while at law school over a lack of faculty diversity.


In November 2013, Kaczynski reported that Kentucky Senator Rand Paul had plagiarized sections of a speech he gave in June 2013 on immigration from the Wikipedia article of the movie Stand and Deliver. Kaczynski subsequently reported Paul's 2012 book Government Bullies also contained passages that were plagiarized from articles from the right-wing think tank Heritage Foundation and from the libertarian Cato Institute.[18] Further reports by Kaczynski revealed another four instances of plagiarism from an article by Case Western Reserve University professor Jonathan H. Adler and Pacific Legal Foundation attorney Timothy Sandefur. Another section of the book was discovered to be plagiarized from an article written in Forbes Magazine.

Following the Boston Marathon bombings of 2013, he played a role in spreading unsubstantiated misinformation about the identities of the suspected bombers when he retweeted false reports made by Reddit user Greg Hughes.[19][20]


In 2014, Kaczynski continued with a series of articles chronicling politicians' plagiarism. Kaczynski found more than a dozen examples of politicians running for office in 2014 copying their plans and issues pages verbatim from other candidates.[21]


In 2015, Politico reported [22] Kaczynski was leading internal opposition research at BuzzFeed looking to dig up dirt on politicians. NPR reported[23] Kaczynski's team dug up clips of Donald Trump saying he supported – despite statements to the contrary – the Iraq War; a clip of Hillary Clinton referring to some children as "super predators"; a video of Ben Carson saying he believed the pyramids were used to store grain; and a video of Bernie Sanders proclaiming his support for Fidel Castro and the Sandinistas in Nicaragua.

Kaczynski subsequently found clips of Donald Trump supporting the 2011 American intervention in Libya,[24] the toppling of Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak,[25] and pushing for US action to protect Iranian protesters.[26]


Clips Kaczynski found of Donald Trump on the Howard Stern Show[27] were used in both Democratic[28] and Republican[29] attack ads against Trump and as the basis of a question in the first general election Presidential debate of 2016.

During the US campaign for president in 2016, Kaczynski brought to attention a statement by the chairman of the American Nazi Party in support of Republican candidate Donald Trump on the grounds that "if Trump does win ... it's going to be a real opportunity for people like white nationalists."[30]


In January, Kaczynski reported that Monica Crowley had plagiarized large sections of her 2012 book What The (Bleep) Just Happened.[31] The publisher, HarperCollins, announced they would stop selling the book.[31] The Trump Administration tapped Crowley to serve as senior director of strategic communications for the National Security Council.[31]

Later that month, Kaczynski surfaced audio of Donald Trump's nominee for secretary of labor, Andrew Puzder, describing the employees hired at his restaurants as the "best of the worst".[32] Puzder later withdrew due to other reasons, and did not join the administration.[33]

In May 2017, he reported that Sheriff David Clarke had plagiarized portions of his master's thesis.[34]


Time named Kaczynski's Twitter feed one of "The 140 Best Twitter Feeds of 2013", one of ten in the Politics category.[35]

In 2013 he was listed on the Daily Beast website's "Beast Best" awards for his Twitter Feed.[36]

In 2014, New York Magazine named him the 13th most influential Tweeter in New York City.[37]

Slate political reporter Dave Weigel called him "the Oppenheimer of archival video research."[38]

Politico named him one of the breakout stars of the 2016 election.[39]

In 2017, he was nominated for the Shorty Award for Best Journalist.[40]


  1. ^ "Politinerds 39 - Buzzfeed's Andrew Kaczynski". Vigilant Liberty Radio. 2015-11-13. Retrieved 2015-11-14. 
  2. ^ "Andrew Kaczynski, reporter for BuzzFeed". BuzzFeed. Retrieved 5 April 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Zengerle, Jason (Dec 11, 2011). "Playing with Mud". New York Magazine. Retrieved 5 April 2013. 
  4. ^ a b Sarlin, Benjy (Dec 13, 2011). "Meet The 22-Year-Old Who's Driving Romney Crazy". Talking Points Memo. Retrieved 5 April 2013. 
  5. ^ Sonderman, Jeff (March 20, 2012). "How BuzzFeed's Andrew Kaczynski mines the Internet for video gold". Poynter. Retrieved 5 April 2013. 
  6. ^ "St. John's Student Goes Viral". Retrieved 6 April 2013. 
  7. ^ Ember, Sydney (2016-10-03). "Four From BuzzFeed Politics Defect to CNN". New York Times. Retrieved 2016-10-03. 
  8. ^ Pappu, Sridhar (15 October 2016). "A Onetime BuzzFeed Wunderkind, Now at CNN" – via 
  9. ^ "Matt Lewis Show: Andrew Kaczynski". Retrieved 5 April 2013. 
  10. ^ "Twitter". Retrieved 2017-05-22. 
  11. ^ "andrew kaczynski 🤔 on Twitter". 
  12. ^ "Q&A with Andrew Kaczynski". C-SPAN. Retrieved 12 June 2016. 
  13. ^ "andrew kaczynski 🤔 on Twitter". 
  14. ^ "Matt Lewis Show: Andrew Kaczynski « Matt Lewis". 29 June 2013. Archived from the original on 29 June 2013. 
  15. ^ "Romney, BuzzFeed, and that". 
  16. ^ "andrew kaczynski 🤔 on Twitter". 
  17. ^ Palmer, Anna (2017-05-28). "Tweets pour out as Trump returns to DC -- INSIDE THE WEST WING: POLITICO, WaPo and NYT on WH intrigue -- FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: Trump’s week -- ANDREW KACZYNSKI’s wedding". Politico. Retrieved 2017-06-11. 
  18. ^ Trujillo, Mario (November 3, 2013). "Plagiarism charges against Paul pile up". The Hill. 
  19. ^ "The Anatomy of a Misinformation Disaster". The Atlantic. Retrieved 25 July 2013.
  20. ^ "Should Reddit Be Blamed for the Spreading of a Smear?" The New York Times Magazine. Retrieved 25 July 2013.
  21. ^ "Why Politicians' Plagiarism Matters". 
  22. ^ "BuzzFeed builds an in-house oppo firm". 
  23. ^ "The BuzzFeed Buzz Saw: Why Campaigns Should Fear These Four 20-Somethings". 
  24. ^ Andrew Kaczynski BuzzFeed News Reporter. "Trump Says Removing Qaddafi Was Mistake, But Pushed For Libya Intervention In 2011". BuzzFeed. 
  25. ^ "Trump In 2011 Praised Hosni Mubarak’s Ouster As A “Good Thing”". 
  26. ^ "Trump Pushed For US Action In Iran, Libya In 2011 Fox News Appearances". 
  27. ^ "Donald Trump Said A Lot Of Gross Things About Women On 'Howard Stern'". 
  28. ^ "Hillary Clinton releases ad featuring Donald Trump's degrading comments toward women". 
  29. ^ "YouTube". 
  30. ^ Holley, Peter (2016-08-07). "Top Nazi leader: Trump will be a ‘real opportunity’ for white nationalists". Washington Post. Retrieved 2016-08-08. 
  31. ^ a b c "Trump pick Monica Crowley plagiarized multiple sources in 2012 book - CNNMoney". CNNMoney. Retrieved 2017-05-24. 
  32. ^ Kaczynski, Andrew (2017-01-23). "Trump labor pick in 2011 on his fast food workers: We hire 'the best of the worst'". CNNMoney. Retrieved 2017-05-24. 
  33. ^ Rappeport, Alan (2017-02-15). "Andrew Puzder Withdraws From Consideration as Labor Secretary". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-05-24. 
  34. ^ "Sheriff David Clarke plagiarized portions of his master's thesis on homeland security". Retrieved 2017-05-22. 
  35. ^ Sorensen, Adam (March 25, 2013). "The 140 Best Twitter Feeds of 2013". Time. Retrieved 2013-03-26. 
  36. ^ "Beast Best Awards 2013". The Daily Beast. 
  37. ^
  38. ^ "BuzzFeed Hires Andrew Kaczynski, ‘Oppenheimer’ of Political Videos". 19 December 2011. 
  39. ^ "16 breakout media stars of 2016". 
  40. ^ "Journalist in Social Media - Shorty Awards". Retrieved 2017-05-22. 

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