Pseudo-journalist James O’Keefe is on a mission to prove that legacy news outlets who report adversarially on President Trump are “fake news.” But in his latest sting operation against The Washington Post, the Project Veritas founder ended up showcasing how the outlet he tried to smear does actual journalism.
A few weeks ago, O’Keefe recruited a woman to approach WaPo with false story about Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore, claiming that he impregnated her when she was 15-years-old. It was classic O’Keefe tactics: trick a respected outlet to report on false info, thus besmirching their reputation. The plan fell apart for a variety of reasons, one reason being that WaPo vets its sources thoroughly — but that’s not including the fact that WaPo’s reporters saw the woman, who identified herself as Jaime Phillips, walk into Project Veritas’s office on Monday.
After WaPo’s Stephanie McCrummen confronted Phillips about the inconsistencies in her story (an exchange that was captured on video), Phillips told them that she wanted to “cancel” her story and ended all contact with the news outlet. It was then that she was spotted entering the the offices of Project Veritas, fueling WaPo’s suspicions that they were set up.
This Monday, WaPo spotted O’Keefe on the street and confronted him over the matter. When repeatedly asked if Phillips was employed by Project Veritas, O’Keefe refused to answer.
James O'Keefe fundraising on his sting-the-Washington-Post fiasco. pic.twitter.com/yH0y4pnJqm
— Byron York (@ByronYork) November 28, 2017
“…this so-called off-the-record conversation was the essence of a scheme to deceive and embarrass us,” WaPo Executive Editor Martin Baron said. “The intent by Project Veritas clearly was to publicize the conversation if we fell for the trap. Because of our customary journalistic rigor, we weren’t fooled, and we can’t honor an ‘off-the-record’ agreement that was solicited in maliciously bad faith.”
It’s kinda funny that O’Keefe is basically a glorified, well-funded and yet hilariously incompetent secret shopper.
— Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes) November 27, 2017
From New York Magazine:
But this larger conceptual problem with O’Keefe’s enterprise creates a secondary problem, which is that the people who are dumb enough to believe these conspiracy theories are not generally smart enough to carry out a competent entrapment scheme. O’Keefe attempted to impersonate a Detroit Free Press columnist at the polls, and failed, in part because the poll worker knew the Free Press writer personally. An elaborate effort to sting the League of Conservation Voters failed clumsily because the operatives left their recording devices sitting around. The “Canadians” who tried to entrap Hillary Clinton staffers into accepting “foreign” donations all gave the same phone number, which turned out to be from “Students for a Conservative Voice.” O’Keefe’s attempt to register the vote of a dead person accidentally used the identity of a voter who is completely alive. His attempt to impersonate a Hungarian donor to the Clinton campaign floundered when its catfisher forgot to hang up the phone and accidentally recorded a long message explaining the details of the operation …
Watch WaPo’s Stephanie McCrummen confront Phillips in the video below:
Featured image via YouTube