When James O’Keefe launched Project Veritas with his investigation of ACORN in 2009 his hidden-camera style of citizen journalism took the mainstream media completely by surprise. When his footage of ACORN’s illegal activities resulted in the organization’s de-funding by Congress, and its subsequent bankruptcy, a revolution in political activism was born.
Enter the UK’s Guardian newspaper, which has just now noticed a surprising amount of what it calls “guerilla activism.”
From a recent article:
“Guerrilla-style political activism is regularly carried out on both sides of the ideological spectrum – and can undoubtedly be effective at stirring things up. Just ask rightwing activist James O’Keefe… The media loves to cover these stunts, because they’re provocative and divisive. And while they’re in the news, the perpetrators have plenty of airtime to draw attention to their issues.”
Issues, it should be noted, that the mainstream media itself has attempted to ignore.
The fact is that Project Veritas and its imitators are motivated, not by a love of “stirring things up,” but by a desire to expose ugly truths that the establishment press would prefer not to cover. While that may not sit well with journalism’s old guard, they need only refer to their declining public influence to see where the future lies.
Even the Guardian admits, “It may be that these shenanigans are simply part of a new political reality, and that the side that uses them most effectively will come out ahead.”
Indeed, although the sides in conflict are not liberal vs. conservative, but truth vs. corruption. It is because of “shenanigans” like the investigation we’re about to release that the side of truth will ultimately prevail.
Regarding the double standard applied by the American press to Project Veritas, the Guardian says, “[I]t’s hard to see how liberals who supported MoveOn’s prank against Fox News today can credibly take issue when these sorts of tricks target one of their own tomorrow.”
Credible or not, there’s no doubt the establishment will continue trying to smear Project Veritas in an effort to blunt the effectiveness of our investigative reporting. And they will continue to fail.
Back in March, Kevin Drum at Mother Jones magazine wrote, “We now officially live in the era of guerrilla activism.” He’s right (albeit two years late), and, for that, he and the Guardian have James O’Keefe to thank.