The Awl has published a revealing conversation with James O’Keefe about prejudices in the mainstream media and their impact on the work of Project Veritas. In it O’Keefe points out that what bothers members of the establishment press most about Project Veritas is not our tactics, but our targets. “If we were to go after targets like the National Rifle Association or the National Republican Committee or something like that, I think I’d be considered a hero…” he said.
Like Ian Murphy, the Buffalo blogger who prank called Governor Scott Walker pretending to be David Koch at the height of union protests in Minnesota last year. Murphy’s minor stunt was given far more attention than it deserved, as well as the benefit of the doubt from many in the establishment press, who were quick to describe his tactics as “remarkable” and justified rather than dishonest and immature. In contrast, Project Veritas is a favorite target of media suppression and smear campaigns, despite O’Keefe’s success as an actual investigative journalist. O’Keefe recalls that, in 2009, “The Congress of the United States voted on, and the president signed the bill into law, to defund ACORN prior to the New York Times assigning a reporter to the story. “[B]ecause we go after…Planned Parenthood and ACORN and NPR, they don’t like me,” O’Keefe says. “Because a lot of these people—in the establishment, in the media, at universities—think these organizations do good work, and they’re good organizations… They said, ‘Why would you investigate Planned Parenthood? Why would you do that?’ My response is because they get taxpayer money. And they ought to be investigated like anything else that gets taxpayer money.” To supporters of Project Veritas, the idea that organizations receiving taxpayer money should operate in an honest and transparent manner is obvious. But much of the establishment press seems unable to grasp this simple concept.
When an organization like ACORN claims to advance a certain social goal, then for many so-called “journalists” its fraudulent activities become off limits to investigation or even strong criticism. However, thanks in part to the work of Project Veritas, the mainstream media no longer controls access to information the way it once did. Today, voters and taxpayers are circumventing biased media outlets to find out for themselves what is really being done by their government with their money.
At the end of the day, as O’Keefe says, “the whole truth behind what we do is, we’re compensating for what [members of the establishment press] haven’t done, and they don’t like that.”