Project Veritas has been responsible for some pretty useful undercover operations and videos over the last decade, but we’re baffled as to what they were trying to accomplish with this latest stunt – the results of which can only be called catastrophic.
In an amateurish attempt to get the Washington Post to report on a fake Roy Moore accuser, James O’Keefe hired a woman to pose as an Alabama native who claimed to have had Moore’s abortion when she was a teenager. The Washington Post, which is definitely biased but isn’t filled with complete morons, quickly caught on to the scheme, exposed the woman as a fraud, and published a complete account of the sting in the paper this week.
O’Keefe tried feebly to combat the embarrassing failure with a video of some WaPo journalists talking about how Trump coverage had led to increased sales, but…uh…that’s not exactly news to anyone.
In comments this week, conservative writer and dedicated critic of the mainstream media Brent Bozell went out of his way to slam O’Keefe for the stunt. “Regarding WaPo/O’Keefe incident, this was entrapment and the kind of ‘gotcha’ stunt that should be condemned,” he wrote. “If a liberal did this to a conservative outlet, we’d be outraged. Once again, O’Keefe is grandstanding and hurting the conservative movement. I’m glad the Post outed him.”
We’re not sure we’d go quite as far as Bozell in condemning O’Keefe’s actions here; if this scheme had been planned with a little more caution, it could have resulted in some important undercover journalism. We do not believe O’Keefe ever thought he could “trick” the Washington Post into running with his fake victim, but rather hoped to get reporters on camera saying stuff about how they were hoping to bring Roy Moore’s campaign to an end. That could have been potentially valuable, but it didn’t work out that way.
Instead, if anything, O’Keefe managed to make the Washington Post look like a more credible news outlet than they did before this stunt ever took place. More damagingly, the fact that he was trying to pull this stunt makes it look like conservatives are desperate to save Moore from these allegations. And perhaps most damagingly, he hurt his own Project Veritas brand at a time when we need conservatives fighting back against mainstream media narratives with honor and truth. Not good at all.