aside James O’Keefe Tried A Sting On The Washington Post Which Backfired

Conservative republicans who just love “fake news” and conspiracy theories as depicted in the headlines of Breitbart News and InfoWars, suffer from the illusion that democrats share this same passion. Those liberal media bastions like the Washington Post. the New York Times, the Boston Globe, CNN, BBC, the Guardian and a host of others, have journalists who are subject to their editors’ rules which requires forms of verification, fact checking, etc.

Onto the stage, enters a well known producer of “fake news” stories to back up preconceived conservative beliefs, the infamous James O’Keefe of Project Veritas. He has a history of developing “fake news” stories about organizations like Acorn (an organization which helped peoples to become registered to vote; Planned Parenthood; NPR, and the over the top descriptions of Antifa which germinated from his insertion into the DisruptJ20 group which organized to protest the presidency of Donald J. Trump during his inauguration ceremonies on January 20, 2017 in Washington DC).

Link to Audio with Jane Mayer: https://www.wnyc.org/widgets/ondemand_player/thenewyorker//#file=https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/audio.wnyc.org/tnyradiohour/tnyradiohour052016b.mp3

“On March 16th, a man who said his name was Victor left a voice message at the offices of the Open Society Foundations, which are funded by George Soros, saying that he was a potential donor. Then, he forgot to hang up the phone, and the machine recorded “Victor” and his staff describing what sounded like an entrapment scheme. This week, James O’Keefe, the conservative activist who has used undercover videos to try to embarrass  Planned Parenthood, NPR, and acornadmitted that he was the caller and apologized to his supporters for the failed operation. On “The New Yorker Radio Hour,” the staff writer Jane Mayer goes through the voice-mail recording to see what it tells us about O’Keefe’s methods and the scope of his ambitions.”

JAMES O’KEEFE/ GETTY IMAGE

Here’s the rest of the story….

On November 27, 2017, Shawn Boburg, Aaron C. Davis and Alice Crites of the Washington Post penned the following report, “A woman approached The Post with dramatic — and false — tale about Roy Moore. She appears to be part of undercover sting operation.”

Excerpts:

“A woman who falsely claimed to The Washington Post that Roy Moore, the Republican U.S. Senate candidate in Alabama, impregnated her as a teenager appears to work with an organization that uses deceptive tactics to secretly record conversations in an effort to embarrass its targets.”“In a series of interviews over two weeks, the woman shared a dramatic story about an alleged sexual relationship with Moore in 1992 that led to an abortion when she was 15. During the interviews, she repeatedly pressed Post reporters to give their opinions on the effects that her claims could have on Moore’s candidacy if she went public.”

“The Post did not publish an article based on her unsubstantiated account. When Post reporters confronted her with inconsistencies in her story and an Internet posting that raised doubts about her motivations, she insisted that she was not working with any organization that targets journalists.”But on Monday morning, Post reporters saw her walking into the NY offices of Project Veritas, an organization that targets the mainstream news media and left-leaning groups. The organization sets up undercover “stings” that involve using false cover stories and covert video recordings meant to expose what the group says is media bias.”

“James O’Keefe, the Project Veritas founder who was convicted of a misdemeanor in 2010 for using a fake identity to enter a federal building during a previous sting, declined to answer questions about the woman outside the organization’s offices on Monday morning shortly after the woman walked inside.”In a follow-up interview, O’Keefe declined to answer repeated questions about whether the woman was employed at Project Veritas. He also did not respond when asked if he was working with Moore, former White House adviser and Moore supporter Stephen K. Bannon, or Republican strategists.”

“The Post positioned video reporters outside the group’s office in Mamaroneck, N.Y, after determining that Phillips lives in Stamford, Conn., and realizing that the two locations were just 16 miles apart. Two reporters followed her from her home as she drove to the office.”“After Phillips was observed entering the Project Veritas office, The Post made the unusual decision to report her previous off-the-record comments.”

“We always honor ‘off-the-record’ agreements when they’re entered into in good faith,” said Martin Baron, The Post’s executive editor. “But this so-called off-the-record conversation was the essence of a scheme to deceive and embarrass us. 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.”Phillips’s arrival at the Project Veritas office capped a weeks-long effort that began only hours after The Post published an article on Nov. 9 that included allegations that Moore once initiated a sexual encounter with a 14-year-old named Leigh Corfman.”“Post reporter Beth Reinhard, who co-wrote the article about Corfman, received a cryptic email early the next morning.”

“Roy Moore in Alabama . . . I might know something but I need to keep myself safe. How do we do this?” the apparent tipster wrote under an account with the name “Lindsay James.”

“The email’s subject line was “Roy Moore in AL.” The sender’s email address included “rolltide,” the rallying cry of the University of Alabama’s sports teams, which are nicknamed the Crimson Tide.”

“Reinhard sent an email asking if the person was willing to talk off the record.

“Not sure if I trust the phone,” came the reply. “Can we just stick to email?”

“I need to be confident that you can protect me before I will tell all,” the person wrote in a subsequent email. “I have stuff I’ve been hiding for a long time but maybe it should stay that way.”The tipster’s email came amid counterattacks by Moore supporters aimed at The Post and its reporters.”

“That same day, Gateway Pundit, a conservative site, spread a false story from a Twitter account, @umpire43, that said, “A family friend in Alabama just told my wife that a WAPO reporter named Beth offer her 1000$ to accuse Roy Moore.” The Twitter account, which has a history of spreading misinformation, has since been deleted.”

“The Post, like many other news organizations, has a strict policy against paying people for information and did not do so in its coverage of Moore.”

“On Nov. 14, a pastor in Alabama said he received a voice mail from a man falsely claiming to be a Post reporter and seeking women “willing to make damaging remarks” about Moore for money. No one associated with The Post made any such call.”

Stephanie McCrummen (L) interviews Jaime T. Phillips (R)

“In the days that followed the purported tipster’s initial emails, Reinhard communicated with the woman through an encrypted text messaging service and spoke by phone with the person to set up a meeting. When the woman suggested a meeting in New York, Reinhard told her she would have to know more about her story and her background. The woman offered that her real name was Jaime Phillips.”

“Phillips said she lived in New York but would be in the Washington area during Thanksgiving week and suggested meeting Tuesday at a shopping mall in Tysons Corner, Va. “I’m planning to do some shopping there so I’ll find a good place to meet before you get there,” Phillips wrote in a message sent via Signal, the encrypted messaging service.”“When Reinhard suggested bringing another reporter, Phillips wrote, “I’m not really comfortable with anyone else being there.”

“Reinhard arrived to find Phillips, wearing a brown leather jacket and with long red hair, already seated in a booth in the restaurant.”

“The 41-year-old said she had been abused as a child, Reinhard said. Her family had moved often. She said she moved in with an aunt in the Talladega area of Alabama and started attending a church youth group when she met Moore in 1992, the year he became a county judge. She said she was 15. She said they started a “secret” sexual relationship.”

“I knew it wasn’t right, but I didn’t care,” she said.”

“She said that she got pregnant, that Moore talked her into an abortion and that he drove her to Mississippi to get it.”

“Phillips said she had started thinking about coming forward after the allegations about Hollywood film producer Harvey Weinstein surfaced. Then she said she saw the news about Moore flashing across the television screen while in a break room at her job at a company called NFM Lending in Westchester County, N.Y., Reinhard said.”

“Phillips also repeatedly asked the reporter to guarantee her that Moore would lose the election if she came forward. Reinhard told her in a subsequent text message that she could not predict what the impact would be. Reinhard said she also explained to Phillips that her claims would have to be fact-checked. Additionally, Reinhard asked her for documents that would corroborate or support her story.”

“Later that day, Phillips told Reinhard that she felt “anxiety & negative energy after our meeting,” text messages show. “You just didn’t convince me that I should come forward,” she wrote.”

“Reinhard replied, “I’m so sorry but I want to be straight with you about the fact-checking process and the fact that we can’t guarantee what will happen as a result of another story.”

“Phillips was not satisfied. On Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, she suggested meeting with another Post reporter, Stephanie McCrummen, who co-wrote the initial article about Corfman. “I’d rather go to another paper than talk to you again,” Phillips told Reinhard.”

“Back at the newsroom, Reinhard became concerned about elements of Phillips’s story. Phillips had said she lived in Alabama only for a summer while a teenager, but the cellphone number Phillips provided had an Alabama area code. Reinhard called NFM Lending in Westchester County, but the company said a person named Jaime Phillips did not work there.”

“Alice Crites, a Post researcher who was looking into Phillips’s background, found a document that strongly reinforced the reporters’ suspicions: a Web page for a fundraising campaign by someone with the same name. It was on the website GoFundMe.com under the name Jaime Phillips.”

“I’m moving to New York!” the May 29 appeal said. “I’ve accepted a job to work in the conservative media movement to combat the lies and deceipt of the liberal MSM. I’ll be using my skills as a researcher and fact-checker to help our movement.”

“In a March posting on its Facebook page, Project Veritas said it was seeking 12 new “undercover reporters,” though the organization’s operatives use methods that are eschewed by mainstream journalists, such as misrepresenting themselves.”

“A posting for the “journalist” job on the Project Veritas website that month warned that the job “is not a role for the faint of heart.”

“The job’s listed goal: “To adopt an alias persona, gain access to an identified person of interest and persuade that person to reveal information, and “Operating concealed recording equipment.”

“Project Veritas, founded in 2010, is a tax-exempt charity that says its mission is to “investigate and expose corruption, dishonesty, self-dealing, waste, fraud and other misconduct.” It raised $4.8 million and employed 38 people in 2016, according to its public tax filing. It also had 92 volunteers.”

“O’Keefe’s criminal record has caused the charity problems in some states.”

“Also working at Veritas is former television producer Robert J. Halderman, who was sentenced to six months in jail in 2010 after he was accused of trying to blackmail late-night host David Letterman. Halderman was with O’Keefe outside the Project Veritas offices Monday as a reporter tried to ask about Phillips’s role with the organization.”

“Because Jaime Phillips is a relatively common name, it wasn’t a certainty that the GoFundMe page that Crites found was created by the same woman who approached The Post. But there was another telling detail, in addition to the name. One of two donations listed on the page was from a person whose name matched her daughter’s, according to public records.”

“McCrummen agreed to meet Phillips that afternoon.”

“Phillips suggested meeting somewhere in Alexandria, Va., saying she was shopping in the area. Post video reporters accompanied McCrummen, who brought a printout of the fundraising page to the interview.”

“Again, Phillips had arrived early and was waiting for McCrummen, her purse resting on the table. When McCrummen put her purse near Phillips’s purse to block a possible camera, Phillips moved hers.”

“The Post video reporters sat separately, unnoticed, at an adjacent table.”

Phillips said she didn’t want to get into the details of what she had said happened between her and Moore.

“She said she wanted McCrummen to assure her that the article would result in Moore’s defeat, according to a recording. McCrummen instead asked her about her story regarding Moore.”

“McCrummen asked Phillips to verify her identity with a photo identification. Phillips provided a Georgia driver’s license.”

“McCrummen then asked her about the GoFundMe page.”

“We have a process of doing background, checking backgrounds and this kind of thing, so I wanted to ask you about one thing,” McCrummen said, pulling out a copy of the page and reading from it. “So I just wanted to ask you if you could explain this, and I also wanted to let you know, Jaime, that this is being recorded and video recorded.”

“Okay,” Phillips said. “Um, yeah, I was looking to take a job last summer in New York, but it fell through,” Phillips said. “Yeah, it was going to be with the Daily Caller, but it ended up falling through.”

“When asked who at the Daily Caller interviewed her, Phillips said, “Kathy,” pausing before adding the last name, “Johnson.”

“Paul Conner, executive editor of the Daily Caller, said Monday that no one with the name Kathy Johnson works for the publication and that he has no record of having personally interviewed Phillips.”

“At the Alexandria restaurant on Wednesday, Phillips also told The Post that she had not been in contact with the Moore campaign. As the interview ended, Phillips told McCrummen she was not recording the conversation.”

“I think I probably just want to cancel and not go through with it at this point,” Phillips said at Souvlaki Bar shortly before ending the interview.”

“I’m not going to answer any more questions,” she said. “I think I’m just going to go.”

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12 comments

  1. Gronda, I hope your time away is going well. This subterfuge to win politically is both sad and disgusting. To stoop so low means your argument is so poor, you cannot win with it by itself. Sadly, a man got elected President while stooping low (and it was not a long stoop). This should be prima facie evidence that Moore’s accusers should be believed. Today, I read that Franklin Graham supports Moore and said everyone makes mistakes. A mistake is messing up once, it is not a pattern of predatory behavior and sexual assault on a minor. Keith

    • Dear Keith,

      I have enjoyed my time in Denver. The Weather has been incredible. I’ve been able to spend extra time with my son ( He is temporarily not working) and my almost 4 year old granddaughter. My Daughter-in-law is a gem.

      I travel standby for free as I am a retiree from Continental Airlines (now United). I am hoping to make it back to Tampa on 11/30.

      Our world has been turned upside down when a self -proclaimed Christian would back a pedophile to become the next US senator from Alabama who has not confessed, NOT taken responsibility, NOT shown remorse, NOR asked for forgiveness, etc.

      Hugs, Gronda

      • Gronda, that is a nice retirement benefit to travel free via standby. Moore is shown as back in the lead. I guess pedophile behavior is OK on their minds. Maybe this write in candidate will take some votes.

        I hope women vote. I think it was you that noted some women in PA not voting so as not to cancel their husband’s Trump vote. Moore is not disserving for many reasons, but certainly his past behavior should not be rewarded with a Senate seat. Keith

        • Gronda, I was reading some of the comments. I want to add when I write a letter to the editor or when they allow me to write an op-ed piece, if I cite data points, they routinely ask me where I got this information. Just this morning, they published a letter of mine, but we had to work out two data points a few days ago. If we cannot verify them (as I may have read something a year or two ago), we reword it to edit out the data.

          This is what should happen routinely. If a source does not do this, then we must question their overall veracity. It is like Trump’s argument for why he tweeted the videos. He did not take the time to know the source, verify the veracity of the videos or consider the context. Yet, much of what he tweets about does not usually come from verified sources, which is amazing as he has people who could provide him with better information and check sources. He does not take time to know.

          Keith

  2. It is good practice not to take any news at face value, whether it’s from the left, right, center or alt because it is only natural that purveyors of news information (real or fake) has underlying agenda and perspective to portray. It is up to the individual to use a little reason, common sense, logic to discern the truth, sadly most ppl do not.

    With that being said, it is very disconcerting that sexual predators like Moore are allowed to advance their career as far as they did without serious repercussion. It seems more pervs are being exposed everyday as this type of predatory behavior is no longer being tolerated any longer.

    The latest perpetrator being outed: Matt Lauer fired by NBC News, accused of “inappropriate sexual behavior”.

    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/matt-lauer-fired-by-nbc-news-accused-of-inappropriate-sexual-behavior/

    NBC News giant Matt Lauer, a frequent Trump critic, has been fired after being outed as a “monster” for routinely sexually assaulting female staffers. He even reportedly sexually assaulted an employee while on assignment at the 2014 Olympics.

    Yashar Ali “claimed that multiple women have come forward privately about Lauer, but were ‘terrified’ of doing so publicly because of the power Lauer had in media,” reports Daily Caller:

    “Matt Lauer put the fear of god into these women,” Ali wrote. “He had relationships with reporters outside NBC that he cultivated just for this purpose. They knew that.”

    • Dear 1EarthUnited,

      I was aware of the Matt Lauer situation.

      I am pleased that these men who take advantage of their positions of power are being outed by women they have harmed. Men need to know that their dirty deeds will not be covered up.

      Nowadays, it takes time to make sure that whatever one decides to post for public consumption, has at least BEEN verified, fact checked, etc. as to the basic underlying facts.

      Everyone has a bias but factual data should be accurate.

      Hugs, Gronda

    • Dear Ravenhawks,

      If and when journalists of established media outlets like the NY Times, Washington Post, etc. become frustrated by the standards required before a story is published, this should be a wake-up call as to why these high standards are crucial.

      Thanks a million times over for your support and for this reblog.

      Hugs, Gronda

    • Dear Roger,

      Your words ring so true! The FBI’s Special Counsel Robert Mueller III is the consummate professional who is close to getting the information he needs to do real damage to the White House. Data does not leak from the FBI’s Special Counsel’s office. So we do not find out what he is up to until it is a done deed.

      The FBI has just co-opted the president’s former national security adviser General Flynn who knows were all the bodies are buried.

      It looked like President Trump was planning a trip to the UK, early next year. This may be postponed.

      Hugs, Gronda

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