November 28, 2017 Last Updated 7:12 am

Attempt to get Washington Post to incriminate itself backfires, though alt-right media quickly works to twist story around

Morning Brief: The normal Thanksgiving holiday lull in news is broken by confirmation of Meredith-Time Inc. deal, the president’s inability to go through a White House ceremony without embarrassing the nation, the smart instincts of Post editors and reporters

The pace of news these days is such that one cannot even go on a short Thanksgiving holiday trip without coming back to a flood of news. As everyone likely knows, the talk of a Meredith-Time Inc. deal turned out to be true. So far I find the analysis of the deal wanting, so later this morning I will write about it to give my own thoughts on the deal.

But the problem with the flood of news is that so much of it is absurd. Did the POTUS really use the occasion of a White House ceremony to honor Native American World War II veterans to call a Senator “Pocahontas”? How is it possible that this is now just another news story?

But then there is the story published by The Washington Post on the attempt by the outfit run by James O’Keefe to try to get Post reporters to fall for a story being told by one of his employees about an alleged that Roy Moore, the GOP Senate candidate in Alabama, had impregnated her as a teenager. This time, the media was ready for the ruse and O’Keefe got egg on his face (twice, as it turns out).

But if O’Keefe doesn’t receive serious jail time for this caper, or is at least sued into bankruptcy, there is no justice in America. And, hopefully, maybe finally, all the media will begin to realize the danger that a free press faces in the country.

Finally, if you are tempted to simply laugh of this Post incident, let me remind you that we just spent an entire election cycle where O’Keefe’s highly edited videos lay at the center of the debate of Planned Parenthood funding, where state after state has gone after the organization based on false reporting, and now women’s health care is being seriously endangered.

The Washington Post, Shawn Boburg, Aaron C. Davis and Alice Crites:

A woman approached The Post with dramatic — and false — tale about Roy Moore. She appears to be part of undercover sting operation.

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…

But on Monday morning, Post reporters saw her walking into the New York 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.

The Washington Post, Marwa Eltagouri:

James O’Keefe tweeted about his ‘confrontation’ with a Post reporter. Here’s what really happened.

In the full version of the video, O’Keefe repeatedly declined to answer questions about the woman and her affiliation with Project Veritas. The organization has previously targeted mainstream media outlets such as CNN, which it accuses of being biased.

Upon tweeting the edited version of the video, O’Keefe said, “The Washington Post sends a reporter to question me, but take a look. Who’s interviewing who?”

New York Magazine: Conservative Tries to Prove the Washington Post Is Fake News, Proves Opposite by Mistake
National Review: James O’Keefe Shoots at The Washington Post and Misses

The Post story is one that will, as they say, have legs. Why? Because despite the Post being alert to the scam being perpetrated, the alt-right media will not play this as the Post exposing Project Veritas. Instead, as Breitbart News immediately post, the story will be twisted into one that attacks the Post, even if Breitbart revels in O’Keefe being brought down a peg or two.

This means that a large portion of the public will learn about this story and conclude that the Post is at fault, that it is wrongly attacking Roy Moore, and that only through the efforts of people like O’Keefe is the dishonesty of the free press in America being exposed.

This type of twisting of the fact is what Breitbart excels in. But normally it allows its headlines and comment threads do the heavy lifting. But every once in a while, like in this case, its editors need to do the dirty work.

Breitbart News, Joel B. Pollak:

James O’Keefe and Washington Post Bust Each Other

Conservative undercover journalist James O’Keefe and the Washington Post “busted” each other Monday, as the Post discovered O’Keefe’s Project Veritas was investigating it, prompting O’Keefe to publish some of his work…

…In one sequence, the Post‘s Dan Lamothe, who covers national security issues, is seen on video telling a Project Veritas undercover reporter that the newspaper “definitely” does not like Trump. He comments on his newspaper’s editorials against Trump: “Those have become critical to the point where I’ll read some of them and I’m like, ‘Whoa!’ Like, ‘I work for this place?’.”

In another portion of the video, Lamothe is shown criticizing his newspaper’s focus on “sensational” news rather than on substantive issues. “I can’t tell you how many times we get an email at work: ‘Oh did you see what [Trump] just tweeted? What are we gonna do about it?’.”

The Daily Beast, Scott Bixby:

James O’Keefe Claims Victory, Fundraises Off Botched Roy Moore Sting Operation

In a fundraising email to Project Veritas supporters, O’Keefe told potential donors that Phillips, an “investigative journalist embedded within [the Post],” had her cover blown. “The good news is… we already got our story,” he continued (ellipsis his own).

O’Keefe’s attempts to spin the blown operation targeting the Washington Post’s credibility—which instead showed how the newspaper’s reporters were able to detect a false accuser—was far from the first time he and his organization have attempted to declare victory after being publicly clowned.

InfoWars (first story): Project Veritas Exposes Anti-Trump Bias At Washington Post
InfoWars (second story): The Washington Post Congratulates Themselves For Not Falling For Obvious Hoax
Tages-Anzeiger (Switzerland): The Project Veritas and his lies
A far-right activist with Breitbart’s past wanted to trap the “Washington Post” with fake news – and made a fool of himself.

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