Project Veritas Went ‘A Bridge Too Far’ On Botched WaPo/Moore Sting

James O'Keefe and Project Veritas are beginning to look as bad as the organizations they’re fighting against.

Operation Market Garden was the British plan to build on prior successes using paratroopers to build a bridgehead and seize large swaths of territory, while also trapping large German army units in a bold advance through the Netherlands.

Immortalized on screen in the movie “A Bridge Too Far,” the bridge at Arnhem was indeed seized, at the cost of nearly the entire British I Airborne Corps. Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery should have known better. And indeed, he did. ( As Major Brian Urquhart, Chief of Intelligence British I Airborne Corps commented, "I simply did not believe that the Germans were going to roll over and surrender.")

James O’Keefe and Project Veritas has successfully exposed corruption in liberal organizations, single-handedly taken down ACORN, and baited a CNN producer into revealing liberal bias. He had been dealing with low-level functionaries and over-eager employees. Word on the street in the New York Times and Washington Post is that Veritas wanted to infiltrate their newsrooms also.

The top bricks on the main stream media pyramid may be tilted to the left, and they may be coastal elites and the products of socialist-loving, progressive journalist schools, but they are not stupid.

When Monty sent his light infantry paratroopers ahead and XXX Corps to link up Eindhoven, Nijmegen, and Arnhem, he went up against Generalfeldmarschall Walter Model. Model was the Wehrmacht’s best tactician, especially on defense. At his disposal was a well-rested and supplied II SS Panzer Corps, containing the 9th and 10th SS Panzer Divisions—the best armor in Europe. The results were predictable (and predicted).

When O’Keefe sent a newly recruited undercover videographer to capture the Washington Post’s Beth Reinhard saying something prejudicial and biased against Roy Moore, the results were predictable.

When “Jaime Phillips” anonymously contacted Reinhard, offering a story that Moore had impregnated her at 15 and drove her to Mississippi for an abortion, the story was too important to ignore, but too convenient not to raise every red flag.

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.

Did O’Keefe and “Jaime Phillips” really think the Washington Post would not fact check anyone offering an unsolicited salacious bombshell?

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.

Back at WaPo, Alice Crites, who got a byline on the report resulting from Veritas’ hamfisted dumbassery, worked with Reinhard, and together they fact checked everything “Jaime Phillips” said. She found that her story did not check out (imagine that!), and that a GoFundMe.com page under Phillips’ name had this plea:

“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. I was laid off from my mortgage job a few months ago and came across the opportunity to change my career path.”

And to make it even more obvious:

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.

The Washington Post was more than ready for this kind of amateur hour, and Veritas played right into their hands.

Jaded with Reinhard, Phillips finally agreed to meet with another WaPo reporter, Stephanie McCrummen, who co-wrote the initial article on Moore’s accusers. Armed with damning evidence (the GoFundMe page and other fact check results) McCrummen took along a video crew and met Phillips in an Alexandria restaurant.

Phillips tried to bait McCrummen by complaining about President Trump’s endorsement of Moore.

“So my whole thing is, like, I want him to be completely taken out of the race . . . ” she said. “And I really expected that was going to happen, and now it’s not. So, I don’t know what you think about that.”

After getting Phillips to provide a driver’s license, McCrummen went for the kill:

“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.”

It went really bad after that point, because Phillips was caught, knew she was caught, and used some really bad lies, invoking a fake name at the Daily Caller (which was easily debunked). And to prove that WaPo had it right, the GoFundMe page was gone by 7 p.m. the same day.

This was a poorly planned, poorly executed attempt to smear the Washington Post. At best, it was Phillips working on her own. But I think the evidence points to Veritas, especially since they just claimed in a fundraising email that “our investigative journalist embedded within the publication had their cover blown.”

Right. Nicely played.

When WaPo turned the tables on O’Keefe, he acted like a Republican Senator being asked about Roy Moore.

Project Veritas founder James O'Keefe avoids Post reporter's questions

Like Monty’s planned assault on the Netherlands, these things just don’t work if you’re up against professionals who are prepared for you.

All O’Keefe and Veritas has done here is discredit themselves, solidify WaPo’s reporting creds, and make it more likely that the women who came forward on Roy Moore were right to trust WaPo. Since that story broke, Alabamians have been subject to the most ridiculous and base tactics to sow distrust of the paper.

At this point, these dirty tricks have probably backfired and made more people believe the story than if it had run with nothing more than Moore’s denial.

Perhaps it’s time for O’Keefe and Veritas to take a break and reconsider their methods. They’re beginning to look as bad as the organizations they’re fighting against.

Driving home today this was all over my Twitter feed. I was going to post on this myself, but you beat me too it and pretty much said all I was going to say!

@NeverTrumpGal thanks!

It is sad to see Veritas trying to bring down WaPo with a sting operation. Especially one that seems designed to discredit Moore's accusers.

If they honestly suspected that WaPo was publishing unverified stories they should have done investigative journalism. Fact check the woman's stories, interview people, and come to an objective conclusion.

The conservative movement needs investigative journalists who do not share the same biases and opinions as the msm. It doesn't need hidden camera amateur hour.

O’Keefe should thank WaPo for showing him the power of investigative journalism. Because it will always be more powerful then trying to get someone to make a mistake on camera.

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Absolutely agree @BenjaminD . Excellent take Steve!

..."beginning to look as bad as the organizations they’re fighting against."??
Heck, Project "Veritas" (Latin for "Truth") looks far WORSE than the Washington Post already.

What's next for O'Keefe & co.? Maybe hiring prostitutes who try to seduce married politicians while their hidden cameras are recording everything?

I have no problem if the likes of Anthony Weiner or Larry Craig get caught in scandals of their own making. But setting up and deceiving one's ideological opponents like O'Keefe does is just plain wrong.

@mlindroos I disagree. O'Keefe and Veritas are trying to untilt a very tilted media landscape. They've called out corruption and bias when they've seen it. They are not worse than WaPo, which has published some whoppers over the years and buried the retractions. However, when the media is prepared and Veritas uses an obvious ruse, the results are predictable. Using a ruse is not in itself an unethical act if it's done to expose wrongdoing or unethical bias. Look at the Center for Medical Progress...their ruses against Planned Parenthood have exposed how corrupt and evil PP really is. Yet CMP got prosecuted and harassed for the ruse. O'Keefe has also been prosecuted for ruses.

It's not the ruse itself, it's the hamfisted, stupid and immature way the project was handled. They should have never expected WaPo to fall for it. And in fact, there may be very little to fall for...they'd have been better off befriending the reporters and buying a few drinks then asking them what they personally thought of Moore...the answer would be unsurprising. But coming at WaPo through the journalistic front door is just stupid.

Veritas definitely overplayed their hand with a woman and story that was not very believable, and got exposed. However, in keeping with the analogy you presented, we didn't refuse to continue to work with Montgomery and the British. We need organizations like Vertitas working to expose the leftist media. However, it is a good time for them to take a step back and reassess their tactics.

Has anyone else noticed how much coverage this botched attempt has gotten compared to the videos that Veritas produces? It kind of reinforces their point. The biggest issue with media outlets like the Washington Post isn't that they post "fake news" constantly, it is what they cover and what they don't cover, how they cover it and how they slant the story. The story will Moore was written to make it a bigger story than it was. They referenced 30 people interviewed, but they never said what those 30 people told them. They didn't back up the stories or at least they didn't publish it. Also, only one woman in that story alleged anything illegal or immoral for the culture and time in which it occurred. Yet, the other three were added to try and make a bigger scandal by making it 4 allegations of..... That may not be lying, but it is intentionally misleading people. And we all know they would have never chased this story about Doug Jones. They have also refused to explain how they came across the information. A rumor at a campaign event, is not enough. Someone told them a story and dropped some names. Otherwise, they would have had to randomly look through the phone book and call people of that age that lived in the area, a virtually impossible task.

As young children, when we lied to our mother used she used to recite "Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive". Too bad that idea doesn't seem to be woven into the cloth of the many who have power over the people in this country, from those in political office to people in the media who are supposed to be telling us the truth. We are supposed to be able to trust the media that they are just giving us the facts, but altogether too often that isn't the case.. Many of us are not dumb, just mis-informed by those who have promised to tell us the truth. How can people make good decisions about who to vote for, or what they should back, if they are being willfully deceived by those who are supposed to be speaking the truth, and then don't? This is one of the reasons there is so much division, polarization, and political chaos that seems to be turning into bitterness and some downright anarchy amoung the people in this country.

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