James O’Keefe of Project Veritas name and fame tried to out The Washington Post in an undercover video and audio recording as biased against Roy Moore, on an intentional witch hunt to take down the Alabama candidate.
But he fell short.
The Post, during fact-checking, caught on to the sting.
And now the whole Moore story, already plagued with drama — make that, scandal — has taken a new and stranger twist that’s likely to soak up the next 24 hours or so of media coverage.
Apparently, a woman approached The Post with claims of aborting Moore’s baby when she was a teen.
Turns out, the story was false.
But turns out, too, the story was false because it was a Project Veritas project to sucker The Post into admitting, on video and audio, a bias against Moore and an intent to undo his Senate candidacy.
“James O’Keefe Shoots at The Washington Post and Misses,” blasted the National Review’s headline.
And this, from CBS: “Fake Roy Moore Accuser Approached Washington Post in Sting Operation.”
Come on, now. This can’t be good for the conservative cause — the one that accuses the mainstream media of constant contempt for all-things-Republican.
The one that’s been saying from the get-go — from the Nov. 9 get-go, when The Post first published its piece on Moore’s accusers — that the whole scandal is a fabrication of a hating left-leaning media.
Honestly, Dec. 12, the date of Alabama’s special election for the Senate seat, can’t come quick enough. This is a race that’s been one distraction, drama and, more to truth, scandal, after another. It’s high time for America to focus on more important matters — like whatever happened to that Obamacare thing? Or how’s the border wall building coming along?
Tax reform, anyone?
Anyhow, the Project Veritas-Washington Post face-off goes like this, as CBS noted: “A woman falsely accusing Alabama Republican U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore of impregnating her at 15 years old approached The Washington Post with her story in what appeared to be a sting effort to deceive the news organization. The woman, Jaime T. Phillips, appears to work with Project Veritas, an organization that attempts to secretly record deceptive conversations with journalists in an effort to discredit mainstream news outlets.”
Right. So The Post apparently interviewed this woman over a period of two weeks, “identifying falsehoods and inconsistencies in her story along the way,” and ultimately deciding her claims of a sexual relationship with Moore and subsequent abortion was untrue, CBS reported.
Red flags were raised during the interview process when Phillips reportedly kept asking The Post reporters for their opinions on how her story might effect Moore’s race, and whether her story might crumble his chances to win.
Fact-checking confirmed the red flags were valid. And the story was stopped from going to print.
And here’s what The Post found, as the National Review noted: “The Post did not publish an article based on [this woman’s] 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 New York offices of Project Veritas.”
O’Keefe has done some fine work — some gutsy work — and outed some shocking behind-the-scenes goings-on in politics, culture and the media. But this fail, bluntly, is a bit embarrassing. Not only that — it’s damaging to the conservative movement.
The ideological right has it hard enough in the media without handing the left an easy smack-down — without giving the snobbish types in established media an easy way of dismissing those who work on the conservative side of journalism as crackpot activists. And on this story, on this Moore matter, let’s remember: There are women out there who claim to be actual victims of sexual molestation and harassment. This isn’t just a topic about media bias.