After two years of alternately suppressing and condemning James O’Keefe and his investigations, the New York Times has published a surprisingly fair piece by Rush Limbaugh biographer Zev Chafetz on what motivates Project Veritas and its muckraker-in-chief.
In it Chafetz accurately described the “devastating” ACORN investigation that first put O’Keefe and his tactics on the political map. He even quoted a former Times editor who studied the infamous footage and concluded “the most damning words match the transcripts and the audio, and do not seem out of context.”
Such belated candor is refreshing from a newspaper that failed to assign a single reporter to the ACORN scandal until after Congress had already passed a law defunding the corrupt organization.
Chafetz also acknowledged historical precedent for the sort of undercover investigative journalism practiced by Project Veritas (dating back to at least the nineteenth century), as well as the fact the muckrakers are traditionally loved or hated depending on their targets, not their tactics.
He talked to Brooke Kroeger, director of the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute at New York University, who said:
“For years, advocacy groups such as those for a better government have partnered with journalistic organizations. Last year the Humane Society released an undercover video of the inhumane treatment of pigs in Virginia that got picked up by media around the country and won applause from animal lovers. Many of those same people vociferously went after O’Keefe for his exposé of NPR. It’s basically a question of what you care about and what side you are on.”
That bias is precisely what Project Veritas has fought to expose since its inception. The establishment press is dominated by “journalists” for whom ill-treated pigs are a cause célèbre, while the real scandals involving trillions of dollars in fraud and wasted taxpayer money are simply isolated examples of well-intentioned bureaucrats making honest mistakes.
But after witnessing “how the sausage is made” in our Medicaid fraud investigation, even Chafetz had to admit “it was surprising to see how willingly minor officials turned a blind eye and, in some cases, even offered advice on how to game the system.”
Surprising to him, perhaps, but nothing new to those who have watched the system game taxpayers for decades.