Remember that sting where we sent an undercover journalist posing as a Middle Eastern oil baron by the name of “Muhammad” to meet with Hollywood stars and producers, offering them significant funding for an anti-fracking movie. The story is making the rounds in Hollywood again, thanks to some street artists who have decided to “mock” Ed Begley, Jr. prior to an upcoming environmental event he will be attending.
Here’s a quick refresher course (feel free to skip ahead if you remember the basic story) from Paul Bond of The Hollywood Reporter, who originally covered the Project Veritas video:
Journalist James O’Keefe, known for his controversial undercover sting operations aimed usually at liberals — is set to unveil at the Cannes Film Festival on Wednesday the first of a group of videos that he says will reveal hypocrisy among Hollywood environmentalists.
In the video, obtained exclusively by The Hollywood Reporter and embedded below, actors Ed Begley Jr. and Mariel Hemingway are duped by a man named “Muhammad,” who is looking to make an anti-fracking movie while hiding that its funding is coming from Middle Eastern oil interests.
Muhammad, accompanied by a man pretending to be an ad executive, seemingly has the two actors agreeing to participate in the scheme, even after he acknowledges that his goal is to keep America from becoming energy independent. The meeting, which appears to have been secretly recorded, took place a few months ago at the Beverly Hills Hotel.
But the real target of the sting operation appears to be Josh and Rebecca Tickell, a husband and wife team known for their environmental movies, such as 2008’s Fuel, which won an award at Sundance and was later screened at the White House for members of President Obama’s administration.
Begley tells THR that if it looks like he’s agreeing with faux Muhammad about anything, it’s because the Tickells asked him to be polite so that they’d get their funding for a movie they’re making called Fracked, a film that will argue a technique for extracting natural gas called fracking is bad for the environment. Also, Begley says that he is hard of hearing and couldn’t understand everything Muhammad was saying.
The video also includes some audio from phone conversations between the fake Muhammad’s representatives and the Tickells. “We’re confident that we can keep this zip-locked. You know, tight. Tight. Air-tight forever,” Josh Tickell is heard saying. “If we don’t protect who is kind of funding this thing … if we have to disclose that or that becomes a necessary part of it, the whole enterprise will not work.”
Rebecca Tickell adds: “Because if people think the film is funded by Middle Eastern oil it will, it will not have that credibility,” and Josh Tickell says, “It’s money, so in that sense we have no moral issue.”
In more recent news, Paul Bond explains how normal everyday people are responding to Big Hollywood elites:
Politically motivated street artists have plastered disparaging posters about Ed Begley Jr. and Robert Kennedy Jr. around Hermosa Beach ahead of their scheduled appearance at an environmental forum there on Thursday.
The posters feature images of the celebrities wearing Arab head-dresses and the words, “Saudi Approved” written in large letters. In the background of Begley’s poster is Arabic text that translates to, “I love Arab Oil,” while the poster of Kennedy has Arab text translating to, “Hello, ladies.”
The street artists are remaining anonymous, but they said in an email that in the case of Begley, they are riffing off of a video-sting operation conducted by conservative activist James O’Keefe.
Bond reported that the anonymous street artists said: “We’re fed up with the environmental narrative that sounds good, but is ultimately dangerous and backwards. Characters like Begley and Kennedy claim the moral high ground without anyone questioning the damage that their politics cause to real people in the real world.”
We’re really glad we had some influence (and think the posters are pretty cool, too) — but we’ll need a whole lot more people out there getting involved in the Culture War if we plan to ever defeat Big Hollywood and their BFF Big Government. If you have some related helpful talent (especially if you think you have what it takes for undercover journalism), please drop us a line today.