In a lengthy, breathless article in the Sunday New York Times, reporters Adam Goldman and Michael Schmidt express their shock that a media organization might actually be doing real journalism.
Specifically, they detail how and why Project Veritas operatives obtained the diary of President Joe’s troubled daughter, Ashley Biden, and how they vetted the diary to assure its authenticity.
As it happens, Goldman and Schmidt were each part of the team that shared a Pulitzer with the Washington Post in 2018 for their “coverage of President Donald Trump and his campaign’s ties to Russia.”
Ironically, if Goldman, Schmidt and their colleagues at the Times had done the same kind of reporting on Christopher Steele’s famed dossier that Project Veritas did on Ashley’s diary, the Times would have killed the Russia hoax in the womb.
Without intending, the Times article on Project Veritas shows how good journalists actually operate. As the story is told, a month before the 2020 election, Ashley got a call from a man who claimed that he had found a diary that he believed was hers and wanted to return it.
Ashley agreed to receive the diary from the caller. She had left it and other belongings at a friend’s home while in recovery from addiction. “But,” the Times tells us piously, “Ms. Biden was not dealing with a good Samaritan. The man on the other end of the phone worked for Project Veritas.”
At this point, the reporters raise some issues they should have raised when investigating the Steele dossier, the cornerstone of the whole Russia collusion hoax: “Project Veritas had to confront tricky questions: Was the diary really Ashley Biden’s, and not a fake or a setup?”
The Times, it seems, did not not feel the need to confront the question of whether the dossier was a fake or a setup. Their willful ignorance, however, proved to be the key to winning the 2018 Pulitzer, awarded that year to the “journalists” most eager to subvert the Trump presidency.
According to the reporters, Project Veritas did what the Times failed to do with the dossier. “To authenticate the diary,” the Times tells us, “one of Mr. O’Keefe’s top lieutenants, Spencer Meads, was dispatched to Florida to do more investigative work.”
The authentication process did not please the Times. Write the reporters, “Project Veritas employed deception rather than traditional journalistic techniques in the way it approached Ms. Biden.”
Had the reporters read the new book by Veitas honcho James O’Keefe, “American Muckraker,” they would have understood that good journalism often involves deception.
In the 19th century, for instance, New York World reporter Nellie Bly famously posed as a patient to expose an inhumane mental health system and help reform it. Some years later, Upton Sinclair went undercover to expose the abuses at a Chicago packing house. These he documented in his classic novel, “The Jungle,” which led to a host of reforms as well.
As renowned Los Angeles Times reporter David Shaw said more than 40 years ago, “First-hand observation is the ultimate documentation. Almost every big story I’ve done, I’ve had to impersonate someone.”
O’Keefe cites among others Philip Meyer’s authoritative book, “Ethical Journalism,” in which Meyer writes, “In fact, given that accuracy is journalism’s fundamental objective, it is an extremely important virtue, one that should not be readily sacrificed to a rigid rule against deception.”
Ignoring the history of journalism, the Times reporters grouse, “And by showing that Project Veritas employed deception rather than traditional journalistic techniques in the way it approached Ms. Biden … the new accounts could further complicate the organization’s assertions in court filings that it should be treated as a publisher and granted First Amendment protections.”
To their humble credit, the Times reporters hint at their own conflict of interest in this perverse exposé: “Project Veritas – which is suing The New York Times for defamation in an unrelated case – has denied any wrongdoing or knowledge that the belongings had been stolen. It has portrayed itself as a media organization that is being unfairly investigated for simply doing journalism and has assailed the Justice Department and the FBI for their handling of the case.”
In their long-winded account of how the diary was acquired and who might have seen it, the Times reporters concede that on Oct. 12, 2020, James O’Keefe, according to court documents, sent an email to his team explaining why he chose not to publish the dairy. “We have no doubt the document is real,” O’Keefe wrote, but he added that reporting on it would be “characterized as a cheap shot.”
The New York Times and their fellow travelers in the major media apparently had no such scruples about reporting on the notorious “pee tapes,” a grotesquely cheap shot if there ever were one.
For all of their circuitous reasoning, the Times and its reporters refuse to get to the nub of the real story: their cooperation with politically driven prosecutors to deny Project Veritas its First Amendment rights.
Only by discrediting Project Veritas’s journalism, even criminalizing it, can the Times escape the powerful defamation case against it that is working its way through the courts.
An even larger story, of course, is the open complicity between Big Media, Big Tech and the Deep State to deny Americans the right to self-governance.
The editors of the newspaper that had the moxie to publish the pilfered Pentagon Papers a half-century back would not recognize their increasingly pathetic heirs.
To learn more about Jack Cashill, please see Cashill.com.
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