FILE – In this Sept. 1, 2015, file photo, James O’Keefe, President of Project Veritas Action, waits to be introduced during a news conference at the National Press Club in Washington. Project Veritas, a conservative group known for undercover investigations, has been linked to a woman who falsely told the Washington Post that Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore impregnated her as a teenager, the newspaper reported. “We don’t comment on investigations real or imagined, or imagined stings,” conservative activist and Project Veritas’ leader O’Keefe told The Associated Press Monday, Nov. 27, 2017. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)
As Streiff covered, last weekend the New York Times printed an above-the-fold hit piece on Project Veritas, attempting to link O’Keefe, Erik Prince, Betsy DeVos, and the Trump administration in an alleged scheme to use foreign spies to infiltrate unions. Their alleged source? “[I]nternal Project Veritas emails that have emerged from the discovery process of a court battle between the group and the [American Federation of Teachers] union – ha[ve] not previously been reported.”
The New York Times writers completely ignored the substance of Project Veritas’ reporting on the internal workings of the AFT and how they handled teacher-student molestation complaints. Had they included that information, it would have detracted from the conspiratorial fairy tale they were attempting to create.
It turns out the true basis of their allegations wasn’t internal emails; it was “source” interviews. Unnamed sources, of course.
Project Veritas’ James O’Keefe announced Wednesday that the Old Gray Lady had printed a correction to the story.
The correction, printed March 10, states:
An article on Sunday about contact between Erik Prince and spies associated with Project Veritas misstated the age of Marisa Jorge, a Project Veritas operative. She is 25, not 23. A headline with the article misstated the origin of information about Erik Prince’s role in recruiting a former spy to help infiltrate a local teachers union. As the article stated, the information came from source interviews, not documents in a lawsuit.
The correction still leaves a lot to be desired. Phrases like “recruiting a former spy to help infiltrate a local teachers union” are meant to smear Project Veritas and completely ignore the fact that the American Federation of Teachers is suing Project Veritas (PV) because PV broke the story that the union had protected a teacher who molested an 8-year-old student. An email from PV explains:
The main narrative of the article by Timesmen Mark Mazzetti and Adam Goldman said that the White House and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos directed the Project Veritas investigation into Michigan organization of the American Federation of Teachers—what the Times missed was that in the PV investigation into Michigan AFT, Johnny Mickles, a field representative of the union, told our undercover journalist about a Lake City, Michigan high school student’s accusation of sexual molestation when she was 8-years-old.
According to a report by the Lake City, Michigan public schools based on student’s account:
“[The teacher] entered the bedroom during the night. While in the bedroom [the teacher] uncovered the student and lifted nightgown, grabbed the student’s underwear and attempted to pull the underwear down.”
Mickels said Hecker himself worked a union attorney negotiated with the superintendent for the teacher to agree to leave his job with a $50,000 settlement with his Michigan teaching license intact.
AFT tried and failed – twice – to get a court order to keep PV from publishing their expose, and have now sued PV “to punish [them] for practicing journalism,” according to James O’Keefe.