Holding 'News Reporters' Accountable: Project Veritas Shows the Way

AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews, File

The legacy print media have been blurring their news coverage with their op-ed pages for years. Almost every beat reporter apparently is a wannabe “opinion journalist” because that is where the big bucks are. It is a career move to show your editor that you’ve got the “right stuff” to be an op-ed writer by injecting opinion into your news stories. The last four years have seen the blurring of those lines accelerate to the point where virtually everything in the legacy media has become opinion or innuendo not based on facts – or based on the proverbial unnamed sources and circular reporting.

How many major news stories attacking President Trump (or conservatives in general) or praising some Democrat that dominated the news cycles – in some cases for months – have eventually been debunked and/or turned upside-down when the facts ultimately became known? The list is endless: Russia collusion (other related items debunked here), Ukraine quid pro quo hoax, Andrew Cuomo receiving an Emmy for his “COVID response,” the “science of masks” warrants a 6-foot separation, two weeks to flatten the curve, and the “armed insurrection” on 6 January. The latter is still in the process of being debunked, as the media have been forced to remove the “armed” part of the label since the FBI reluctantly admitted that no guns were confiscated during the Capitol Hill riot.

Mollie Hemingway – a REAL journalist – identified a few of her favorite media hoaxes masquerading as “news” in a Twitter thread on 16 March:

1. “… my favorite ‘anonymous’ story remains ‘Anonymous’! That was when the NYT tried to suggest a disgruntled low-level staffer was [a] Trump cabinet official or family member. And instead he was like ‘John Willoughby, III,’ at the Bureau of Engraving or some such. I love that story so much. Also, there were no repercussions for the NYT, other than the further loss of credibility. WP and CNN also ran puff pieces/hired the low-level dude. Good times.”

2. “Also when CNN used two ‘anonymous’ sources to falsely accuse Don Jr of having advance knowledge of a Russia Wikileaks thing but it turned out that their supposedly independent ‘sources’ both managed to get the date on the email wrong. Also that other outlets ‘confirmed’ it. Fun.”

3. “Or maybe my favorites are the 2,472,547 ‘Russia collusion hoax’ stories all based on completely sketchy anonymous sources and all totally false, for which our media gave themselves awards. And then pretended it was all NBD once they were exposed as hacks.”

4. “But the Atlantic’s anonymously sourced Aisne-Marne Cemetery/Trump hates soldiers story — completely refuted by common sense, massive on-the-record rebuttals, government emails, and historical weather reports — was pretty bad, too, and quite consequential.”

Heh. I would wager you can probably recall a few more examples, too! Here is her whole thread, for those who have yet to be suspended by Twitter and wish to give her an “attagirl”:

The next big Democrat-media hoax that is being exposed relates to their claims that there was “no election fraud” in 2020, with the corollary being that “even if there was, there is no evidence that the election results would have been changed.” A lot of credible reporting has been chipping away at that narrative, including a plethora of analysis reports from independent experts (example reported here) and considerable sworn testimony at state hearings. And a couple of forensic audits are likely to be conducted in Georgia and Arizona (and possibly in other states), too.

The inimitable Project Veritas has been doing some chipping away at that hoax, too, having investigated illegal ballot harvesting activities in Minnesota last year. And The New York Times may be brought to task for defaming Project Veritas in a subsequent “news article” published on 29 September 2020. On 18 March, a judge in Westchester County New York denied The New York Times‘ motion to dismiss in Project Veritas’s defamation lawsuit. As reported in an email announcement yesterday from James O’Keefe:

Our lawsuit came to be due to The New York Times’ lies about Project Veritas’ investigation into illegal ballot harvesting taking place in Minnesota during the 2020 election cycle.

The New York Times defended calling Project Veritas’ Minnesota Ballot Harvesting videos “deceptive” by arguing this was simply an “unverifiable expression of opinion.”

Project Veritas pointed out this “opinion” was printed in the news section of The New York Times and the Court agreed: “if a writer interjects an opinion in a news article (and will seek to claim legal protections as opinion) it stands to reason that the writer should have an obligation to alert the reader … that it is opinion.”  The Times did not do so, and the Court found this troubling.

The Court found Project Veritas demonstrated “a substantial basis in law and fact that the Defendants [The New York Times] acted with actual malice, that is, with knowledge that the statements in the Articles were false or made with reckless disregard of whether they were false or not” and Project Veritas should be permitted to “conduct discovery.”

Can’t wait to see Times Executive Editor Dean Baquet, the reporter who wrote the September article, and whoever reviewed and approved it be deposed under oath!

Conclusion. This is a court precedent that should be very useful in curtailing the egregious lying by the legacy media on behalf of Democrats. Pawning off opinion as news reporting without calling it such is a standard tactic in today’s legacy media. They do it because those opinions “advance the narrative,” which almost always benefits the Democrat Party. Will this defamation lawsuit by Project Veritas result in a golden era of honest reporting, complete with new guidance to news reporters across the legacy media to label personal opinions not supported by facts as such in future articles? I am not going to hold my breath on that, but rather expect to see other lawsuits filed until the message is received and clearly understood – in their pocketbooks!

The end.