James O’Keefe, author of “American Muckraker” and founder of Project Veritas, questioned the intention of journalists, including the New York Times, for their reporting on the actions of the conservative group.
“We’re doing our jobs. It’s what the fourth estate is supposed to do, expose waste, fraud, and abuse, and for newspapers to attack us, for that I have to wonder whose side they’re on,” O’Keefe said while appearing on Hill.TV’s “Rising.” “Are they on the side of transparency?”
In March, Project Veritas, a far-right activist group known for publishing videos often filmed deceptively, filed a defamation suit against the New York Times, alleging that the newspaper’s coverage of one of its video was defamatory.
Last month a judge ordered the newspaper to return physical and digital legal memos prepared by the conservative group’s lawyers. The paper had been banned from publishing certain documents related to the group, which the New York Times challenged as a violation of the First Amendment.
O’Keefe criticized major news outlets for their reporting on Project Veritas.
“Please explain to me why they’re doing that, and give me actual evidence not hearsay, not anonymous sources, but actual evidence,” O’Keefe said.
Asked about “what kind of institution” and “what kind of undercover work” Veritas participates in, O’Keefe said the group are not “spies.”
“Spies may operate for state interests. The investigative reporter operates in the public interest,” he said. “You do have to use some element of pretense in order to tell the truth to the audience.”
His book “American Muckraker” will remind people of what journalism once was, according to O’Keefe.
“This book, I think, it’s going to send shock waves through journalism schools because it reminds people of what journalism used to be in the mid 20th century, which, it’s a far cry from what it used to be.”