So yesterday in prime time, Fox News ran some footage from James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas video exposé on dirty tricks implemented by various organizations supporting the Clinton campaign. Then Fox went into overdrive to discredit James O’Keefe. The dismissive remarks of course referenced O’Keefe’s 2010 arrest when he got caught impersonating a telephone company employee (the charge was phone tampering) while working to expose then-Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA), who was allegedly avoiding any and all calls from her constituents who were upset about Obamacare. O’Keefe’s standards as a journalist were not at issue, yet the Fox narrative claims that he is known for phony and misleading editing.
O’Keefe has made enemies, to be sure. His exposés on Planned Parenthood and ACORN provoked all kinds of attacks on him, his ethics, his editorial bias, and his selective editing. Salon describes him as “best known for selectively editing undercover footage to get people fired.”
Let me say something about selective editing.
I was interviewed for a television documentary a few years ago. I was in front of the cameras for about 2½ hours and appeared in the final cut for maybe 3-4 minutes. Before the documentary was broadcast, somebody asked me how I thought I did. My reply was that if the producers wanted me to look good, I’d look good. If they wanted me to look bad, I’d look bad. Ah yes, was the reply. That ole cutting room floor.
Everything we see on TV or read in the news has been edited. The question is: was the edited final product faithful to the original report? You’ll decide if O’Keefe has/had his thumb on the editorial scale or not.
From where I’m sitting, O’Keefe is doing the investigative journalism that the mainstream media not only refuses to do, but works aggressively to suppress and discredit. Already, the progressives are claiming on Fox that the statements caught on the Project Veritas video were merely hypothetical ideas that were never implemented. Then how come two of the principal players in the undercover videos have been fired or have resigned? That would be Democratic consultant Robert Creamer (who visited the White House multiple times) and Scott Foval, national field director for Americans United for Change. (No doubt they will turn up wearing another hat in another room real soon.)